May 3rd, 2008

The Zombie

And I'm Not Even Balding...Yet

May 2 -  Hats.  I guess I've always had a "thing" for hats.  In fact, I believe that my own life can be broken down into different "Hat Periods."  It all started with a natty green Tyrolean hat - complete with colorful feather accoutrements - that I sported as a dapper toddler-about-town.  For whatever reason, I never wore a baseball-style cap while I was growing up.  Nope, that Tyrolean ruined me for "common" hat wearing.  For the years between ten and twelve, it was a floppy, yellow, Colonel-Blake-style fishing hat.  At thirteen, it was a Sherlock-Holmes-style deerstalker.  As a high school Freshman, it was a snappy Frank-Sinatra-style trilby.  Then, while a Sophomore, Junior, and Senior, freed by succumbing to my own nerdiness, I went sorta hat crazy.  I guess I hit the rummage sale circuit at just the right time, because I was able to very cheaply amass a vintage hat collection that would embarrass most theaters' costume departments.  I found straw hats, various military caps from all eras, Mickey Mouse ears, cowboy hats, coonskin caps, slouch hats, top hats, berets, bowlers, porkpies, fezi (or whatever's the plural of fez), and more.  I daily wore, though, a beautiful black hat, similar to one worn by The Shadow, which also went with me to the Kubert School.  After a couple of dark years for which a wide-brimmed black slouch felt appropriate for my mood, I began wearing a similar gray hat, then a very nice tan version.  I suppose this mirrored my emergence from that darker time.  This would have also coincided with some of my earliest comics cons, so you may even remember these.  Then, in my thirties, I switched to baseball-style caps (finally).  Now, while I still switch between caps featuring Batman, Superman, Comics Buyer's Guide, and Monkey logos, I have taken to wearing a dark green outdoorsy version of those slouch fedoras (courtesy of Cabela's).  So, why hats?  I don't really know.  I think it may have had something to do with creating what I thought was a unique public image, but it also may really have something to do with the kinds of comics characters who wear hats.  As I compiled my list for this month's "...Of The Day" feature, I was struck by a now obvious truth; the vast majority of hat wearing comic book characters are from the Golden Age.  That may be met with a "Well, duh" from you, but it never really hit me that my comics fashion influences are all from before 1950.  Now, after four decades of cap and comic collecting, I've found a way, at least for one month, to bring the two subjects together.  Sorta.  I also have other stuff to talk about, of course.  In fact, after my lackluster blogging last month, there are several things that have been on my mind...and some of them may be of interest to you, too.  So, while the whole "hat thing" will be a thread through the next several days, I hope to get back to normal stuff, too, like this...

Ahoy!  I have to send a great big "Arf!" to newly minted Official Friend of WOMP, Fred Grandinetti!  Besides being the guy who contracted me to draw that coloring book about which I was talking last month, Fred is also the world's foremost authority on noted hat wearer Popeye!  Really!  Check'll see.  We've had a couple of e-exchanges on the subject, by coincidence exactly four years after I listed "The Sailor Man" as one of my top ten favorite comics characters of all time (remember my April 17, 2004, entry?).  Over the course of the coloring book's production, Fred has shown himself not only to be a font of Popeyeana, but also to be a very patient, considerate person to whom I owe many, many thanks.  Thank you, Fred!

Well, it's time to get to bed.  Here is your Hat-Wearing Comic Book Character of The Day - Baby Huey!

The Zombie

See Ya In, I Mean Oconomowoc. I Think.

May 3 -  Well, it's 9:30PM, and I'm just on the verge of my crazy twenty-four-hour schedule.  In just an hour or so, I have to get up from a nap (which I will begin immediately following this post), shave, shower, and get ready for my caricature drawing gig that begins at midnight.  When that's done, at about 4:00AM, I'll grab another quick nap before heading out to Oconomowoc for the Oconocon.  I figure that it will be about a three hour drive, so I hope to have time to set up before the show.  That's from 10:00AM to 4:00PM.  Afterwards, it's a three hour drive back, bringing me home by about 8:00PM.  Come this time tomorrow, I hope to finally go to sleep for the "day."  It's all very strange.  I have to go get that first nap now, so I'll just leave you with your Hat-Wearing Comic Book Character of The Day - Blackhawk!