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cic2007-09-17.jpgIn the interview in the back of the hardcover collection of Neil Gaiman’s revival of Jack Kirby’s Eternals, Gaiman says, “One of my favorite things about this - which… takes advantage of… the nature of time in the Marvel Universe–is that in my story, the Third Host did indeed arrive; Arishem came down to judge. In 1976.”

First, as those of you who have been reading this column for the last two weeks may recall, Arishem came to judge Earth as a member of the Fourth Host of Celestials. More importantly, Neil Gaiman has a different understanding of “Marvel time” than I do.

Time passes much more slowly for Marvel’s fictional characters than it does in the real world. Otherwise, Peter Parker (alias Spider-Man), who was fifteen in his first appearance, published in 1962, would now be sixty. When I was active at Marvel in the 1980s, the rule was that in Marvel time it had been seven to ten years (depending on who you talked to) since the events of Fantastic Four #1, published in 1961. My impression is that John Byrne, a staunch defender of the “Marvel time” concept, would contend that no matter how much time has now passed since the publication of FF #1, it is still seven-to-ten years in Marvel time since the FF’s origin (see “Comics in Context” #25). I also have the impression that the current editorial team at Marvel, if they think about Marvel time much at all, may have now stretched the seven-to-ten years to as much as fifteen. This is a mistake (Should Spider-Man be thirty?), but that’s a subject for another day.

Had the original Eternals series by Jack Kirby been completely divorced from other known characters in the Marvel Universe, I would have no problem with the idea that it took place thirty-one years ago in Marvel time. But in the Kirby series two kids put together a robot simulacrum of the Hulk, and Sersi temporarily turns a student’s face into a replica of the Thing’s (Kirby Eternals collection p. 106). There is no way that in Marvel time the origins of the Hulk and the Thing occurred thirty-one years ago. Therefore, the Fourth Host had to arrive sometime within the last seven, ten or fifteen years of Marvel time, depending on your interpretation.

Ultimately, though, exactly when the Fourth Host arrived is a minor matter in the story: what is important is that they did, some years before Gaiman’s Eternals storyline begins. In the context of the series, it is Ikaris, who confesses that he has a faulty memory, who says it was “thirty years” since the Fourth Host came, so we can easily interpret this reference as a mistake on Ikaris’s part that nonetheless serves as a winking acknowledgment to the readers that Gaiman’s series marked the thirtieth anniversary of Jack Kirby’s original opus.

As for what happened after the Fourth Host landed, Ikaris admits that “I don’t really remember all of it after that,” but he does recall that the Fourth Host returned to outer space (“I guess you must have been okay,” Ikaris says, and, indeed, Arishem literally gave humanity a thumbs-up in Thor #300 in 1980), and thinks (correctly) that he “succeeded Zuras as the leader of the Eternals” (Gaiman Eternals issue 1 page 33).

Ordinarily I believe in strict adherence to Marvel continuity. But I also believe in not dragging more references to past continuity into a story than are necessary. Actually, Zuras died (or so we readers thought), and he was initially succeeded as the Eternals’ leader by his daughter Thena, before Ikaris succeeded her. But there is no need in the present storyline to go into that much detail, so Gaiman wisely leaves it out. Similarly, for the purposes of the new series, we do not need to know the circumstances under which the Fourth Host departed Earth.

Thus the injured Ikaris, alias “Ike Harris,” finished recounting the backstory of the Eternals to a medical student named Mark Curry, who has lost his memory of his true identity, the Eternal known as Makkari. Curry reacts with utter disbelief, pointing out that if the Fourth Host had landed, then their existence would be public knowledge. Back in the first issue of the second Eternals series, in 1985, writer Peter B. Gillis established that when the Fourth Host left Earth in Thor #300, they wiped out humanity’s memories of the Eternals, Deviants and Celestials, making a few exceptions, such as Sersi’s companion Dr. Samuel Holden. (In fact, Dr. Holden discovered that even when he told his students about the Eternals, Deviants and Celestials, they immediately forgot!) Arguably this violates Jack Kirby’s intentions, since he not only did numerous scenes in which humanity reacted to the colossal Celestials in their midst, but even did an issue in which Dr. Holden publicly revealed the existence of the Eternals and Deviants at New York’s City College (in Eternals Vol. 1 #6, 1976). But I expect that Gillis and Gaiman both believe that, now that Eternals is so explicitly set in the Marvel Universe, whose denizens are already well aware of the existence of superheroes and aliens, that the Eternals and Deviants can retain a certain mystery by operating out of public view.

Curry then demands to know why, if there were millions of Deviants before the coming of the Second Host, why they haven’t rebuilt their numbers to millions again. Gaiman never answers this question in the new series. In Iron Man Annual #6 (1983) the Eternals got rid of many Deviants, including their leader Brother Tode, by rearranging their atomic structures into a gigantic block which they transported into outer space. This was probably an effort by Marvel to reduce sharply the number of Deviants on Earth, but it still doesn’t explain why the Deviant population had not soared into millions.

Kirby provided a possible answer in the original series through the Deviants’ “Purity Time,” described as “an infamous ritual which never ends” (Kirby, p. 137).

Each Deviant is radically different genetically from the others. The Deviants nevertheless believe that this genetic variety must be kept within certain bounds. Through the endless “Purity Time,” any Deviant whose genetic deviations are judged to be too extreme is sentenced to be destroyed. The Deviants’ leader Brother Kro declared, “Killing serves a practical purpose here! It rids us of the unwanted” (Kirby p. 141). It is unclear what the Deviants’ standards for acceptable genetic variety is, but Kirby shows us that one Deviant, whom he called the Reject, was condemned because he looked exactly like a handsome normal human being. Since all other Deviants look grotesque, and look different from one another, then Kirby is showing us that their standards of racial purity make no sense (and by extension, that any standards of racial “purity” are nonsensical). The Deviants in power are simply venting their violent hatred and exercising their will to power by seemingly arbitrarily seeking out and executing scapegoats.

Deviants condemned in “Purity Time” are transported in “death wagons” (Kirby, p. 137). What happens to them? The Deviant warlord Kro points towards a structure emitting flame, like a gigantic oven (Kirby, p. 139). Kirby also makes reference to “Purity Time” as a “solution.” As in “the Final Solution”?

Lately much attention has been given to the role of Jewish-Americans, including Kirby, in creating and developing the superhero genre. (For example, Danny Fingeroth’s new book on the subject, Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics, and the Creation of the Superhero, will soon be available in bookstores.) On rereading the Kirby Eternals series, it’s obvious to me that “Purity Time” was inspired by the Holocaust.

Hence, it was a serious mistake when the second Eternals series purported that “Purity Time” did not execute “unwanted” Deviants after all. Instead, it contended that the Deviant priesthood placed the supposedly condemned into suspended animation, so that they could eventually serve as the priesthood’s private army. The people responsible for this reinterpretation of “Purity Time” didn’t understand Kirby’s Holocaust imagery at all.

So, if we follow Kirby’s original vision of “Purity Time,” arguably the Deviants, through their fanatical obsession with genetic “purity,” have ended up self-destructively restricting the size of their own population.

Later in Gaiman’s series, after Druig takes over the government of a former Soviet republic and causes the brutal murders of numerous people, the narration informs us that “Tomorrow they will announce that atrocities have been committed by. . who? Gypsies, perhaps, or homosexuals or Slavs. And he will have them rounded up. And it will be necessary to bring back the secret police. And without knowing why, he feels like this is a return to the good old days, the very old days” (Gaiman issue 5, p. 13). So perhaps Neil Gaiman did spot the Holocaust imagery in Kirby’s Eternals, and this is his own allusion to it.

Elsewhere in the Kirby series, the Eternals and human guests Margo Damian and Sam Holden form a group “Uni-Mind” by plunging into what appears to be a gigantic flame. Sersi tells Sam, “That flame is life, not death! It is life as you have never known it before!” (Kirby p. 212). This is another variation on the familiar death and rebirth motif, with the Uni-Mind serving as a kind of afterlife, a higher spiritual state beyond mortal existence. But it also strikes me now that the Uni-Mind “flame” is the opposite of the flame that rises from the “Purity Time” oven. As Kirby intended it, the fires of “Purity Time” bring annihilation, but the “flame” of the Uni-Mind brings a higher, transcendent form of life.

