Shazam, Man!


No surprise, surely, that there’s a certain benign, solar-powered alien to whom the management of this fine publication is partial. Maybe more on account of his iconography, and for the way he was was so generously embodied by the late Christopher Reeve in the movie-and-a-half directed by Richard Donner in the late 70s — and for the uber-salient fact that his newspapering alter-ego shares my initials — than for the actual comics.

Not than one need choose — I’ve always loved the Beatles and the Stones, thankyouverymuch — but at the peak of my comics consumption, circa 1987-1993, I was more of a Batman guy. I have been digging Grant Morrison’s characteristically headache-inducing take on Superman in the last couple years, though.

But I digress. Love him or just sorta like him, Kal-El, the Last Son of Krypton, is, at 71, a globally recognizable icon. [Name Redacted], his near-contemporaneous analogue, is not.

Which brings me to my endorsement: My dear, bald friend and fellow NEA Fellow Glen Weldon has penned a thorough, and thoroughly amusing, history of mild-mannered paperboy Billy Batson’s superpowered alter-ego for NPR’s MonkeySee. Whatever G-Weld is getting paid for this can’t possibly be enough. I hope he at least gets a little something from for every visitor who stops by to look up “graphomanical.”

Anyway, link ahoy. So what are you still standing here for?

Thanks, PaperInside, for the South Park-ified superhero action figure. Plenty more where he came from.

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