September 7 - OK, so this is a "September 7" entry in name only. As I type this, it's actually about 2:00AM on the 9th. What can I say? Life happens (which is generally better than the alternative). Still, I've gotten my hands on so much nifty Crusty Bunker information, that I've decided to post this "7th" entry, another one for the 8th, and, strength willing, one more for today. So, first off, I have to tell you that Crusty Bunker, who wasn't even a real person to begin with, sometimes worked under pseudonyms! I found this Denny O'Neil editorial on the "Bursting the Bonds" letters page of DC's Mister Miracle #20, from 1977 -
Who is Ilya Hunch - ?
- is not exactly the burning question of the century, but it's one we might have fun answering nonetheless. Those of you who joined the Mister Miracle saga an issue ago, with number 19, may recall that Ilya is credited with being the inker on the story. (Instant Education: "Inker" is the artist who adds inks to the pencil drawings of the artist called the "penciler." Clever?) Now, as it happens, you won't find Ilya in any directory of comic book personnel (assuming such exists) because I made up the name as the magazine was going to press. Ilya is a phantom, a chimera, or, as that blue-chinned guy down in the mailroom would say, "This Hunch is nobody!"
But somebody inked those pictures.
Therefore: Who is Ilya Hunch?
The answer is that he's a composite - actually nine very talented men. When he realized that he was running out of time, Marshall Rogers enlisted the aid of a whole bunch of his friends, and assigned each of them a character in the story. The scorecard reads like this:
Mister Miracle/Scott Free inked by MARSHALL ROGERS
Barda inked by DICK GIORDANO
Granny Goodness inked by MIKE NASSER
Kanto inked by AL MILGROM
Oberon inked by AL WEISS
Bedlam inked by JOE BROZOWSKI
Vermin Vundabar inked by TERRY AUSTIN
And that's...not quite all of them. I said there were nine inkers, and only eight people are listed. The ninth is Neal Adams. He did - get this - the eyes on the first page. "I wanted really deep, brooding eyes," Marshall explained. At least, I think it's an explanation.
Anyway, that's who Ilya Hunch is, and his - their - participation surely makes Mister Miracle #19 some sort of mundo weirdo collectors' item.
Ah, that Denny O'Neil. What a mensch. Always there for me as I look back through my comic book collection. Amongst his scattered ramblings, published in letter columns throughout the DC comics of three decades ago, I have found a treasure trove of helpful, and insightful, assistance in my goal to present The Lives and Time of Crusty Bunker. Next time, with Denny's time-displaced aid, I will focus a little on the "Time" part of that goal. Here's the 7th's "Crusty Bunker" of The Day - Alan Kupperberg!