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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Kurt Busiek Is A Bad, Bad Man

A while back, Mike "Sugarbear" Sterling did a post about "comic book Easter eggs," the fun little bits slipped in by artists and writers as a gag, like Mike Grell's editorializing sound effects, and I think I've noticed another one that qualifies.

I spotted it while I was reading through Kurt Busiek and Pat Oliffe's Untold Tales of Spider-Man, which, for those of you who have never read it, was an excellent run that stood as the best and most overlooked Spider-Man title of its time. A few odd hairstyle choices aside, it perfectly captured the fun, lighthearted spirit of the early Spidey stories without ever really shying away from the various tragedies that'd crop up in Peter Parker's life in the future, and was recently collected for your convenience.

Anyway, it's the splash page from Untold Tales #8 that caught my eye, and while a lot of writers usually just go with a headline and a few blocks of "Lorem Ipsum" dummy text to represent newspaper copy, Busiek went all-out with this one. Check it out:

The Enforcers have never fought the Warriors Three.  This, friends, is a problem.

For those of you who don't have the inclination to click for larger version (or the desire to strain your eyes trying to make out the tiny copy on the page), allow me to point out the relevant part:

"...patrolwoman Misty Knight, who recovered much of the material working with Scarfe. 'It'll be like Christmas every day for the next six months. I'd give my right arm for some of this evidence--but I don't have to, do I?"

Oh, Misty. If only you knew.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, hilarious newspaper articles are part of Busiek's shtick. He wrote out full articles for Marvels, which are collected in the tenth anniversary version of the storyline and are sublimely hilarious.

3/20/2007 3:19 AM

Blogger thekelvingreen said...

Busiek was also always making jokes about Minnesota during his Avengers run, and I could never work out why, as he's not from there as far as I know. Thor went looking for the Casket of Ancient Winters in "the wilds of Minnesota", some Pentagon staff mistook Thor for the governor of the state (a Jesse Ventura joke?), and the nuclear meltdown in Avengers/Thunderbolts happened there. That's off the top of my head; I'm sure there were more.

3/20/2007 8:27 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, that IS priceless.

Doesn't quite top the Danny Ketch cameo in Spider-Man/Human Torch #3... but for pure dark humor, that is the winner!

3/20/2007 10:32 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it when writers actually take the care to write some stuff for things like that, rather than just chucking in some crappy lorem ipsum.

Untold Tales was great.

3/20/2007 10:59 AM

Blogger Nate said...

Untold Tales truly captured Lee/Ditko Spidey and didn't feel like a ret-con.

I do love Busiek when he's in full on continuity mode and throwing out bones to those of us who've been reading funny books for 25 years, and caught up on back issues to go back even farther.

3/20/2007 3:44 PM

Blogger Jason said...

Gosh, I loved that series (and the fact it was 99 cents an issue!).

Damn you Sims, I'm going to have to get the trade now!

3/20/2007 3:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i always wondered when little tidbits like that were thrown if it was the writer or the artist who was responsible.
my most favourite of these has got to be the DC series Young Justice. in one issue on the set of the TV show Wendy, Werewolf Stalker the names on the tombstones were the writers to the show Mystery Science Theater 3000. also, whenever they had pizza, it came from "Torgo's Pizza" which was a common MST3K gag. later, i recall a prison uniform with the inmate number 8675309.
just goes to show how some creative teams are willing to go that extra mile for their fans.
-william the bloody

3/20/2007 9:04 PM

Blogger Chris Sims said...

Patrick said...
Actually, hilarious newspaper articles are part of Busiek's shtick.

You know, I noticed that myself (I've got that hardcover) and meant to point it out in the main post, but I felt like it was a better idea to get straight to the picture.

I love little things like that.

3/20/2007 9:53 PM

Blogger Shaun said...

hey chris, just discovered your site, damn cool posts you've got here. Would spend a good part of the day reading it if I weren't in the office. have subscribed to your feed. :)

3/21/2007 1:10 AM

Blogger Unknown said...

Ha! That is great stuff.

Man, I loved Untold Tales, but I don't think I ever read #8 (or maybe I just missed that gag?).

Speaking of that, though, how many issues does that trade collect? Certainly it can't be the full run, can it?


3/21/2007 2:28 AM

Blogger Chris Sims said...

The trade collects #s 1-8, but it's got a one on the spine, so hopefully there'll be a few more.

3/21/2007 10:56 PM


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