« Taking sartorial risks and not following other people is what makes you stand out. » — Zac Posen
I was planning a big commemorative post for today, but I got tangled up in my calendar and realised in time that I was a couple of weeks off. So instead, I’ll just blow off a little steam.
Some cartoonists are born character designers. Others, not so much. The Rhino, a Stan Lee-John Romita Sr. creation, first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man no. 41 (Oct. 1966, Marvel), soon after Steve Ditko‘s abrupt but quite justified resignation. Isn’t that just a dog of a cover? (pencils and inks by Romita, colours by Stan Goldberg).
Somehow, Daredevil seems to wind up with more than his share of poorly-attired villains. It’s as if they know he’s blind and won’t judge them too harshly on sartorial grounds.
The Beetle first scurried into view in Strange Tales no. 123 (Aug. 1964, Marvel), tackling the Human Torch (and The Thing). Too bad it wasn’t Doctor Strange he was sparring with, since his threads would then have been designed by Mr. Ditko instead of by Carl Burgos.
He then went on to bug the aforementioned ‘hornhead’. This is Daredevil no. 34 (Nov. 1967); pencils by Gene Colan, inks by Bill Everett. Why does everyone on stage appear to wear a size 15 shoe? At least!
The costume of the Tarantula (a glorious Gerry Conway-Ross Andru creation!) is such an impractical conceit that they pretty much have to use him in the same position on every cover. The guy can barely walk in such, er — calzado, let alone fly at Spider-Man with such force. Just a lousy idea, on every level — tarantulas bite, they don’t sting, Gerry.
Poor Razor-Fist was created by writer Doug Moench and artist Paul Gulacy. How did he get dressed? How did he go to the bathroom? How did he feed himself? How did he get his head to bend that far back? (Perhaps he’s a Pez Dispenser).
Should you hanker for more of these, er… dressing-downs, you might want to inspect our earlier instalment along these lines, « You’re going out wearing THAT? ».
I had really enjoyed your previous (and linked) piece on the lack of sartorial splendor among select supertypes, so I’m glad to see you produced this sequel!
Juxtaposing those identical Tarantula poses was an inspired — and hilarious — touch. But while I have #147 in my childhood collection, I never noticed that puddle next to the prone cop’s head. Is it supposed to be splashy sewer water, illogical on what appears to be a sunny NYC day? Is it supposed to be a pool of blood, and Marvel ran out of red ink earlier that day? And why is there a glare of it off the cop’s head — is he using a particularly shiny conditioner? Ah, the mysteries of the universe…
Thanks for dropping by, Matt! I’m afraid it’s contagious — what on earth’s up with that puddle? I’m really glad you enjoyed this edition. I figured I’d stick (it) to Marvel this time, but of course every publisher’s got its share of sins along these lines. Tight deadlines, low pay… it’s in the stars. Look out for further instalments!
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I vote for drool!
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