“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?

  1. Mary Jane Watson once kicked Peter Parker in the groin for making a pass at her.
  2. Tony Stark had a drink thrown on him for goosing Janet Pym (the Wasp of the Avengers).
  3. Reggie Mantle (of Archie Comics) was once slapped in the face for grabbing Veronica’s breast.
  4. Clark Kent was temporarily fired for licking Lois Lane’s ear.
One of these major characters got into major trouble with an inappropriate move. But which?
One of these major characters got into major trouble with an inappropriate move. But which one? And which artist?

 

 

Scroll down while you think…

 

 

(Take your time. I’ll wait.)

Give up?

 

 

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.)

An example of Neal Adams work on Archie - but not the legendary grope!
An example of Neal Adams work on Archie – but not the legendary grope!

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.

Thanks,
Mike

Bru-Hed Closeup

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Published by Mike Pascale

Mike is a freelance storyboardist, artist, writer, comic book/web comic creator, graphic designer, award-winning senior art director/copywriter, Kubert School alumnus, Spectrum Fantasy Art award-winner, guitarist/songwriter, future novelist and full-time, life-long comics fan, pop culture collector, and book hoarder. His creations include Bru-Hed™ (America’s favorite Blockhead™), The Game Buzz!™ weekly webcomic, Nasti: Monster Hunter™, Mikey Moo-Moo™ and more “™s” waiting to be unleashed from his crazy cranium.

Join the Conversation

  1. Avatar
  2. Mike Pascale

3 Comments

  1. If it happened between the panels (the artist never drew it) and was not part of the plot
    …it didn’t happen.

  2. I’m sorry you misunderstood the post, Jerry. Meanwhile, I’m still hunting for the issue! 🙂

  3. Oh, and to the specific comment: I’d say at least half of all action in most comics takes place between panels.

    This is especially true in horror comics–a villain is about to stab a victim; the next panel shows the cops standing over a dead body with a knife in it. The reader’s brain fills in and assumes the villain stabbed the guy unless we’re told otherwise later.

    In the Archie page above, panel 2 shows Reggie by a lawn approaching Archie. The next panel shows them in front of a brick wall. How did they get there? It’s not in the script. The artist threw that in. Did they not walk? Did they just beam over to the wall? Our brains filled in the action based on how the artform works.

    Though I’ve not read it, I believe Scott McCloud’s book, Understanding Comics, covers how that works in great detail.

    And as for not being part of the plot, that would apply to half of the Lee/Kirby FF stories. 😉

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *