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 Therefore he uses a lot of Kirby motifs, including Dum-Dum Dugan's facial hair, even when it's completely outdated and nonsensical.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.


Sleestak said...

You didn't imagine it. It was by editor mandate that he draw in the new Marvel style of Liefeld.

Anonymous said...

When you see facial hair like that, it really makes you wonder...what would Herb Trimpe do with back hair?

A good handlebar moustache is sort of like a good...I dunno...calf's foot stew. You're impressed that somebody would go out of their way to do it, but on the other hand, the person who did it is probably a little weird.

Anonymous said...

That's the saddest thing I've yet read today, Sleestak. I've got half a mind to tell you to go jump in a pylon or something...sniff.

On a happier note, any reminder of the three-foot tall Raydeen toy I had as a kid is a welcome one.

What?...handlebar moustaches? Oh.

Anonymous said...

I know why the moustaches still exist and thrive in Shogun Warriors: at some point in the future, an alien barbershop quartet conquered Earth and forced humanity to submit to them in the name of the Outrageously Bad Moustache Empire or face the consequences: a world without shaving cream and moustache wax. Earth had to accept or risk having all men with facial hair look like that really ugly Gary Busey picture, what chance did they have against such power?

Anonymous said...

You have to read it assuming it's actually the same guy, just switching out the selection of his "Handy Handsome Handlebar Mustache Disguise Kit". Trust me... MUCH better story that way.

Anonymous said...

^^^ That...that's awesome.

Devon Sanders said...

Is there a market for "Shogun Warrior Upskirt Pics?"