Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Golden Age Idol--Make 'Em Laugh!!

In 1948, the world was agog at the latest Siegel and Shuster creation:


It should be noted that Shuster actually did fairly little work on the series...he did the layouts for most of the stories in the first issue. But the finished art was by John Sikela, and in future issues the art was by mainly Sikela or Dick Ayers or Marvin Stein, all drawing under Shuster's byline....

Anyway, who is our hilarious hero?

And so a legend was born.

Of course, how much you like Funnyman and his antics depends on how much you like his style of comedy, which doubtless seems old-fashioned shtick today.

Then again, the idea of, say, Conan O'Brien liking fighting crime so much that he adopts a secret identity as a Prankster/50s Joker type, but using those gags for good, is kind of irresistible, in a way.

In his very first issue, Funnyman was given rivals, as other guys who wanted to break into clown-based crime-fighting, and tended to get in the way:

Funnyman also got a special vehicle...

"Photo-electric cells"? Sure, why not?

Oh, yeah...and the car flies, too:

He also had a special scooter...

...which did special tricks:

But mainly he just did old fashioned comedy beating up of people:

Again, how much you liked Funnyman depends on your sense of humor, and how you like vaudeville slapstick:

Funnyman lasted 6 issues, and then faded into obscurity.

Still, how many Siegel & Shuster creations do you have just lying around in the public domain? Surely someone has a use for...Funnyman!!

Funnyman #1-6 are from 1948


SF said...

Looking at the cover for #3, was Funnyman actually the inspiration for Jack-in-the-Box? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack-in-the-Box_(Astro_City)

JohnnyBob said...

I look at Funnyman and I see Ralph Dibny.

Is this the untold history?