by Chaim Mattis Keller
New issue, new look...new letters! Here's some stuff on our assistant editors' "Limbo" issue:
From: Paul Kimball
Subject: Lady Cop
When mentioning her unusual abilities, you forgot one. She apparently has James Kirk's "reverse-intertia" ability, as you can see in the photo, when she is punched and her head should snap to the left, it unexplainably goes against the force of the punch to the right. It's reasonable to assume that if you tried to shove her away, she would actually spring forward. Neat!
Sharp eye! Some of that 70's stuff did come out looking pretty dumb, didn't it?
From: Ola Hellsten
Subject: Clock King, Killer Moth and others
Pooh on Douglas Ethington for dissing my beloved Clock King.
And I still don't understand why everybody found the Killer Moth so lame.
Here is for a proposal to bring the Clock King back from the dead and to revert the ridiculous Charaxes creature into the Killer Moth - Guardian of the Criminals of Gotham, again.
(No, really. I mean it.)
Otherwise a nice little summary of previously limbo-stuck characters. Maybe characters like the Inferior Five, Stanley and his Monster, Angel and the Ape, Slam Bradley, Mister E, Lucien the Librarian, the Mad Mod Witch, Jed Paulsen (Walker), Charity, the Tarantula, Neon the Unknown, the Jester, the Mindgrabber Kid, Signalman, Calendar Man, Firefly, Judge Gallows, Doctor Mykros and the Council, the Terrific Whatzit, Peter Porkchops, and Blackbriar Thorn should have been included too, but...all in all, nice work.
The wrong characters are always in Limbo!!! Where are Ruby Ryder, Signalman, the Ant, Blue Jay, the Tattooed Man, the Gentleman Ghost, and the Bronze Age Toyman these days?
Ola, have you ever, in you entire life, heard of a moth being responsible for a person's death? Or even discomfort? That's why most people snicker when they hear the words "Killer Moth."
But hey, I'm a Space Cabby fan, so who am I to talk?
Our new front-page cartoon also made its debut last month...
From: Denise Ozker
Subject: Our Last Glimpse?
I see that E's Zinger will be soon be replaced by a new one. While change is good, yadda, yadda, the first one is so classic ("You Best Be LOVIN' Florida, Dixon!") that I hope you will still have it on display somewhere on the site, where one can go and sigh, as, perhaps, all things DC go down the tubes.
But I digress.
Next time you invest in mugs, t-shirts? Might this gem be considered?
Our editor, Michael Hutchison, replies:
We will have a Zingers archive of some sort. We are still debating whether to make these a home page feature or an item in the table of contents for each month. (Erik would like to do them more than once a month.)
Putting them on merchandise is quite out of the question, due to the use of DC's characters. All of Fanzing's merchandise is separate from the DC Comics fan magazine that we publish; you'll notice that our T-shirts and mugs don't use DC characters on them.
But yeah...it would be nice to have it on a shirt. We just cannot do it.
Another bonus is a few politically-charged letters this month - this first one responding to a message on our forum:
From: Denise Ozker
Subject: Nuclear Pronounciation
Why, shucks, Mike, ah know wha he pronounces that dang word "New-kyoo-lahr" instead of Nuclear: his handlers have likely determined that one pronounciation rings more of the speech patter on the common American, and the other has thus the faint taint of superiority, of the speech of the intellectual elite. As long as George strikes most of us as a dope like us, we'll let him and his cronies rip off us off endlessly.
Besides, heavens, we wouldn't want the smart guys to be running the energy or weapons policy, now would we?
Not that I'm bitter or angry.
Of course not - but I'll say this much for him - he'll never axe you any questions, would he?
And this reader checks in about our War quiz from issue # 36...and has some interesting opinions on Middle East politics...
Subject: War Quiz
Not to be picky, but one of the alternate answers was of dubious historical authenticy.
Why didn't the Justice Society just roll right over the Axis armies and end World War II in time for Christmas 1941?
C. The Justice Society did almost end the war almost as soon as the United States entered it, but Hitler called upon the ancient Germanic God Odin for aid as the Justice Society were beating down his office doors.
Actually, no evidence exists that Hitler believed in Odinism. Intuively it would seem logical that he would have, but then we are not dealing with a particularly rational person here.
