Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Spectre's Handwriting?!?

One of the reasons that I'm prohibited from writing comic books is that I obsess over the stupidest things. For example...

The members of the Justice Society are all tied up on individual missions, so they won't be able to make their monthly JSA meeting. [SPOILER ALERT: it turns out to all be part of the work of the same villain--Brainwave, in his first appearance!] So they've all sent letters to the Society's secretary, Wonder Woman, explaining why they won't be there. [SPOILER ALERT--before we get all huffy over the "secretary" business, you should note that by reading these letters, Diana was able to deduce that it was all the same case, and where the villain was hiding out. So points there. Then again, all she managed to do with that information is get herself (and all of the JSA's girlfriends) captured. So I guess you can get chuffed.]

Also, letters? I mean, obviously no email or texting...and I guess long-distance telephoning was still so expensive/unreliable. But why not send telegrams?

Anyway, here's some samples from some of their letters. Hawkman:

Dr. Midnight:

Johnny Thunder:

The Atom:


Doctor Fate:

And, of course, the Spectre:

Wait wait wait.

Why is the Spectre's letter the only one not written in cursive?

I know, I know, it's a stupid detail. Really, who cares?

But it tasks me!!

Is it because he's dead? Can people from the afterlife not write in cursive? Did Jim Corrigan fail penmanship in school? what is the reason, I HAVE to know!!!!

Most likely, of course, it's that whoever lettered that story didn't feel comfortable doing cursive, or misread Gardner Fox's instruction in the script, or just one of the random bits of discontinuity that occurred in the Golden Age.

But c'mon, man!! It's so glaring!! Why??? WHY?!?!?!?!

And that's why I'm not allowed to write comics--because I'd insist on coming up with an in-story reason for something ridiculously trivial detail from a 73 year old comic book, and end up writing a 12-part arc explaining that, just as Etrigan can be a "rhymer," so too does Heaven have ranks that determined modes of communication, and at this point the Spectre was a "Printer, and Brainwave later tricks him into writing something in cursive, which disrupts the order of the heavenly host so Per Degaton can...

Seriously, it is for the good of all of us that I'm not allowed to write comics.

From All-Star Comics #15 (1943)


Wayne Allen Sallee said...

My printing is better than my cursive. Maybe Spectre prints because he has ghostly fingers? What always drives me nuts is when someone writes a note and the right margin is all wonky so that we, the rwaders, can see all the words, yet still have Dr. Fate's, for example, hand in the way.

George Chambers said...

I'm just a little disappointed that Dr. Mid-Nite's note wasn't in Braille.