This clip from the radio show won’t end up on The Chronological Superman for a few months, but I just listened to it for the first time a few days ago and had to share it.
This is the broadcast from Christmas Day, 1945, the first Christmas Day following the end of World War II. Here, the show’s sponsor - Kellogg’s of Battle Creek - forgoes its usual advertisement space so that Superman himself (actor Bud Collyer, the voice of the Man of Steel for radio and cartoons) could offer Christmas wishes to his listeners.
More than that, though, Superman goes on to talk about tolerance, and good will, and the right that all men have to live free, unencumbered from injustice - It’s worthwhile to try to put yourself in the place of the audience of this show; an eight- or nine-year old kid, a family whose sons or fathers or brothers might just now be coming home from years overseas - if they were lucky - a world that’s celebrating having defeated a clear evil and now must redefine itself in peacetime.
It’s an oversimple speech, but touching. I won’t play this card often, but - I defy you not to choke up even a little when Superman speaks to you longingly of tolerance and goodwill.
Every fan of every character or storyline which has a multitude of incarnations across different eras and under different artistic direction has their personal favorites - you might prefer Star Trek in the Next Gen era, you might prefer your Connery Bond. When it comes to Superman, I love the character and the mythos across the board, but increasingly - as I listen to these old radio shows - I’m coming to realize that the Superman who most closely resembles my ideal of the character, of everything he stands for and the moral certainty he couples with uncomplicated, decisive action, is the radio show version.
I honestly have ze-ro stakes in whether Wonder Woman ever gets a movie or not, but this whole “Studios don’t know what to DO with the character” conversation is baffling. Hey, lookit this, she is RIDING A HORSE INTO A MACHINE GUN NEST. Lookit how she’s doing a lasso thing - SHE’S GOING TO LASSO A NAZI OR A MACHINE GUN OR SOMETHING. What the fuck, you can’t DO anything with that? She’s Audie Murphy with tits, there, I wrote your movie for you. “Girls can do anything” she says at one point, her horse kicking a Nazi in the heart. Gimme one of those movie clapper things, I’ll get you started. “Action!”
BOO!Halloween Stories is a digital-only horror comics anthology which will be having its second volume this year. You can see last year’s volume here.
Owing to schedule conflicts, we’re shy a couple of artists for this year’s volume. If you’re interested in participating (illustrating a Halloween/Horror-themed story between three and six pages, due at the end of July), please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll get back to all applicants after the weekend with more information.
Legion of Super-Heroes vol 2 No.280
By Joe Staton and Bob Smith
The theme of my first shipment to my founding fellows in Comic Club USA was “Atlas-Seaboard”, the publishing house which popped up to rival Marvel in the Seventies and effectively suffered a company-wide nervous breakdown after less than a year and no more than four issues (I think) of any individual title.
Allegedly, the entire operation was founded on a grudge; Marvel bigwig Martin Goodman sold his publishing empire lock, stock and barrel to Cadence with the express understanding that his son “Chip” would stay on as the line editor of the comic arm of the corporate entity.
A lifetime of “Stan Lee Presents…” preceding the prologue of every Marvel title for a forty year period tells us that Cadence didn’t honor its agreement - on some alternate earth, we opened every issue of Avengers and Fantastic Four to see “Chip Goodman Presents…”, to be sure.
Martin founded a second publishing venture, Seaboard Publications, in which Atlas was the comic book interest and demolishing Marvel was the apparent goal. “Chip” was instituted as the big gun - despite his shaky comic book bonafides - and the company was gone within its second year.
The unsteady editorial guidance of the line contributed to its infamy, but it boasted a top-notch line of creators, offered some of the best contracts the industry has ever seen (out of necessity, rather than big-heartedness, it should be stressed), and produced grim, phobic titles which captured the ominous and often hopeless feel of fantasy in the 70s, at least moreso than either of its competitors …
Adding a little context to my first Comic Club USA mailing…
kalenknowles asked: Did Batman ever discover an element of his own, that you know of? Some kind of Batmanuim? Also, you gonna be at ECCC this weekend?
I will be at ECCC, but only wandering the floor come Sunday. I’ll draw pies for whomever can overtake and subdue me.
I know how you mean about superheroes who discover their own elements, but I’m afraid - the Batman Leads An Interesting Life feature on Gone&Forgotten notwithstanding - I don’t know near as much Batman lore as I do Superman, Shazam, Daredevil, Metamorpho, et al, so I can’t say for sure.
If he DID discover a unique Bat-element, here are the names I’d recommend for them: