« We tend to think of age only in time, but I don’t think it has much to do with time at all; there’s a whole load of other things. I’ve met 16-year-olds who are old and 90-year-olds who are young. » — Roger Daltrey
Today’s birthday number seventy-four for Sir Roger Harry Daltrey (born in London, England, on March 1st, 1944), Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, noted thespian and lead vocalist of The Who. « And what’s this got to do with soddin’ comics? », the more boorish among you may ask. Well, thanks to the efforts of the genial Michael Kupperman, Sir Roger, and his unceasing quest for birds, have been duly immortalised in comics. Read on!
Farther along, having taken his quest below ground, our intrepid bird-rogerer encounters the dauntless duo of Mark Twain and Albert Enstein (of course!).
I’ve looked under chairs
I’ve looked under tables
I’ve tried to find the key
to fifty million fables
They call me the Seeker
I’ve been searchin’ low and high
I won’t get to get what I’m after
Till the day I die
Happy birthday, Roger. Here’s a helpful shortcut to some of these fabled birds you seek:
As something of a student (and reluctant collector) of bad Mark Twain appearances, I would have to say that is one of the worst, most pointless uses of Twain in any medium that I can recall.
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On that topic, I like this quote from a 2002 Comics Journal interview with Kupperman:
K: “I think it came out of seeing Twain and Einstein — Twain, especially, because I lived in Connecticut — portrayed in movies, TV and commercials as lovable old fuddy-duddies who help children or young couples work out their problems… Hartford, because Twain used to live there, whored him out like a two-dollar street walker. There was this TV commercial from the ’80s where a Twain look-alike seated in a rocking chair says to the camera, ‘Folks have been getting to know the Eastern Connecticut-state Buick dealers and they’re right nice fellows.’ So it came out of that, the idea that people who were once three-dimensional human beings could be reduced to this kind of ridiculous archetype.”