Curry asks Ikaris if Eternals could “interbreed with humans,” and Ikaris replies, “I guess so” (Gaiman issue 1 p. 35). At this point Ikaris is unable to recall that long ago he had a human son, also named Ikaris, for whom he built a flying device. After the younger Ikaris fell from the sky to his death, inspiring the myth of Icarus [sic], his father took the name “Ikaris” in his honor. (See Eternals Vol. 2 #5, February 1986, and here.) Curry points out that Ikaris claims that Eternals can also breed among themselves.

So, Curry asks, why are there still only a hundred Eternals? With their genetic immunity to illness and death, why hasn’t the Eternal population risen into the billions? Through interbreeding, Curry points out, “we’d all be Eternals now.”

This is another question that Gaiman raises without answering. In the original series Kirby wrote that “The Eternals bred few in number” (Kirby p. 11). Perhaps this suggests that it is quite rare for a mating between Eternals to produce Eternal offspring. It also appears, from such examples as Ikaris’s son in Eternals Vol. 2 and Thena’s son in the Gaiman series, that when Eternals interbreed with normal humans, their offspring are normal humans. My hypothesis is that this is all a result of the Celestials’ “intelligent design” of the Eternals. The Celestials did not want the Eternals to dominate Earth, and so they genetically designed the Eternals to prevent their numbers from rising significantly.

Curry accepts the fact that Ikaris is a superhuman; he simply does not accept Ikaris’s explanation for his powers: “If Spider-Man told me that he got his spider-powers from reading Chariots of the Gods, I guess I’d figure he was full of it too” (Gaiman issue 1 p. 35). Obviously Mark Curry is unaware of J. Michael Straczynski’s recent stories in Amazing Spider-Man asserting that Spider-Man’s powers are in part mystical in origin, and that he is the “totem” of a spider-like force.

This Curry-Ikaris scene serves as a transition into a section of the first issue in which Gaiman begins exploring what makes the Eternals different from the many superheroes who populate Marvel-Earth. One of the differences appears to be that, despite Straczynski, most superheroes’ powers are rooted in science; therefore Curry, a man of science, can believe in them. But the Eternals origins have religious overtones, since they claim to have been created by “space gods.”

We next see Ikaris in his hospital bed watching another of the seemingly dreadful American TV shows that Gaiman has devised for this series: America’s Next Super Hero (Gaiman issue 1 p. 36). I wonder if Neil Gaiman knew about Stan Lee’s reality TV series Who Wants to Be a Superhero? when he started work on this Eternals series. (Neil’s show has a “super hero house” a la Big Brother, whereas in Stan’s, the hero wannabes room together in their secret “lair.”) I rather like Who Wants to Be a Superhero?, which is not only entertainingly kitschy, but also, surprisingly, enforces moral standards for superhero conduct that contemporary comics often ignore (see “Comics in Context” #142).

Then again, the New Warriors, one of Marvel’s superhero teams, was appearing on a reality TV series at the time of the disaster which led to the events of Marvel’s Civil War series. Before that, Marvel’s new X-Force team, later renamed X-Statix, were primarily out to become rich and famous media celebrities, relegating fighting crime and saving innocents to secondary importance.

There should be an inspirational majesty to the superhero concept: the idea of a human being who achieves godlike status. I wonder if Gaiman is suggesting that the image of conventional superheroes is being overwhelmed by their status as commercial properties. So here are the contestants for America’s Next Super Hero–Tantrum, ZeeBee, Trucker, and others–who aren’t following the traditional origin path of going out of their own to battle evildoers, but are competing against each other on a tacky TV show. Janet Van Dyne, alias the Wasp, flies in to make an appearance. (So Stan presides over Who Wants to Be a Superhero?, and Jan appears on America’s Next Super Hero. Stan and Jan. Hmm.) Then we see Mister Fantastic doing a Public Service Announcement on behalf of reading. lowering himself with a kitschy catchphrase (“It’s fantastic!”). However, the contestants rave with praise not over these classic Marvel superheroes, but over Sprite, who, as far as they know, is only a TV star for ‘tweens. They’d rather be TV celebrities than champions of justice. Trucker says, “I am now officially the coolest kid in my school” because he’s going to meet Sprite. Shouldn’t he be more impressed that he’s working with a co-founder of the Avengers? Mind you, she seems to have sold out by appearing on this show.

