Monday, February 15, 2010

"Dynamo" from Science Comics 2--plus a real-life superhero in our midst!

Salutations, my four-color friends!

I trust you have had a pleasant "valentine's day." Thankfully, Dorrie's Diner is closed on Sundays--despite great demands that we be open "eight days a week."

Dorrie's church commitments make it impossible for the Diner to operate on Sundays. After her services, we had our traditional Valentine breakfast (heart-shaped waffles with strawberry syrup and whipped cream) and a Scrabble championship.

I'm proud to say that I finally won a match! Only by sheer luck. Dorrie had foolishly retained two V tiles--the hardest, by far, to rid one's self of--and the eight points she lost, added to my score, gave me the winning hand--by a mere three points.

Anyone could learn from Dorrie's skills of strategy. I am but a "lamb in the slaughter" when pitted against her in Scrabble.

Afterwards, Dorrie became absorbed in a "Murder, She Wrote" episode, and I attended to my neglected communiques from the outside world.

Among them was a letter from my old comic magazine comrade, Wallace "Sparks" Spinkle. As this missive worries me somewhat, I'll share it with you here, friends:


Hot cha! Have I got a scoop for your blog!

How'd you like to interview the world's first real-life super-hero? Hint: he's someone you know. Double hint: he's the guy who wrote this letter!

Yep--I've taken the plunge into crime-fighting! It's been on my "to-do list" since, oh, 1961. Never quite got around to it. Seemed too complicated--like too much trouble. Where the hell was I gonna find sleeping gas capsules, a Batarang, a secret cave, and those giant computers?

But fate has its own plans for us all, bud. Here's what happened:

I'm allowed to take a stroll twice a day. They know I'm a reliable character, and where else do I have to go, anyways?

It's chilly here at night, so I wear a blue wool cap and a Pepsi sweatshirt I won in a raffle. There I was, just taking my evening constitutional--

when danger struck!

Three teenage hoodlums were kicking a Coke machine. With every kick, a free can of soda tumbled down--and into their thieving little hands. The brats weren't even drinking the stuff. Just shaking the cans up good, then spraying each other with the soda!

Something had to be done.

"You kids stop that!" I shouted.

They looked up, startled. Soda dripped from their pimpled faces.

"That's right! I'm givin' you ten seconds to clear out of here."

"Or what?" The boys' beefy ring-leader, a thug in a letterman's jacket, sneered at me.

"Or this," I cried. I lifted my sweat-shirt to show them my surgical scars.

That did it! Those punks cleared out like a pack of scared kittens.

I had stopped crime from happening!

They had left one can of unopened soda in the machine. I figured I might need it for evidence, so I took it along. (Sad to report that I drank the evidence, but I've saved the can, just in case.)

Since that fateful night, I've converted my knit cap into a face mask. (I have to wear my reading glasses over the mask, because I can't see for squat at night.)

I make my nightly "rounds." My mask hidden under my sweatshirt, I walk past the night staff. Little do they realize I live a double life.

Turning the corner, I take off my specs, put on the mask (and the glasses) and make my nightly patrol.

So far, I've only seen one crime--a guy running a red light. I got his license plate number and called it in to the cops.

Yes, "Super Senior" is on the prowl for crime! Tell you what, Mason--it's every bit as exciting as our favorite comic-mag stories. Moreso, because it's happening in real life!

I encourage you to consider making your own costume and patrolling your own neighborhood. I'm sure there's crime afoot, and a guy like you could stop those punks far better than I.

PS: Enclosed is a drawing I did the other day. My nephew Brock fancies himself a cartoonist, and I thought we'd put together a "tie-in" comic mag. This is my concept for the front cover. I think it'll sell like hotcakes!

Speaking of hotcakes, sounds like you and the missus are peddling plenty of those via your new bistro! "Super Senior" may have to make a special pit-stop there. That is, if they'll let me out of this nut-bin!

Heroically yours,

You can well imagine the worry this missive has caused me. Moreso, the accompanying sketch, reproduced below:

Friends, it is one thing to enjoy the exploits of our favorite panelological heroes. 'Tis another to take their actions into the workaday world. "Sparks" has plenty of pep, but he's older than I, and all alone in the world.

"We should do something," Dorrie agreed when I showed her the letter and drawing.

We cannot have him committed--he is already in the "nut bin," to use his own colorful colloquialism. It's clear that he needs more guidance and understanding than he is currently being given.

Dorrie and I are considering the option of inviting "Sparks" to stay with us, pending his acceptance into the retirement community my father resides in. It is a bit of a burden, taking one more into an already-crowded household. Perhaps Wallace can be of use in the cafe.

Heaven knows, the man needs something to do--a focus for all his intense energy. Just knowing that he wanders the streets of his town--in a mask!--at night brings me worry. Last night, my usually restful sleep was frequently broken by nightmares.

To calm myself, in the still of the night, I crept out into the living room. By flashlight, I read the following story, from my precious Science Comics #2. It helped me find peace. Thus, I share it now with you...

Harold Weber, talented writer-artist of "Dynamo," infuses this familiar, albeit lively early costumed-hero adventure with a curious finis: the gold-plating of a group of criminal thugs!

One would assume they have been slaughtered via this process, as explained in the "Wikapedia:"

Gold plating is a method of depositing a thin layer of gold on the surface of other metal, most often copper or silver.

Gold plating is often used in electronics, to provide a corrosion-resistant electrically conductive layer on copper, typically in electrical connectors and printed circuit boards. With direct gold-on-copper plating, the copper atoms have the tendency to diffuse through the gold layer, causing tarnishing of its surface and formation of an oxide/sulfide layer. A layer of a suitable barrier metal, usually nickel, has therefore to be deposited on the copper substrate, forming a copper-nickel-gold sandwich.

Metals may also be coated with gold for ornamental purposes, using a number of different processes usually referred to as gilding.

It would seem fatal to the human nervous system to be thus gold-plated.

I am suddenly significantly less comforted by this panelological escapade! I am, indeed, troubled, friends.

Our restaurant runs like a Swiss watch--with Dorrie's impeccable cuisine, Raphael's high-profile customer service, and my astute financial management and cash register operation. Dare we introduce a "wild card" to this delicate balance? Would "Sparks" fit into this regime--or would he prove its downfall?

Again, I beseech you kind readers for your "two cent worth" of opinion. And, as ever, my sincere thanks for your perusal of this humble forum.


  1. Dear Mr. Mason, I am VERY concerned for you! This dotty old man is obviously delusional... probably more so than you for thinking such awful comics are worth reading in the first place, let alone sharing. Pardon my grumpiness, but I feel that you are bordering on monkeying with a lunatic, and it could have some disastrous results for you and your family so I will not mincemeat my words: DO NOT bring this rearranged individual into your home... he is where he belongs! Please post more of his comics, if he sends them... they are MUCH better than your choices, nothing personal.

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