“Quick Comics Character Quiz: A Famous Artist Helps A Character Make A Pass”
All written content (c) 2013 Mike Pascale. Visuals are copyright their respective owners.
One of the best things about attending the Kubert School (especially with some so-called “old timers” as instructors) was hearing inside stories of comics history. I’d like to share one of these with you every now and then, while I still recall them. With the disclaimer that these are all technically “hearsay”, based solely on oral recall, let’s start with a brief quiz:
Which one of the following atypical, uncharacteristic stories is true?
- Mary Jane Watson once kicked Peter Parker in the groin for making a pass at her.
- Tony Stark had a drink thrown on him for goosing Janet Pym (the Wasp of the Avengers).
- Reggie Mantle (of Archie Comics) was once slapped in the face for grabbing Veronica’s breast.
- Clark Kent was temporarily fired for licking Lois Lane’s ear.
Scroll down while you think…
(Take your time. I’ll wait.)
The correct answer is 3). Thanks to none other than superstar artist, Neal Adams.
As some know, Neal worked briefly and early in his career for Archie. One time, perhaps out of boredom, perhaps out of curiosity to see if he could get away with it, he decided to play a little gag on his editor. On the last panel of a page, he drew Reggie talking to Veronica, but with his hand (discreetly) very near her chest. On the first panel of the next page, he drew a closeup of Reg’s face but with blushing and “smack lines” (and possibly stars) emanating from his face–the kind used to show pain after a character’s been slapped or hit. Ouch–Reggie apparently copped a feel between panels! (The conversation had nothing at all to do with the scene.) Of course, the editor–nor anyone else apparently–never noticed and the page was published.
And before you ask, no, we were sadly not informed of the issue number, nor even the title! And I’ve not seen it since; in fact, after so many years, I forget to look for it when reading an Archie book. But it’s out there somewhere. (If you have it and are the first to send us a scan, I’ll give you a FREE 9×12 pencilled portrait of the character of your choice! If you are the first to email the title and issue number, you’ll get a b/w sketch card of the same.)
Oh, and another Neal tidbit from the same period–Archie was notorious for not returning pages and Neal wanted a copy of his work. Under a tight deadline and without access to a copier, he once re-pencilled his entire story on separate paper, using a window as a lightbox. Whatever works!
I’ll have more every so often when I can.
P.S.: You don’t have to solve a mystery to have a cool commission from me. Prices are reasonable and I’m quick and reliable. Just contact Craig here.