(However, I like the fact that Mr. Fantastic is holding up a copy of Gulliver’s Travels, which is arguably a forebear of science fiction novels. According to Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the book’s title character, Lemuel Gulliver, is an early member of the League, making him a forerunner of today’s superheroes.)

In the interview in the back of the hardcover collection of his Eternals, Neil Gaiman says, “You know, you’ve got the sort of ‘Marvel Civil Warry’ stuff going on in the background, in a way that I hope won’t bug anybody who has no idea what this is but will actually be kind of fun for anybody who does.” Well, I know what this “Civil Warry” stuff is, and I’m bugged. I am no fan of Civil War and its repercussions, and I should think that Gaiman’s many readers who are not superhero fans might indeed be puzzled by his references to Civil War in Eternals. Aren’t superheroes traditionally supposed to act on their own or in small teams? So what’s all this about government registration of superheroes?

Indeed, I contend that the superhero is a metaphor for the freedom, power and potential for greatness within the individual. Clark Kent and Peter Parker are nobodies, swallowed up by contemporary urban society, who assert themselves as individuals by shifting into their superheroic identities. By the end of Civil War Marvel’s superheroes are instead forced into the roles of government servants.

I would like to think that decades from now, Neil Gaiman’s Eternals, as well as Sandman and 1602 and his other works in comics, will still be in print, whereas Civil War, like virtually every other Marvel and DC company-wide crossover series event, will have faded into obscurity. Decades hence new readers of the Gaiman Eternals may well need footnotes to explain the Civil War references.

So why did Gaiman put the Civil War references in Eternals? Did Marvel urge him to put them in, just as back in the 1970s Marvel allegedly pushed Kirby into putting Marvel Universe references into his Eternals?

In Gaiman’s case, though, I tend to think that if he worked Civil War connections into Eternals, he did so for thematic purposes.

In the episode of America’s Next Super Hero that is excerpted in this first issue, Jan tells a contestant, “You see, Grace, when you’re a government-registered super hero, you’ll need to record public service announcements, like this one,” whereupon we see Mr. Fantastic in his aforementioned PSA (Gaiman issue 1, pgs. 36-37). Some readers may recall when government registration of mutants was considered a Bad Thing in Marvel stories, a first step towards the dystopian “Days of Future Past.” How interesting that Jan says that once Grace has registered with the government, she will “need” to do public service announcements. One might have thought that recording PSAs was done on a volunteer basis. Just what else does the government require registered superheroes to do? (Hint: consult Avengers: The Initiative.)

Then, with her characteristically cheerful demeanor, Jan tells the contestants they are off to visit the set of It’s Just So Sprite, “where the lucky winner of today’s hero trial is going to record a PSA about getting registered” (Gaiman issue 1, p. 37). Oh, Jan, I always thought of you as an irreverent free spirit, not a smiling propagandist. And that phrase “hero trial” seems disconcertingly ominous.

Soon afterwards we see Sprite himself on television with Orlando, an America’s Next Super Hero contestant. Sprite is secretly an Eternal, so, like other Eternals, he should be a “protector of the Earth.” But, as we shall see, he has devoted his life to becoming a celebrity instead. On television Sprite reels off his show biz credits, and tells us, “I’m not a super hero. If I were, I’d get registered,” just like Orlando here (Gaiman issue 1, p. 38). So Sprite is a willing propagandist for the government as well.

To reinforce the point, Gaiman has Orlando tell us, “It’s just so Sprite. If you’re gonna be a super hero, get registered” (Gaiman issue 1, p. 37). Gaiman thus links the Civil War superhero registration program to Sprite and the mind-numbing mediocrity of his TV show. By linking the registration program to Sprite, Gaiman also links it to Sprite’s sinister agenda, which is later to be revealed.

The TV show excerpt ends with a close-up on Orlando as he concludes about superhero registration, “It’s not just a good idea. It’s the law” (Gaiman issue 1, p. 37), which carries an implicit threat. This is a rather different slogan for a superhero than “With great power must come great responsibility,” isn’t it? And isn’t there something odd about Orlando’s wide-eyed look in that closing panel, a hint of innocent fanaticism, perhaps?

Come to think of it, doesn’t the fact that the government is putting PSAs about superhero registration on television imply that there must be an awful lot of superhumans out there? Is Gaiman suggesting that perhaps the Marvel Universe has too many super-people? Maybe the limited number of Eternals is another factor that sets them apart from other Marvel superheroes.

