Friday, July 13, 2007

This Week in Geek History: July 8th-14th

Hey kiddies! Hopefully this'll be a weekly deal, but let's not get ahead of ourselves... i seem only capable of blogging once a month or so, so we'll play this by ear. Anyway, enough crap, let's get to the history! or the "geekstory!"... man that doesn't work at all.

It's hard to get a real fix on actual release dates for golden and silver age books, but that won't stop me from trying. BUT, it just so happens that the publication date for one of the coolest comic covers in history happens to be July 1941... so let's say that happened this week!

Daredevil Comics #1-July 1941. Not necessarily our favorite blind lawyer (and as to which one's supposed to be daredevil, your guess is as good as mine) but the story behind this cover is one of the best in the biz-it inspired a classic scene in Michael Chabon's Kavalier and Clay! But also, its a bunch of guys kickin Hitler's ass and he's all like "oh no! please don't hurt mein!" Anyhow's, to make it quick, back in the 40s, often times print runs were decided based on availability of paper. In this case, Lev Gleason (a newly minted publisher) came into a sudden windfall of paper, but had to act immediately or the distributor wouldn't front him the money-so like all good publishers of the day, he promised a book by monday! So he turned to his buddy Charlie Biro and said, "get me 64 pages by monday morning!" Didn't care what or how, he only asked that his one name character "daredevil" be included.

With the help of Bob Wood, Jerry Robinson (and a few brothers and roommates) Charlie put together a comic in one weekend-despite the NYC crippling blizzard that struck. Eight 20 yr old artists stranded in a tiny studio on 52nd... trust me, hilarity ensued! Sunday morning, they found a 5 ft drift against the door to the building. With no food, they sent poor Bernie Klein (the unluckiest roommate in history) to forage for supplies. He dug his way out-and a hours later returned with a dozen eggs and two bottles of milk (all he could find) With no kitchen, they resorted to burning paper in the tub and cooking eggs on bathroom tiles they plied off the walls. Delicious! Come monday morning, they had a complete book... and Hitler got a boomerang in the face! Everybody wins.

More history after the jump!

Yes, yes, I know that story rocked... settle down and you'll get more you history buffs you!

July 8th, 1947: ALIENS CRASHED IN ROSWELL NEW MEXICO! Which inspired the "creation" of Area 51... which in turn "inspired" the creation of Area 51 (first person shooter featuring Aerosmith! AWESOMER THAN ALIENS!) ((EDIT: apparently I'm thinking of Revolution X... also a game "awesomer than aliens"))

July 11th 1975: You're gonna need a bigger boat... cause Jaws premiered on this day... coincedence? Because on...

July 12th 1916: The Real Life Jaws attacked! The Matawan Man-Eater (either a bull shark or great white) kills 3 people in a single day on the Jersey shore... inspiring the movie jaws, and a deep rooted fear of Jersey in myself.

Also on July 12th, in 1804 Aaron Burr shoots founding father Alexander Hamilton in a duel (Alex thought it was a formality and fired into the air... note to all geekanerds; duels are never formalities.) This of course inspires one of the best milk ads in the history of milk ads-Cal ain't got nothin on Aaron.

Sure that last one was not really geek history... well if you're gonna complain so much, right your own damn blog! Anyhow, that's enough for this week (sorry its a few days late). Hopefully I'll be seeing you all next week!


Scott said...

Hmmm . . . I have my own blog. But I like reading this one. Very interesting story about that Hitler comic. My nerdism isn't based on comic books, but I'm sure I'd read that one if I could find it!

Degan said...

I'd love to read it too... it'd be interesting to read the result of a frenzied weekend writing session-there's supposed supposed to be a ton of tiny errors all over the sucker. But good luck getting your hands on it... they're usually priced at a couple thousand (and there's one on ebay going for $25,000 right now-i'll pass, so feel free to bid-i promise i won't outbid you)