Friday, June 23, 2006
Too Hot To Handlebar
"Its giant crotch will kill us all!!!"
Y'know what amazed me the most about the startling high-tech world of the Shogun Warriors? The sheer metric tonnage of handlebar mustaches. Granted, it was 1979 and men in general were hairier back then, but in my many travels to that era, I don't recall seeing a lot of handlebar mustaches. And it's no wonder, really. It takes the better part of a year to develop a decent handlebar mustache, and you have to use a special wax and a liliputian comb to keep it groomed. And who has that kind of time? Besides Oliver Queen, that is. But in "Shogun Warriors" #7 (August, 1979) the handlebar mustache has penetrated all levels of society!
Scientists have them, of course. This fellow has the biggest, grandest handlebar mustache in the "Shogun Warriors" comic -- it's the Alpha 'Stache, if you will. It's so brawny, I'd love to see it in a steel cage match against Egg-Fu's mustache! Even if it lost, it would put up one helluva fight.
Movie directors have handlebar mustaches! I suppose that's logical; the eccentricities of artists are often indulged, or at least tolerated. Fun fact: when Jeremy was in high school, a TV movie was filmed in his hometown. ("The Parade," starring Rosanna Arquette and Maxwell Caulfield. That one guy from Toto showed up to visit!) The director, no lie, wore a safari outfit with a pith helmet the whole time.
What th'? Even the parking valets have handlebar mustaches! Are you freaking kidding me? I'm sorry; I'm just not buying that one.
So what's going on here? I have a theory. The penciller is Herb Trimpe, a middling-to-downright-crappy artist who managed to eke out a career at Marvel by doing a Jack Kirby imitation (just like his co-worker, Ron "Marvel Two-In-One" Wilson). Therefore he uses a lot of Kirby motifs, including Dum-Dum Dugan's facial hair, even when it's completely outdated and nonsensical. But he got a lot of work doing it, up 'til the early 80's.
Epilogue: unless I dreamed this, I could have sworn I saw a Marvel comic in the late 90's that was pencilled by Herb Trimpe -- but this time he was doing an imitation of Rob Liefeld.
It was the most depressing thing I'd ever seen.