Bat-DFHC 4/18/2011

Item 1 >>> Now Playing  I Was Kaiser Bill\’s Batman  A Milli Vanilli moment from 1967…the guy who was Whistling Jack Smith on TV and at live appearances wasn’t the same guy who whistled on the record, and neither was named Jack Smith. Nor did the song have anything to do with Batman, altho it reached #20 on the charts in early 1967. A batman was a European military officer’s assistant, and Kaiser Bill was Queen Victoria’s grandson who ruled Germany during WWI. Holy Bait & Switch! Still, a cool instrumental novelty from the anything-goes 60s.

item 2 >>> LQQK @ †h∆†!  Big Screen Batman ’66   Trailer to the movie version. Why did the ad say “In Color!” when the TV show obviously was, and glaringly so? So that people didn’t confuse it with the other Batman movie making the rounds…the 1943 black-and-white serial…dusted off to cash in on the bat-hype while the cashing in was good…

item 3 >>> Wednesday, January 12, 1966…The day Batman debuted on the tube, and the Super Hero fad took off like a shot. Actually, this had been brewing for some time, as comic book characters were key motifs in Pop Art, as well as the emerging “Camp” Movement and the college-born Trivia Craze. The advertising “birdman” (below, lower right) shows the “screened dots” so typical of that trend. And if it was hot, Bob Hope jumped on it, you betcha.

item 3 >>> Quick, the Tracing Paper!…
In my family, the creative siblings immediately went Biff!! Bang!! Pow!!, lead by me, being the oldest. That Sunday, I chose a panel from the strip The Phantom…the Ghost Who Walks has an ecological learning moment when the big butterfly gets munched, nez pah?…traced a template, and began creating my own Super Heroes…

item 4 >>>  …which seemed to center around animals…altho not entirely. Clockwise from top left: The Red Falcon, Lizzard Man [sic], Invisi-Man (can you see him?), and Kiwi Man.

item 5 >>>  And Naturally, Versions of Batman…Here, the leopard-skinned Jungle Batman (top right). I was almost 15 at the time. Below that, the “real” jungle Batman, looking more like the Bat Flintstones, altho at some point he stripped to the waist. (Left) is a page from my sister Suzanne’s Batman coloring book…she saved it all these years, and says mine was the inspiration for this spotted treatment. She was 9 going on 10…

item 6 >>> Rainbow Suzie…Well, she’s kin so I guess I’m prejudiced, but this looks pretty groovy for a 4th grader…

item 7 >>>  I had my own spectrum guy, Captain Rainbow…seen here with typical Batman kolor kookiness. (Top right) is the nutty adventure…but weren’t they all?…of the Rainbow Batman, which I don’t believe I was aware of at the time…

…despite the fact that it was originally published in March, 1957…OOF!

item 8  >>>  And  √√√√√√  out this effect…checkered shadow and everything…neato! 

item 9 >>>  Meanwhile…I had it in mind to “update” traditional heroes…these are Tarzan ’66 and Superman ’66…apparently he got tired of blue, switched to green…plus a real cowl and mask, in case somebody at long last recognized him without his Clark Kent glasses…sheesh…

item 10 >>> Even my younger brother Dave got in the act…Yup, more animals…and Super Heroes are as popular today, almost 50 years later…with Thor  and Captain America movies out this summer. Shazam!

Wicked Ballsy 

And wouldn’t you know it, the Midnight Skulker makes an appearance in Sunday’s B.C. comic strip. That animal with him is a new character, Wolfie…and he’s also now wearing a cowl, altho still with the telephone tree, as seen below in his very first appearance, March 25, 1966 (below).  I think the point is to send relief to the Land of the Rising Sun, tho I’m not 100% sure…

Holy Shameless Plugs!, Batman…

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Audio samples coming soon…or just check the podcasts…twc-rr so still über-blows turbo…

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