September 3 - I might talk a little about other stuff this month (like, oh, I don't know...me?), but, right now, I'm just so jazzed about my Crusty Bunker "investigation" that it's foremost in my mind. For those of you out there who are not comic book geeks per se, this may be a fairly grueling experience. I say that because I've discussed Crusty Bunker with The (decidedly non-geeky) WOMP Staff so much that she practically wants to hunt Crusty down to kill him. So, while I'm not unsympathetic to you WOMP-Blog readers who may not find this as exciting as I do, I just can't hide my own enthusiasm. Part history lesson, part conspiracy theory, and one-hundred percent comic book nerdy, my attempt to collect and post as much Crusty Bunker research and remembrances as possible has struck the perfect chord with me. Still, with me, "enthusiasm" can sometimes also mean "unfocused." Like many of the other topics that have so motivated me, I've had to set down some "rules" to keep myself in line...
Rule One - Cross-Reference. The Internet is great, but it is chock full of information drawn primarily from skewed memories, the same sort as my own (see yesterday's post). So, everything I post has to be either cross-referenced against an independent other source, or from someone who relates the story as first-hand. For first-hand accounts, I will preface them with a disclaimer along the lines of my own "as far as I can tell and/or remember."
Rule Two - Who's Who. Remember when I was lamenting that I might not find thirty names for this month-long list? HA, HA, HA! How naive I was! As of right now, I've tracked down sixty-two former Crusty Bunkers! That's enough for the next two months, with one name to spare! So, who do I post? Just the "famous" names? In my estimation, that only dwindles the list to about forty. No. Since someone "famous" will be left off anyway, I've decided to go in another direction. This month's "...Of The Day" Crusty Bunkers will be the "main" hands behind the name, regardless of how well recognized their names may be. Even at that, lots of people are being left out. Maybe I'll post a "complete" list at the end of the month (if such a list could ever really be complete...some Crusty Bunkers, who may never be identified, contributed as little as just one day's work).
Rule Three - Just The Facts, Ma'am. My mind spins toward theory and deduction all the time. I see connectivity in virtually everything, so it's hard to keep from posting my opinions of possibilities without sounding like I'm offering them as fact. It's just so...tempting! Here's an example; the great Wally Wood had an office at Continuity Associates. His assistant, Joe Rubinstein, was also one of the Crusty Bunkers. Doesn't that lead you to think that Mr. Wood, too, might have absent-mindedly inked a little here and there during a coffee break or something? Possible, yes, but just my wild theory at this point. Here's another example; young Frank Miller used to haunt Neal Adams, looking to work for him. Time after time, Mr. Adams told Mr. Miller that he wasn't yet "pro material." Eventually, though, Mr. Adams relented a bit and helped land Mr. Miller his first professional gig, drawing John Carter, Warlord of Mars #18. I couldn't help but wonder whether some Crusty Bunker felt sorry for Frank Miller and let him help out with an inking assignment. Tantalizing, but unsubstantiated. So, just the facts this month.
Rule Four - Don't Become Obsessed. To keep from going down the rabbit hole, I've put a moratorium on buying old comics right now. My impulse, otherwise, is to begin to collect every single book with Crusty Bunker credits. That's just how I am. That's how lots of collectors are, for that matter. The collecting bug is not dissimilar to clinical obsessive-compulsiveness, except that one is seen as a "disorder." Both have been known to break up families. Toward that end, I've also stopped bothering The Staff with all of this. She doesn't know Neal Adams from Neil Gaiman, so I'm just boring her with it anyway. No, you, dear reader, are my outlet! Mwah-ha-ha (evil laugh).
So, let's get on with it. Here's tonight's "Crusty Bunker" of The Day - Michael Wm. Kaluta!