Of course, many Israelis would prefer that Hitler had worshipped Odin, as the following quote from war criminal Julius Streicher from the Nuremburg trials throws a negative light on their treatment of the Palestineans, as it implies that Hitler derived his racism not from Odinism, but from another source:
"I have always repeated in my articles that the Jews were to be regarded as a model by other races, for they have given themselves a racial law, the law of Moses, which says : "If you go unto foreign lands, you must not take foreign wives. And this, Gentlemen, is of great importance in judging the Nuremberg laws. It was these Jewish laws that were taken as a model. When, centuries later, the Jewish legislator Ezra saw that, despite this, many Jews had married non-Jewish wives, these bonds were broken. This was the origin of Jewery which, thanks to its racial laws, survived for centuries, whereas all the other races and civilizations were destroyed."
Source : Trial of the major war criminals before the International Military Court (Nuremberg : November 14th 1945 October 1st 1946).
The relevant Bible quotes are in Nehemiah 13:23-30. Ezra 10:1-16, Numbers 31:1-18 http://www.religioustolerance.org/imm_bibl1.htm
The Isrealis would prefer to cover these things up, as they try to make it seem as if democracy is derived from the Judaeo-Christian tradition in order to woo U.S. support, because the European attitude to Israel was summed up by French Ambassador Daniel Bernard:"that sh**ty little country. Why should we all be in danger of World War Three because of these people?"
.........That political rant aside, although it is of dubious taste to have stories with Hitler worshipping Odin, it would have been okay to use Tojo invoking the Shinto gods (Amaterasu, Izanagi, Izanami, etc.) as Tojo unquestionably was a Shintoist, and was not an Abrahamist. Was the Dragon King ever shown invoking the Shinto gods? I know they appeared in SANDMAN, but I don't know if they appeared anywhere else.
It's times like this I'm glad the letters page is in the hands of an Orthodox Jew (that's me, of course). Where to start responding?
First of all, the alternate answers to the quizzes are not bound to having any serious basis in fact. They are the wrong answers to the question, not the right one. So if it contains disinformation, well...no one presented it as fact.
Second of all, even if the comic-book reality has Hitler worshipping Odin, there does not have to be any serious basis for this in real life either, any more so than the notion that a valkyrie killed FDR and a policeman's ghost combined with the wrath of the Lord resurrected him.
Third of all, have you ever read Mein Kampf? The notion that Jewish laws against intermarriage in any way influenced Hitler's racist genocides is absurd. He was a German, and his ideas were borrowed from a respected German source, Frederick Nietzsche. Any serious student of Holocaust history knows that.
And in addition to that, anyone with any knowledge of Judaism can easily enough see that those laws are not keyed toward any notion of racial purity. Judaism allows for conversion, and converts are perfectly well allowed to marry with those who were born Jewish. What it stands for is purity of thought - a clean transmission of Judaic belief to the next generation.
Fourth, you'd be hard-pressed to find any Israeli who actually will claim that democracy is derived from Biblical or ancient Jewish sources. All history of any sovoreign Jewish nation prior to 1948 has been an absolute monarchy, and that is in fact clearly commanded by the Bible. Israeli democracy was based upon the British system of government (sans royal family), and no has claimed anything else. I'd be curious to know what Israeli actually thinks democracy is an ancient Jewish tradition.
Fifth, Israel actually has Arab members in its parliament, and Arab citizens have full voting rights in Israel as much as Jewish Israelis do. In fact, the only Israeli political party ever banned from running a slate for the parliament was a far right-wing Jewish one, for advocating the forced transfer of Arabs from the occupied territories. This is the country you wish to paint as racist? Open your eyes, buddy.
Finally, the debunking of your political rant aside, as far as I could tell, the Dragon King not only didn't call upon Shinto dieties, but he even made use (in All-Star Squadron # 4) of the "grailstone", a mystical Christian artifact. Weird, huh?
Please do continue to enjoy our fine fanzine. If you wish to get a well-rounded opinion of the Middle East situation, you might find some items of interest at this web site: http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/myths/. I do not ask you to take what you see there as gospel truth - clearly, it is a web site with a pro-Israel bias - but it is extensively footnoted, and clearly your other sources have the opposite bias. This might give you a little balance.
Our links page is gone, but these readers offer two web sites which might be worth your while to check out...