Ikaris tells Curry, “There are so many mysteries to solve, and I need you by my side” (Gaiman issue 1 p. 39). At this point Ikaris reminded me of Fox Mulder in The X-Files, a man who believes in and investigates the paranormal but is considered by many to be delusional. Maybe that’s one reason why Gaiman put in a reference to Roswell earlier on (Gaiman issue 1 p. 34). And hey, Mulder’s partner was Dana Scully, a medical doctor, and Mark Curry is a medical student.

But Curry instead injects Ikaris with a sedative to put him to sleep; perhaps Curry was also motivated, consciously or unconsciously, to keep him from talking any further. Considering Ikaris’s high level of “durability,” as The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe puts it, I’m surprised that a hypodermic needle could penetrate his thick skin. And wouldn’t it take a dose of sedative that was far higher than normal to knock Ikaris unconscious? (Think of the various past stories in which someone uses knockout gas on the Hulk and says that it’s a dose sufficient to put something like a herd of elephants to sleep.)

Gaiman will establish that Ikaris’s Eternal powers still aren’t back to full working order at this point. Nonetheless, the issue ends with two Deviants, whose names are later established as Morjak and Gelt, returning to capture Ikaris, and in issue two, Ikaris seems pretty damn resistant to the physical tortures they put him through.

Issue two is titled “Identity Crisis,” which is an obvious reference to Mark Curry’s questioning of his own identity, which reaches the crisis point when armed men who invade a party at the Vorozheikan embassy attempt to kill him. I wonder if it may also be an allusion to DC’s Identity Crisis series, which also concerned characters who lost and regained their memories (see “Comics in Context” #57, 58, 63, 67).

By the way, here’s something that I discovered when I was researching my forthcoming book, The Marvel Travel Guide to New York. Countries usually situate their official embassies in the capitals of other nations. Their official outposts in other cities are known as consulates. Hence, what Marvel calls the Latverian, Symkarian and Wakandan embassies in New York City (for the respective nations of Doctor Doom, Silver Sable, and the Black Panther) are really consulates. And the “Vorozheikan embassy” in New York City in Gaiman’s Eternals is probably a consulate, too.

Not responding to the Campbellian “call to adventure” always has bad repercussions. In issue 2 we learn that Mark Curry has not just refused to heed the “call” but has gone so far as to turn the “herald” who issued the “call,” Ikaris alias “Ike Harris,” over to two men who, as Curry’s superior points out, only “claimed to be doctors” (Gaiman issue 2 p. 8). In actuality, they are Deviants who are busily experimenting in efforts to kill their allegedly unkillable captive Ikaris. Curry’s active rejection of the “call” has imperiled Ikaris.

Ikaris desperately sends another “call,” a telepathic call for help, to Curry, calling him “Makkari,” but Curry fails to respond. This time his refusal to heed the call is immediately followed by catastrophe for himself: Curry’s superior tells him he is “suspended from working here,” and that a policeman “wishes to talk to you” about Harris’s disappearance from the hospital. (Gaiman issue 2 p. 8). In plainer words, the police suspect Curry is involved in the illegal abduction of Ike Harris (and, in a sense, they are correct) and intend to interrogate him. Already in a low position at this start of his “hero’s journey,” Curry has descended to an even lower one.

This issue contains many Campbellian “calls.” There is Ikaris’s telepathic call for help. Another “call” comes through his chance encounter with Sersi, another Eternal who is unaware of her Eternal identity. They are immediately attracted to each other, and we shall learn later that, in their Eternal identities, they are former lovers. Perhaps part of their attraction to each other now is that they subconsciously remember each other: “I feel like I’ve known you forever,” Sersi tells him (Gaiman issue 2 p. 5). She also says that she wishes she could invite him to the party she is organizing at the Vorozheikan embassy; not having been suspended yet, Mark responds that the hospital probably wouldn’t give him the night off. So here’s Sersi wanting to “call” Mark to a party–and to romance, and perhaps subconsciously to a connection to a fellow Eternal–and deciding that she can’t, and Mark, who seems a rather passive fellow, not seeming all that disappointed about it.

