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Flash Fridays – The Flash #146 August 1964

posted on September 30, 2016

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At the risk of becoming tedious, we’re looking at another wonderful Murphy Anderson inked cover. My admiration for Murphy’s skills remains undiminished to this day. In an earlier blog post, I wrote about getting to know Flash editor Julie Schwartz a little at a party at my house following a comic con in Cleveland. What I didn’t mention was that  Murphy was at the same party. He was a true southern gentleman, and, I might add, the only one wearing a suit and tie. You really couldn’t meet a nicer guy. At one point during the evening at my house, I found myself chatting with Murphy in my studio. He told me about his studio being in the basement of his home at one point, and how he had to put a little gate to keep his young children from crawling in while he was working. It was so nice to have a visual image of what it was like when this art work that I admire was being created.

The Flash’s tangle with the Mirror Master in this issue is especially notable for one nice twist. At the start of the story we see Barry attending a meeting of Professor Dobill’s Course on Greatness which Iris had pushed him to take way back in issue #136 which said story coinkadinkally featured the Mirror Master as well. And then we find out that, since he escaped from jail, MM has been attending the course too so he might pick up some tips on how to defeat his nemesis the Flash. Of course, it doesn’t work, but it’s a very nice touch by the author John Broome.

Broome also does another nice SF turn when in the second story he has the Flash use his cosmic treadmill to travel to the future point when the Earth’s sun goes nova. He does it to get photos for a piece his girlfriend Iris is writing about novas. Now that’s going the extra mile, wouldn’t you say?

John Darling – Take 33

posted on September 29, 2016

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Thus John Darling’s trip to the affiliates meeting on the west coast comes to an end. This little jaunt was a great way to get us away from Channel One and to a place where I could showcase Tom Armstrong’s ability to caricature celebrities, and what better place than Hollywood. It was the first of many journeys there.

Match to Flame 28

posted on September 20, 2016

Match to Flame 27

By 1975, Funky Winkerbean was rounding into the form that would carry it into its middle years. Crazy Harry was firmly ensconced in his locker-as-living-quarters home, and I was having fun playing with that theme. The May 13, 1975, series starting on page 71, where Crazy has to move because his row of lockers has gone condo, no doubt reflected the real-life decision by my wife Cathy and me to look for new digs. Living in the run-down apartment in the run-down neighborhood with the house of the rising sun a couple of doors down and the guy next door who would sit on the stairs in his apartment smoking a cigarette, looking for all the world like the serial killer he may or may not have been as he stared into our kitchen window, and waking up one morning to find his car being winched out of the river behind our apartment following a late night parking mishap just didn’t seem to be our style anymore. We’d moved on, so we moved on. First, to a nicer apartment behind an even nicer gas station and eventually into a house we built out in the country, which is no longer really country, but don’t get me started.
By this point the computer at Westview High had achieved sentience and was beginning to assert itself and interact with the other denizens of the Funkyverse. At one point it would even inaugurate and hold Star Trek conventions at the school. Now, I’m not saying that the role-playing games, social networking, and virtual interacting were foreshadowing things like MMOGs, Facebook, and Siri . . . or maybe I am. Even the lowly school desk got in on the act when it became personified for a brief period.

*From The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume Two

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