Friday, December 09, 2011


Why We Love Detective Comics

Laughing Fish
In some circles, laughing fish are a big deal. It was a story in Detective Comics #475 and #476. And it had the Joker and he put a chemical or something in Gotham harbor and it somehow gave Joker-faces to all the fish. And the Joker thought that somehow he would get a royalty on all the fish sandwiches and every seafood dish served in any restaurant because the fish all had Joker-faces.

Or something. Maybe you had to be there in 1978 to really get how cool this story was.

It had writing by Steve Englehart. It had art by Marshall Rogers. It had inking by Terry Austin.

It had Silver St. Cloud, Rupert Thorne and the ghost of Hugo Strange.

It had a cat with the Joker's face because it had eaten one of the Joker fish.

And it had this bit:

The Joker pushes one of his henchmen in front of a truck. That was Blue Eyes. He was from the Joker's own comic book, which had only been canceled a few months previously. The other two henchmen, looking on in fear and possibly considering a career change, were also in that series. I love the old Joker comic book. And I remember how nice it was to see Southpaw and Tooth and Blue Eyes. Even if it was probably the last time for Blue Eyes

If the cover looks kind of familiar, it might be because it was in the recent movie "Super 8." It was hanging on the wall in the room of the main kid.

Which is kind of cool. "Super 8" is cool because it has this comic book in it. But "The Laughing Fish" does not really need to be in a summer blockbuster to be more cool than it already is.

Note: Jerry Robinson died Wednesday at the age of 89. He was one of those eager young creative minds that worked on early Batman comic books and he is often cited as the creator of the Joker.

I never met him, but I did get to see him on a Batman panel at the San Diego Comic-Con in 2009. It was awesome. He was with Lew Sayre Schwarz and Sheldon Moldoff and they all talked about the early days of Batman and what a colossal jerk Bob Kane was. It was great.

I'm certainly glad I got to see that.


Monday, December 05, 2011


"Pirate Jenny" by Nina Simone.

"Subterranean Homesick Blues" by Ken Bishop's Nice Twelve.

"Cities in Dust" by Siouxsie and the Banshees.

"Frank's Wild Years" by Tom Waits.

"You Only Live Twice" by Nancy Sinatra.


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