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Cover Me – 199

posted on February 19, 2022

It was always fun to see a Golden Age hero pop up on a Silver Age cover. Nostalgia for a past I never had.

Flash Fridays – The Flash #298 June 1981

posted on February 18, 2022

A terrific Infantino cover shows the Flash doing battle with the Shade.  The Shade’s appearance on the Flash stage again immediately evokes memories of the glorious “Flash of Two Worlds” days and is a welcome sight to long time flashinados who were lucky to experience that holy writ in their golden hour. The story opens with Barry and his dad visit visiting his mother Nora who remains in a coma in the hospital. In the parking lot they run into the boy whose driving caused the crash. The boy apologizes and, in what I suspect is a not inconsequential moment, is rebuffed by Henry before he can say everything that he wants to.

Upon leaving the hospital, Barry finds a city that is black and white without any other colors.  As the Flash, he prevents some potential calamities due to the lack of color, and then heads over to the prison to check on the Rainbow Raider suspecting that he may be responsible for the color calamity. But Roy Bivolo aka the Raider is happily ensconced in his cell painting. When the black and white attack as it’s called returns, The Flash runs into the Shade, one of the coolest villains on either Earth One or Two. Shadey explains to the Flash that his criminal activities on his parallel world of Earth Two were being hampered by saturated curtains of pure color landing everywhere. Back in his lab, he finds that the color interference was being transmitted from Earth One hence his appearance in Central City. The Shade (great name, great look, you’ve gotta love it) and the Flash agree to team up to find out what’s causing the colors to go doodle whacky (spell check just informed me that doodle whacky is two words not one… which is interesting since I just made it up and was kinda thinking that would be my call). But I digress… the story closes with the Rainbow Raider in prison thinking that his dry runs with something called a color shifter were successful, and that he plans to use it to obliterate the Flash and make everyone on Earth his slaves, so I’m thinking it’s him.

The closing shot shows Barry’s dad entry in Barry’s apartment, holding a Flash uniform and vowing to end his son’s days. Henry’s got some issues.

Match to Flame 168

posted on February 15, 2022

Since I was a year ahead on the strip at this point, I was able to take the strips to my syndicate well ahead of publication to seek their support. I detailed this process most recently in the introduction to Volume 8 of this collection, but, in short, a package was put together for editors that included an overview of the work, sidebar information, and letters of support from the syndicate and groups like the National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations (NABCO) that previewed it and then partnered with us to help present it to the editors. What we created was a bit more extensive than before because Lisa’s Story took things to another level, and, were we to simply dump the finished story arc onto the comics page, the result would have been akin to Custer’s Last Stand—except bloodier. With this process, we were once again able to take the art right into the commercial marketplace. And it worked. The response was bigger than anything that had appeared in Funky so far. Those who had been given the de facto power to define the artform (rather than those who create the art) were predictably incensed that I had once again broken my implicit deal with them. One reader went so far as to claim that I was ruining comics for everyone. Overall, however, the response to the work was very positive and supportive. One reader was both. He said that he applauded where I had taken my strip and that this was far enough and that I should stop here. A year after the strips ran in the papers, they were collected into a book called Lisa’s Story. This book is now hard to find and kind of pricey on the internet as I found out when I needed a copy upon returning to Lisa’s Story.