Welcome to the two-hundred and ninety-ninth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous two hundred and ninety-eight.
Comic Book Legends Revealed is part of the larger Legends Revealed series, where I look into legends about the worlds of entertainment and sports, which you can check out here, at legendsrevealed.com. In honor of the Super Bowl this weekend, I’d especially recommend you check out this installment of Football Legends Revealed to discover whether the Super Bowl actually was named after the Super Ball. There’s also a legend there involving the Steelers, who are playing in this year’s Super Bowl.
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COMIC LEGEND: Bob Kane wrote a pop song that was released on a record.
When Bob Kane finished his involvement in the Batman comics sometime in the late 1960s/early 1970s (not that he was exactly super-involved before then, as he had other artists ghosting for him, but still, he would at least be directly involved with DC in the production of the comics), he began a particularly interesting stretch of his life. You see, during the 1960s, while not busy not drawing Batman, Kane worked on a series of animated programs, including Courageous Cat and Cool McCool. But by the 1970s, his animated work was pretty much finished.
So what you had was a wealthy guy in his late 50s/early 60s who did not really have anything to do. So he embraced his celebrity status and just did all sorts of stuff (like painting, for instance, although people have alleged that even that he used ghost artists for – an alleged statement, by the way, that I don’t believe I’ve ever seen actually proven – so if you have evidence that Kane used ghost artists for his paintings, be sure to let me know! The best I’ve seen is peers of Kane just telling that “they heard” it).
Amusingly enough, one of the things Kane worked on was songwriting!!
Here is an ad from the mid-70s for the singer Hank Leids and his album Courage, with a song “Have Faith in Me” written by Bob Kane!!
In their nifty Comics Bulletin column, Barbara Lien-Cooper and Park Cooper had an interesting interaction with Neil London, Hank Leids’ producer for the Kane-penned track. London supplied this website he put up of a later charity album titled Have Faith in Me, which, unsurprisingly, did not ultimately use Bob Kane’s original drawings for the album cover.
It also included a DISCO version of the original Kane-penned tune!
Read the Coopers’ column with London here to learn about his and Leids’ disappointing first meeting with Kane.
Check out London’s website here.
Now someone needs to find me an MP3 of this song!
Thanks to reader Michael D. for the suggestion!
COMIC LEGEND: An interesting artistic complaint was worked into the background of a panel of the last issue of the Marvel series Weapon X.
Weapon X was a series that debuted in 2002 that detailed the latest version of the Weapon X project (which was the name of the group that had experimented on Wolverine decades earlier). It was basically a team of bad guys, although the focus of the comic changed over the years. Frank Tieri, who was then the regular writer on Wolverine, was the writer of the book.
It was canceled with issue #28. Georges Jeanty was the original penciler, but for the last six issues (two three-issue stories), Tom Mandrake was the artist for the book (penciler and inker). The book was lettered by Dave Sharpe.
Now what I’m about to show you was most likely done by Mandrake, as it is typically the inker who does these sorts of things, but I suppose it is at least possible that it was Sharpe. In either event, in a background panel of the last issue, someone expressed their dissatisfaction with working on an already-canceled comic book.
Check out the journal in the background of this panel…
Someone writes, “I want this issue to be finished and over with. I don’t like slogging through the last issue of a dead book” and then something about how he is a pro, though, so he’ll do what he has to do and not blow it off.
Pretty funny stuff.
Thanks to reader Wayne C. for sending this one in!
COMIC LEGEND: Judd Winick’s Pedro and Me won a Pulitzer Prize.
My pal Zack Smith sent this one in to me.
It’s a pretty straightforward answer, too. Despite what you might have read on the internet (a quick search brought up a ton of places saying this), Judd Winick did not win a Pulitzer Prize for his biographical graphic novel, Pedro and Me, about Winick’s friend (and fellow Real World castmate, Pedro Zamora). Nor was it ever a finalist.
Pedro and Me was really good, and if it HAD won a Pulitzer Prize, I certainly would not have been shocked. It won a bunch of other well-deserved awards, just not a Pulitzer (here is a link to all the winners and finalists of the Pulitzer Prize over the last few decades).
Zack was also curious as to how this rumor got started. I don’t know for sure, but I have a theory. While looking into it, I found a number of texts that placed Pedro and Me next to art spiegelman’s Maus, when describing how comics could be used to discuss issues like the Holocaust (Maus) and AIDS (Pedro and Me). In more than one of these texts, the pair of books were described as “The Pulitzer Prize winning Maus and Pedro and Me,” which leads me to suggest that it was simply a misunderstood sentence that propagated the myth that Pedro and Me also won a Pulitzer (Maus won a special Pulitzer Prize in 1992).
Thanks to Zack Smith for the suggestion and, heck, let me also thank Judd Winick for a great graphic novel.
Okay, that’s it for this week!
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. And my Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/brian_cronin, so you can ask me legends there, as well!
Here’s my book of Comic Book Legends (130 legends – half of them are re-worked classic legends I’ve featured on the blog and half of them are legends never published on the blog!).
The cover is by artist Mickey Duzyj. He did a great job on it…(click to enlarge)…
If you’d like to order it, you can use the following code if you’d like to send me a bit of a referral fee…
See you all next week!