"Elias Nebula is practicing Japanese but no one knows."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Crinkly Headers: Secret Origins (Or, "Secret Rogerins")

Corin Depper is here. With his patented passive-aggressiveness.
Never comes out and has a row –– but he foments trouble everywhere he goes, as if by magic.
I said to him, "Have you ever said 'Boo' to a goose, Corin?"
He goes, "Boo."


I was walking down through Union Square West heading north, thinking, "Apropos of boring comics, all stories involving the Shi'Ar and the Imperial Guard are boring. Also any stories containing or involving Alpha Flight. Likewise anything set in the Savage Land."


The scene: The Time Machine

The time: What is time, after all, in a time machine?

The circumstances: I was trading my Deadpools for numbers of Cable and (pre-Max, MU) Punisher War Journal. Slipped in a Silver Age Doctor Doom special "under the rose". Roger was generous & allowed the trade.

Sifting through some Spider-Man copies and frowning, I coughed and straightened my tie and went to Roger, "May I approach the bar and ask a question?"

Like a slip of a lad hesitantly asking one of his parents where exactly babies come from --- and why.

Roger assenting in his nebulous way, I approached the "bar" bearing a copy of an early-Nineties Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man which was warped and rippled in bumps along the tops and bottoms of the pages.

Nigh every copy I have seen of this title, between #159 and #188, is so corrugated. Also issues of GI Joe and Web of Spider-Man from the same benighted period.

I went to the bar, and showed them to Roger. "Do you mark these bumps along the header?" I asked.

Roger squinted a spell, and looked perplexed. Finally he realised that I was not complaining about the art. (Far from it - Sal Buscema was drawing this title for a long and excellent run at the time.)

When he had ascertained the source of my complaint, he remarked, "You need to see a psychiatrist."

It's going badly with you when your comics guy is remarking that you are in need of therapy. That said, Roger's proffered solution did not satisfy me. He reckoned that the comics were warped and crinkled by sitting in damp. He goes, sheepishly, "Did you get your wrinkled comics from us? Cause we used to keep our longboxes in a damp basement..."

Nice to know that my esteemed comics guy keeps his valuable back stock in a balmy subterranean mangrove swamp - a real winning recommendation there, Rodge. It isn't that though. I think it is a problem with Marvel Comics across the board (or at least certain titles) from that period, irrespective of where they come from. They aren't all from Roger's soggy basement. I just got some numbers of Punisher from Lone Star Comics in Texas and they have the same "crinkly header" problem.

Roger said, "There would have been some comment on this phenomenon among the comics community in the last thirty years. I don't think you have just discovered something that has eluded the greatest minds of the comic-collecting nation . The comics collecting fraternity is traditionally, shall we say, vigilant , ah, exacting indeed, on such minutiae concerning, ah, condition."

I kind of bridled at this, "slightually". Like I wasn't able to out-think the paltry comics buff community with my excellent eye for detail? Like I, with my larger knowledge of the universe, couldn't see beyond the petty purview of the fanboy?
"Or perhaps it's just that I'm a pioneer, and you men gathered this day in this room have not the 'eyes to see'" I yelped faintly, to dull chuckling from the room.

The fact remains that I keep finding crinkled comics from that period in select Marvel titles from a variety of sources. Should "they" ever come to notice this phenomenon, say in the pages of Overstreet or even Wizard, I hope that some honest soul will rightly attribute its original recognition to me.

[In the voice of Crispin Glover, in River's Edge:] I feel like... Cotton Mather!

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