April Fool’s Special

**MATURE CONTENT WARNING** – Welcome to a very special episode of The Usual Suspects. So I am back to start the week with just a fun list of books that I wanted to make sure I hit for April Fool’s Day. So hopefully you all enjoy.

So what is April Fool’s Day? Let me hit the books for a minute and see what’s what. So April Fools’ Day, AKA All Fools’ Day, has been celebrated for centuries by different cultures. The exact origin, however, remains unknown.

Some historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates all the way back to the 16th century. Something about France switching from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. And some folks were slow to pick up on the change and were mocked relentlessly. Apparently the change was called for by the Council of Trent, right Mr. Melon?

Some other Historians have linked April Fools’ Day to Hilaria, which was a festival celebrated in ancient Rome at the end of March and involved people playing dress up. Hilarious. Get it?

BTW, I got most of this info from the History Channel, which went on to explain how April Fools’ Day spread throughout Britain during the 18th century. They noted that in Scotland, the tradition became a two-day event. With the 1st day sending people on phony errands, followed by Tailie Day, which involved pranks played on people’s derrieres. Example: pinning fake tails or “kick me” signs on them. You know that old gag.

These days, April Fool’s revolves around pranks, tricks, and stupid jokes. Your Local News teams will be inundating you with dumb jokes throughout the day. So will that annoying guy at work. If you don’t know who I’m talk about, then it may be you.

Anyway, enough of the history of April Fool’s. For my purposes, I just wanted to take the opportunity to look at some unintentionally funny covers. As times change and common nomenclature evolves, things that were commonplace take on a completely different meaning over time.

Even without going that far back, think of things you may have commonly said as a kid that are complete, no-no’s today. Here’s an example from Monster Squad. We all love Monster Squad, right? Kids fighting the old school Universal Monsters. “Wolfman’s got nards?” You know classic kids movie right? So I showed it to my son, but early on I get hit with…

Whoa, Wayne Arnold take it easy. Now, I have to be prepared to have a good fake cough ready to cover that line when my son asks to watch it. He still loves this movie, but man, you really can’t say that anymore. Granted, I can remember a time when as a kid, when that was just a common insult. Something bandied about without a second thought. You can find another example this scene from The Hangover…

And this wasn’t that long ago. I know it’s played for laughs, but it’s still a word that makes you uneasy when you hear it today. Don’t worry, I haven’t shown my son The Hangover just yet. This was just another common insult I remember tossing around as a kid. No real malice or harm involved, it was interchangeable with dumb or stupid where I grew up. But hopefully you get what I am saying. I’m not trying to offend or bring up any sort of PC debate. Just trying to give examples of how times change.

Now is a good a time as any to mention that whatever your thoughts are on the below comics, please keep it PG in the comments. I realize there will be some rather amusing innuendo, but please try and keep it clean. We all get it. No need to spell it out.

So, looking back to the Golden Age of Comics for my final example. The meaning of certain words can evolve over time. Where some words may not become cringe-worthy as exampled above, some others can become rather amusing. These classic Batman panels heavily utilize a word whose meaning was, and still technically remains to be: “a stupid mistake.” But it also has come to have another meaning, which adds a level of amusement to these panels.

No, Richard Milhous Stabone, we do not mean you.

By now I think you see what I am getting at. The below selection of comics are either outright amusing or take a certain point of view to see the unintended humor in them.

So with that said…let’s get into it.

The Rifleman #10

(Jan-Mar 1962)

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Right out of the gate, this one pretty much speaks for itself. The image is just pure unintentional hilarity. The staging is just perfect and their faces just take it to a whole other level. Disregarding the inappropriateness of the players involved in this farce, this is just classic.

I have to imagine this was partly intentional. How does an editor miss this? But in case you were curious, we have a little “where are they now?” update if you were wondering what became of the kid.

Being that this is a special edition focused around the humor inlaid in the covers, I am not going to provide a write up on the market. But I still provided some numbers below if you are interested.

Superboy #55

(Mar 1957)

Image result for superboy 55 fandom 

I’m not sure where to start with this one. I know corporal punishment was still a thing in the 50’s, but I’m not sure this was how things went. I feel like this wasn’t a sentence that would’ve been carried out by the school principal. I realize times have changed, and spanking is frowned upon these days; but I gotta think that even for 1955, Superboy was a little old for this kind of rebuke. This is like a scene out of Step Brothers.

Plus you have to figure Mr. Kent would’ve know from past toddler experience that it wasn’t a good to mess with the original Buns of Steel.

Image result for buns of steel

Batman #7

(Oct/Nov 1941)

Image result for batman 7 fandom

Really Robin? That’s the move? Face-first to take down criminals? What is Batman teaching you? You would’ve been better off with John Kreese as a sensei.

Heck, even Rex Kwon Do might be preferable fighting style to this technique. I mean you already got the whole buddy system down. No more flying solo.

Betty And Me #16

(Sep 1968)

Image result for betty & me 16

You know what he meant. Get your mind out of the gutter.

 

Archie #271

(Jun 1978)

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I suppose Boys and Girls mature at much different rates in Riverdale.  Completely different headspaces. Was the innuendo here too much? Too far? Maybe I should reel this in a bit.

Gay Comics #22

(Jan 1945)

Image result for gay comics 22

Perhaps that last GIF was a bit…premature? Bu-dump-bump.

Wonder Woman #68

(Aug 1954)

Image result for wonder woman 68 fandom

Folks love these old bondage Wonder Woman covers. But you have to admit it takes a bit of on-the-nose phallic imagery with that red rocket firing right at her to push the envelope on this one. Is it pervy or subconsciously unintentionally funny?

Alf #48

(Dec 1991)

Image result for Alf 48 fandom

First Bill Cosby and now Alf? Who’s the next beloved 80’s sitcom icon to break our hearts with this impropriety? I don’t want to hear anything to come out to besmirch my memory of Mrs. Garrett next.

Sunny, America’s Sweetheart #11

(Dec 1947)

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I’m not quite sure what they are telling us here. Obviously, Harry Osbourne back there is getting an eyeful. And Sunny knows what she is doing luring him with her whispering eye. But what’s the deal with the thin ice? It takes a bit of a morbid tone when you consider the following moments of this cover involve Sunny either freezing in the icy depths or drowning under the ice while Harry back there negotiates his “stupid mistake”.

Ok that’s it for this very special episode of The Usual Suspects. I realize things were a little bit different, and hopefully you enjoyed it. I may continue to play with the format a little bit going forward just to keep things fresh.

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Just a reminder, if comment below or on any of our social media sites, please keep it as clean as possible. I realize I pushed the envelope a tad, but remember some things are better left unsaid.

Now it’s time for one Last Call.

Giant Size Man Thing #3
(Feb 1975)

There’s really not a lot to say here. And it could really be any of the Giant Size Man Thing’s in this slot.

It’s just fun to say out loud. Go ahead. Try it.

Typical Sales Data:

CGC Census 9.8 – 8
CGC 9.8 – $262.90 on 10/2/16
Raw – $3.00 on 3/23/19

Looking for another?

In honor of Google+ shutting down today, R.I.P. G+ and thanks for the memories.

Hope to see everyone over on MeWe, Facebook, and Instagram.

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