Thursday, April 12, 2018

Better, Best, Bester!!

You know what I love?

I love comic book stories where the creators put themselves in the story!!

Like the time crooks tried to force Bob Haney and Jim Aparo to write a scene where Batman he'd really die. Put that in your meta-textual pipe and smoke it, Grant Morrison!!

Well, I just found a wonderful example I'd never encountered before:

Now, the author of this story was sci-fi legend Alfred Bester. Heck, he's the guy who (probably) created the "In the brightest day" oath for Green Lantern. So, you know, street cred.

But there's a lot going on in that word balloon. Let's look:

Bester declares himself friend and "No. 1 fan" of Green Lantern!

But his wife complained that, in his stories, Green Lantern and Doiby Dickles only succeeded through luck, not skill or brains!

So Bester chooses to respond by showing his wife how wonderful Alan Scott and his sidekick truly are!! He's writing a story to answer his wife's complaints!!

He starts by showing our heroes being ridiculously careless with GL's secret identity...


So they decide to follow the two, and figure out GL's secret ID...

Gosh, you're taking your wife's critique pretty damn seriously here, Alfred!

I won't belabor you with the whole adventure...but Bester puts Scott in a tough situation:

Well, GL outsmarts them, and Doiby is about to administer the coup de grace, when:

Tuh whubba who?

So Bester gives us a completely different story...but with the same result:

Wait..."just a hypothetical adventure"??

Our "choose your own path" Green Lantern adventure gets one more run-through...but Doiby is not happy about it!


Same result...

...except now the thugs are angry at him!


So it was all about nothing all along!!

Well, you can't blame them!

Still, editor Sheldon Mayer is not happy!

D'oh!! Alfred Bester, you are demolished, man! (Not sorry)

Don't worry, Hypothetical Bester may have been fired, but real Bester kwpt writing comics for a while,  and he would go on to do just fine writing short stories and novels and winning awards...

From Comic Cavalcade #6 (1944)

1 comment:

Warren JB said...

And so on.