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Right Out of a Comic Book

07/30/08

Permalink 12:17:27 am, by bobcalhoun Email , 625 words, 9355 views English (US)
Categories: Appearances

Right Out of a Comic Book

I wish I had arms like these. No really. This Sean Phillips guy drew me into the newest issue of the Marvel/Icon comic Criminal and he drew me with really big guns there choking a dude out in a diner. Check it out:

Bob Calhoun aka Count Dante
20-inch pythons. Image: Sean Phillips.

Yeah, it’s the comic book version of me so of course it doesn’t have the big man boobs and short little arms that I’m currently accursed with. If only I could be bitten by some kind of radioactive spider that would make me do ‘roids and pump iron so I can look more like this guy. It just goes to show you that if you’re gonna draw somebody, and have them like it, draw them about ten or twenty pounds lighter than they really are and a bit more muscular and they’ll rave about what a bang up job you did. I’m raving now: Sean Phillips – you made me look great. I’m going to go into the garage right now and pound on the heavy bag for 30 solid minutes just to live up to this image of me. I have to. Comic nerds from here to Christmas will be challenging me to cage matches like I’m “Judo” Gene LeBell or something. I won’t be able to show my face in WonderCon any more. I am a marked man–the lone gunfighter biding his time until the bitter end.

I know Ed Brubaker, the guy who writes Criminal. He’s won a fistful of Eisners (the comic book equivalent of an Emmy or Pulitzer) and he killed Captain America. I’m not sure how I feel about the killing Cap part even though the comic books themselves were really good. He married my friend Melanie whom I’ve known since high school. Brubaker put me and my friends Lucky BelMateo and Agent J in Criminal #4 flipping burgers and taking names. Sean Phillips drew me those big arms. Damn, where are those dumbbells now that I need them? I’ll just have to rely on good o’ Charles Atlas dynamic tension.

But that greasy spoon isn’t the only place that I show up in the upcoming issue. Ed’s been running features on films noir and hardboiled fiction in the back of Criminal’s individual magazines (but not the graphic novel collections) for some time now. Criminal #4 sports my essay on Night and the City, the only pro wrestling noir. And why aren’t there more pro wrestling noirs? Wrestling is a form of theater meant to deceive and cause mass hysteria. Its treacherous backrooms are the perfect setting for any noir and I should know. There are carnie noirs (Gun Crazy, Nightmare Alley) and boxing noirs (The Setup, The Harder They Fall) but Jules Dassin’s Night and the City is really the only wrestling noir. Ed gave me the chance to examine the movie from the proper pro rasslin perspective and I even throw in a little bit of insight into mixed martial arts while I’m at it. Here’s the wonderful black and white illustration that Phillips did of Richard Widmark and Gene Tierney for the piece…

Night and the City
Sean, if you ever think of selling this piece, please let me know.

Thanks Ed and Sean for putting me in a comic book. It’s a lifelong dream. You know, the second they canceled Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu I figured that my chances of writing at Marvel were toast. It’s nice to know that something I’ve penned is being printed by them. Like I said, a lifelong dream.

Criminal #4 featuring my essay examining Night and the City plus me choking out some dude in a diner hits the comic book stores next week. Be there. Nuff Said.

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