Tag Archives: comic books

I’m flattered, but sorry, I am NOT legendary actor Burt Ward!

Comic book writer Darren Garnick (left) chats with a young reader about the nuances of the 1966 Batman TV series during “Free Comic Book Day.”

Ever try to (deliberately) give away your creative work?

As strange as it sounds, there was still competition during “Free Comic Book Day,” the publishing industry’s savvy national promotion to get young kids to put down video games long enough to read a few cartoon panels printed on real paper.

Children of all ages recently got to pick up to 8 free sample titles, including “Yo Gabba Gabba,” “Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” “SpongeBob,” “Superman,” “Green Lantern,” “Peanuts,” “Star Wars,” and “The Simpsons.”

Double Midnight Comics in Manchester, NH

So generating interest in “Burt Ward, Boy Wonder,” my time travel adventure story about the actor who played “Robin” in the 1966 Batman TV series, required an enthusiastic sales pitch.

Luckily, I had help from some people in high places to promote the Bluewater Comics release this July:

The Dark Knight explores his sitcom past!

Oh, and there were more character endorsements from heroes who simply can’t wait to see how the Boy Wonder thwarts an evil Plutonian plot to take over the Earth — and a madcap scheme to alter the course of the Revolutionary War by supplementing British forces with robots!

As required by the Comic Book Constitution, the dialogue includes lots of exclamation points!

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Fruitman: The One Superhero I Wish They Brought Back to Life

Harvey Comics superhero "Fruitman" was a mild-mannered grocery clerk who could transform himself into any kind of produce! (Click pic for larger image)

While fully immersed in journalism research on the history of comic books — particularly the anti-Nazi attitudes of Superman, Wonder Woman and Captain America — I accidentally stumbled upon the most scrumptious premise for a superhero.

Fruitman” is a chubby grocer (alterego: Percival Pineapple) who can transmogrify into any kind of fruit to more effectively combat crime. As a lemon, he can immobilize his enemy by squirting juice in his eye. As a watermelon, he can conk the guilty culprit on the head. And never underestimate the power of a strategically placed banana peel to make the mightiest villain slip and twist an ankle.

Even more delicious: the SuPEARhero’s insatiable appetite for goofy puns.

The character was the brainchild of Harvey Comics, the masterminds behind “Casper the Friendly Ghost,” “Richie Rich,” “Baby Huey,” and “Sad Sack.” He was usually a supporting actor in teen queen Bunny Ball‘s comic book, but did get one chance at his own issue (above), which must have gone splat.

Check out the courage of Fruitman as he thwarts a bank robbery:

Never underestimate the Power of Citrus!

And it looks like he’s also irresistible to the ladies, especially in produce form:

Saving an island princess from cannibals comes with sweet dividends.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that “Fruitman” was published in the late 1960s, the hey day of the kitschy Batman series.

You can have your gloomy, brooding Caped Crusader.  Serve us up some more Fruitman!

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