Subject: Wonder Woman web site
I operate two websites devoted to Wonder Woman, and both are located at:
Subject: Green Lantern web site
Think of us as your ultimate DC Comics on-line resource...
Subject: Solomon Grundy
Hi. I need to ask you something. Is there a way I can find out every comic-book appearance for a certain character? I'm a huge SOLOMON GRUNDY fan and would like to know every comic he appeared in so I can collect them. (And in certain Golden Age situations, the reprints.) Do you know how this is possible?
Our own Mike (editor Hutchison) forwarded his letter to someone who has an extensive list of DC character appearances, and this list will run in our fanzine in a future issue. When he received the list, reader Mike replied:
WHAT THE HELL??? What a pleasant surprise! Thanks man. I didn't think this info was available. I wasn't expecting all that. I thought you might have a few appearances here and there but I didn't think you would have EVERY appearance listed. Even the reprints! I'm printing it out now so I can use it as a checklist. I really appreciate what you and John have done. Thank him for me when you get a chance. And once again THANKS. A friend of mine suggested I try your website and boy am I glad I did. Thanks again.
P. S. One more thing...Was that Grundy merged with the HULK in that Amalgam issue Dr.Strangefate?
You're very welcome, Mike. And yes, Grundy was indeed merged with the Hulk in the Amalgam issue.
From: Blake Kramer
Subject: JL and Silver Age Questions
First allow me to say how impressed I am with your site, especially with the "Save the Industry" section. I was a hard-core collector for the bulk of my life. Thanks to Death of Superman, Breaking of Batman, Hal Jordan goes Nuts, Electric Superman, etc. I have been boycotting everything contemporary and immersing myself in older, more dignified works. I have a couple of questions for you, though, and I hope you can answer them.
1. A friend of mine sent me an email containing a computer-generated clip of a preview of what purported to be a 10-part series based on the Justice League produced by your site. Since I was a huge fan, I was wondering when this was to be released.
2. You may or may not know this one, but I have had no luck finding answers anywhere else. The old Sargon the Sorceror and Zatara the Magician were supposedly killed fighting something called The Shadow Creature. Do you have any idea what book and issue this occurred in?
3. Finally, is there anything out there worth reading now for someone such as myself who misses the older stuff? I saw where they brought back JSA, but I am reluctant to pick even those up for fear of disappointment. I'll even look in on a Marvel book if its worth it. There is also an old friend of mine who has been on me to read a GN called "Kingdom Come." Since I think his taste is usually pretty crappy, I was wondering if you could give me a review.
Thank you for whatever help you may be able to provide, and please keep up the good work on the site.
1. Our movie section has been removed, because of a dispute regarding the person who created those movies, Steven Conroy. You can read more about that decision on this page.
2. It was in Swamp Thing # 50.
3. I don't think you'll be disappointed with JSA, it has a lot of what was enjoyable about the comics back in the 80's. Kingdom Come was a fantastic story, and I'd heartily recommend it, but not its follow-up event, called "The Kingdom." I'm enjoying the Legion right now (but it might not be for everyone), and Starman, which recently ended an 80-issue run, was a fantastic title which is being reprinted in trade paperbacks in its entirety. Kevin Smith is doing wonders with Green Arrow, and Peter David is always good on Supergirl and Young Justice. On the Marvel side, I find Thunderbolts and Avengers very entertaining.
Readers, we welcome your suggestions on this subject as well. I'm only one man, and my tastes might not match his very well.
Here are some comments about the story "The Ultimate Drug", which ran in issue # 37...
Just read your story about the ultimate drug and don't know what FDK is. Please tell me.
P.S. The story is pretty good.
Subject: Hi, I've got a question!
Hey! Your story 'The Ultimate Drug' is cool, but, unfortunately, I'm too stupid to figure out what FDK is! I'd love it if you'd tell me what it is.Thanks!
The author, Hazel, replies:
Hi there! "FDK" stands for "feedback," which you have just so kindly given me. Thank you! :)
It's true: a short e-mail dropped in my in-box to let me know that someone else has read and enjoyed my story is enough to brighten my day. Ask any fic writer, and they'll tell you the same. Thanks for indulging my addiction to FDK!
A follow-up to a letter reply that appeared in issue # 40 regarding an article from issue # 35 - yes, it doesn't say a lot, but we treasure every time a pro reads and writes to our humble little fanzine...
