September 28th, 2007

The Zombie

The "Issue Two Kiss-Off"

September 27 -  Artists who'd signed up with obviously flawed Atlas (forsaking all other publishers) had some tough choices to make as the end suddenly neared.  Should they abandon ship, or go down with the ship?  It's hard to quit something which you created, especially when bridges may have been burned behind you.  Still, with the writing on the wall, most of these former Crusty Bunkers wisely bailed.  Before they split, some made what today look like attempts to publicly mend fences (while they still had the opportunity).  In Wulf The Barbarian #2, writer/artist Larry Hama added this to the credits -

Special thanks to Neal Adams, Ralph Reese, Ed Davis, Wally Wood [so, Mr. Wood may have been a Crusty Bunker?], Bob McLeod, Pat Broderick, Vincente Alcazar, Paul Kirshner, and Jack Abel.

That he should thank members of The Crusty Bunkers might lead one to think that he merely wanted to acknowledge the actual names of everyone who helped with that issue when he had the platform, but, with the inclusions of Neal Adams and Wally Wood, I'm led to believe that A) they didn't actually work on the comic, but were of moral or historic support for Mr. Hama, meaning B) Mr. Hama didn't believe that he might ever again have such an opportunity to say "thanks."  This theory is strengthened by the fact that these thanks were not in the title's first issue.  The same goes for Howard Chaykin, who added the following to the "By Howard Chaykin" credits of The Scorpion #2 -

...with a great deal of help from Annette Kawecki, Berni Wrightson, Michael Kaluta, Walter Simonson, and Ed Davis.

And, with the very next (and, as it turned out, mercifully last) issue of the series, gone were Mr. Chaykin, all of those people he thanked, his characters, the premise, and any hint of talent.  Sorry, but I have to call it as I see it...I mean, c'mon; The Golden Fuehrer?  Well, on a quick side-note, however, I would like to add that the horrible third issue of The Scorpion did actually have one positive effect (sort of).  It was so bad, that it literally convinced me that I could professionally create comics that were at least as good.  While that presumption may or may not be true, it's undeniable that I was "inspired" by that comic.  Thanks?  Anyhoo, Mr. Chaykin's issue two kiss-off, like Larry Hama's, sounds almost like a farewell address, like the outgoing President tearfully thanking the Cabinet and White House staff before boarding a helicopter for retirement (again, a Watergate reference...not that I am equating Howard Chaykin with Richard Nixon).  Yes, we now know that these former Atlas stars went on to other, much better things, but they couldn't have known that at the time.  No, back then, it must have seemed like the party was finally over.  More later, but now here is your "Crusty Bunker" of The Day - Bruce Patterson!