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R.I.P., Grasshopper. (Updated.)

Not strictly comics-related, but I thought it rated a mention. David Carradine passed away in Bangkok yesterday. He was 72.

As it happens we've been watching a lot of the old Kung Fu around here lately. I was never allowed to watch it when I was a kid, because my mother was convinced that Carradine was a disgusting, drug-addled hippie after he appeared barefoot on The Mike Douglas Show. I still vividly remember her rant about that. Also, she was also furious with him for corrupting that nice Barbara Hershey, who was then calling herself Barbara Seagull-- Mom was sure that was Carradine's fault too.

I was bitterly disappointed -- Mom was totally missing the point, I didn't give a damn if the guy was a hippie or a Satanist or what -- Kung Fu was a WESTERN with KARATE!!! How could she be so cruel as to deny me that??

So as I always did when I heard of something cool on TV that I wasn't allowed to see, I naturally went with my usual work-around -- books and comics.

So Carradine's Kung Fu TV series, despite the fact that I wasn't allowed to watch it,  indirectly led me to check out all the kung fu comics and books that have been such a huge part of my life from then until now.

Finally, with the advent of DVD, I've been able to see the actual show that started the martial-arts rock rolling down the hill for me... and I really like it. We're just getting through the third-season set this week, as a matter of fact.

Apart from that, I always enjoyed seeing him in whatever he was in... Death Race 2000, Gray Lady Down, even those parody commercials. It's now being reported as a suicide, which makes me sad -- in recent years he always came across as an easygoing, contented fellow in his interviews, with a charming sense of humor.

Mark Evanier has a nice Comic-Con anecdote about David Carradine as well, here.

Rest in peace. Mr. Carradine. Wherever you are, I hope nobody's giving you a hard time about going barefoot.

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