After Curry is suspended, Gaiman provides us with a major revelation: Mark has been refusing another “herald’s” “call to adventure”: his own. Curry had been dreaming about Ikaris, the Deviants and the Celestials “before I’d ever met him” (Gaiman issue 2, p. 9). Curry is so far into denial that “I wanted to think that I was going crazy” (Gaiman issue 2, p. 9) rather than accept the truth about his origins. Makkari is the counterpart of Mercury, messenger of the gods, and here we see that Makkari’s subconscious self is acting as messenger to “Mark Curry.” Of course it is right that Mark dreams of his higher potential, as do we all. It is also appropriate to find Neil Gaiman, auteur of Sandman, utilizing dreams once again as a motif.

Right after Mark says he would prefer to be “crazy” rather than accept the call of his dreams, Sersi’s friend Abigail tells her she is “crazy not to” invite Mark to the party (or, if you prefer, issue her call to romantic adventure to him) (Gaiman issue 2 p. 10). Abigail argues that this could be Sersi’s “only chance” to “impress” Curry. This reinforces the idea of the importance of accepting the “call” when it occurs. lest the opportunity never again present itself. (Mark/Makkari is fortunate in that he keeps getting “calls” to return to his true identity, rather like those innumerable invitations to attend Hogwarts that owls keep delivering to Harry Potter until the Dursleys finally give in).

Sersi tells Abigail that there will be some superheroes attending her party, namely “the kids from America’s Next Super Hero”; Abigail disapprovingly comments, “That’s kinda C-list. Any word from Julia Roberts?” (Gaiman issue 2 p. 10). Notice that Sersi and Abigail are discussing superheroes as if they were simply celebrities, not heroic champions or godlike figures. Abigail talks as if Captain America and Julia Roberts were interchangeable. It’s as if Spider-Man were no different than Tobey Maguire.

As Sersi and Abigail chat, they ignore another “herald,” an apparently insane homeless man who shouts, “They took it all away!” Longtime Eternals aficionados should realize from the man’s red beard that he is Zuras, monarch of the Eternals and counterpart of Zeus. “They took it all away!” is his mad reference to what happened to the Eternals, and his cry of “All one!” may be a reference to the Eternals’ Uni-Mind. But Sersi, lacking her memories of being an Eternal, cannot understand Zuras’s message.

Reducing a powerful being into a homeless, amnesiac derelict is a familiar trope in Marvel history”: it has happened to the Ancient One, to Odin (I think), and most famously to the Sub-Mariner in Fantastic Four #4 (May, 1962).

Eternals aficionados should be surprised to see Zuras, since he was killed in combat with the Fourth Host in Thor #300 (even though Gaiman’s series contends that the Eternals are mentally programmed not to fight Celestials); Zuras’s spirit departed from his body in Iron Man Annual #6. However, I always thought that killing off Zuras was a mistake, so I am pleased to see him back. (In general, killing off characters created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, or any combination thereof, is usually a bad idea. Most such characters have too much potential for further stories.)

Usually I expect that when a writer resurrects a supposedly deceased character in the superhero genre, he or she will explain how the character survived. Later in this Eternals series Gaiman does reveal how an Eternal can literally be resurrected, and in issue four Sprite indicates that Zuras, as well as Ajak, who was killed off in The Eternals: The Herod Factor (1991), went through this same “reactivation” process.

Sersi and Mark Curry turn out not to be hopelessly stuck in their respective ruts: she invites him to the Vorozheikan party, and he accepts.

But then Mark receives the most disturbing of his “calls”: a vision of Ikaris tormented by flames, pleading telepathically for his help. Like the Apostle Peter denying Christ, Curry rejects the call yet again. His face set in anger, and even cruelty, Curry demands that Ikaris “Get out of my head!” (Gaiman issue 2, p. 12).

Mark Curry has now gone too far, and soon it is he will be in dire need of help. Rejecting the call will once more be followed by serious consequences, as we shall see next week.

ADVERTISEMENTS FOR MYSELF

I haven’t done one of these sections for awhile, but I’ve continued to do writing for Publishers Weekly’s online newsletter Comics Week. You can find my interview with David Michaelis, author of the psychologically penetrating biography Schulz and Peanuts, to be published in October, here, and my review of R. C. Harvey’s Meanwhile. . . , a lengthy and extensively researched biography of Milton Caniff, creator of the classic comic strips Terry and the Pirates and Steve Canyon, here.

-Copyright 2007 Peter Sanderson

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