From: Mike Netzer
Subject: Mike Nasser Legion of Super Heroes
From your letter column:
"Glad you enjoyed the article...sorry if we were a bit off in our understanding of the relationship between the rotating art teams of the Legion during that period."
Thanks for publishing my letter and nothing to apologize for, I appreciate the interest.
And we appreciate yours, Mike!
An error you readers should be aware of in a very old archive issue...
From: William Willcoxson
Subject: What happened to the Golden Age Pt. 3
I really like this website, I think it is a fantastic production. The features are incredible. Very well done. One question-What happened to the Golden Age Pt. 3??
William M. Willcoxson
ext. 35211, Station Y-243
"Well done is better than well said"--Franklin
Our editor, Michael Hutchison, replies:
It's quite simple. There are only four. I mis-numbered parts 3 and 4 as parts 4 and 5 when I took over Fanzing. At the time, I did not have the original five issues of the old Fanzing from Marc, and so I guessed at the number. And for a long time after that, the archives were a case of "never altered once published", even if there were errors. I've just never corrected the mistake. Perhaps I should.
And, finally, our two subjects that will never die:
From: John Holder
Subject: Choices - Chapter 19
I just discovered your site -- it's great! Did Ch. 19 of Marilee Stephens' _Choices_ ever get published? I couldn't find anything past 18. Thanks!
Our editor, Michael Hutchison, replies:
Marilee recently contacted us to say she would be getting back into the Choices game with chapter 19 sometime soon. So please be patient and it should be concluding sometime in 2002, with the next installment coming in a month or two.
Thanks for the kind words about the site. I hope you've enjoyed our latest issue.
And this, on our "How to save the comics industry", comes from someone who publishes his own comic...
From: Matthew Mohammed
Subject: Re: How to save the Comic Industry
Hello, my name is Matthew Mohammed. I'm self-publishing a comic book that is titled Black Bastard. I was selling a preview edition at Wizard World 2001.
I read your article on how to save the industry with great interest. I've always had my own ideas on why the industry was suffering but your article opened my eyes to new ideas and possibilities. My ideas centred around the idea that there weren't enough of what I call "crossover comics" to entice people to start reading comic. Things like Tomb Raider comics are on the right track. But why not the possibility of Seinfeld comics or Friends comics? I'd never really considered the accessibility notion and how comics suffer because there is basically only one place to buy it. It's funny, I just completed an entrepeneurship course for my comic and when I made my final presentation, one of the comments made was that I might suffer because there is only one distributor. I didn't fully understand the implications until I read your column.
One of the things I really agreed with is making the scene accessible and friendly. I've been to countless conventions and I find that some of the creators are really rigid and uptight. as already mentioned, my comic is called Black Bastard and I describe it as a superhero who dresses and acts like a pimp. But my character isn't a superhero drama with capes and unrelatable-expository speech. My comic is more of a comedy that young people can relate to because it's lot like a music video that you would on MTV. At the conventions, I dress up in an afro wig and fur coat because I realize that every little bit helps. We also put on a show that we call Smashter-piece Theatre where I take brand new toys or valuable comics and destroy them. we do these things because it's fun and it brings attention to our book. One thing I like about my title is that it piques the interest of people who don't read comics.
One area where I will disagree with you is the belief that kids haven't changed in the past ten years. My brother is ten years younger than me and they just gravitate towards different things than i used when I was his age. I will agree with you that comic and superheroes are still relevant to today's youth. But to say that teenagers and young kids aren't more sophisticated today, i think misses the boat.
I also think cross-promotion is a great idea. I caught wind of your website by dl'ing your JLI cartoon and laughed so hard that I had to see where it came from. I plan to use forms of media (radio, tv, newspaper) to push my comic. and being a little bit controversial won't hurt me get seen, I think.
Well I just wanted to say thanks for depressing me and exciting me all at the same time!
creator of Black Bastard
You're welcome, Matthew, and thank you for your input on the matter.
And that wraps it up for this issue, folks! How do you like the new format? This month's articles? Let us know!
All characters are DC Comics
This piece is © 2002 by Chaim Mattis Keller.
Fanzing is not associated with DC Comics.
All DC Comics characters, trademarks and images (where used) are DC Comics, Inc.
DC characters are used here in fan art and fiction in accordance with their generous "fair use" policies.
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