I’ve been assured by the news media (and my wife, who knows about these things) that today is the one hundredth anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. There’s a tourist ship over top the wreck as I post this, and memorials and observances going on around the world. Clearly we still hate the ice berg and its family, and global warming is just the beginning of the payback we have planned.
My wife has a small but interesting collection of Titanic things – A few books and documentaries about the event, a CD of the music playing on the voyage – that sort of thing. But she also owns a copy of of the strangest piece of Titanic memorabilia ever created, just because she saw it before me at a comic convention last year.
It was made in 1962, on the FIFTIETH anniversary of the disaster, and according to the editorial page, it was written by Don Smith, supposedly a grand nephew of Captain Edward Smith, the original Captain of the ill-fated vessel. It’s written without permission of his uncle’s estate, or the legal right to use “White Star” as a comics logo.
The story is bizarre, to say the least, involving time travel, and aliens shaped like ice-bergs. There’s a second issue promised in the back, but The Grand Comics Database only lists this first issue on their site. It’s astoundingly rare, apparently, as it was published when a good percentage of the Titanic survivors were still alive and a radio campaign to have the comic legally declared “an abomination” was waged across America in the survivor’s name. My wife’s copy is in fairly good condition, comparatively, as most known copies show signs of burning.
I’m the one with the comic collection, but Keiren won’t give me the comic. Something about it being “hers”.
But over the years, I’ve found a couple of treasures of Titanic Comics at conventions, and present my finds for you:
I’m pretty sure this is Italian. The plot involves a woman in her underwear who seduces some guys and then shoots at people who are shooting at her, and she’s aboard the Titanic, by a stroke of bad luck for all this. She survives on one of the lifeboats, and continues to shoot at someone, even while being rescued. I think this is where the James Cameron found his movie plot.
This is a British Comic I found in Ireland. It features a loveable sailor named Jonah, who is responsible for the deaths of many thousands of innocents over the years. According to the story, he served aboard nearly every great sea disaster of the 20th Century, and managed to cause all of them by tripping over things. So, in a nutshell, he’s a serial manslaughterer at sea, but funny.
I think I know why there aren’t that many Titanic based comic books.
Ty the Guy OUT!
There are some sane Titanic Comics out there, just to be fair and balanced.
And others, I’m sure. I just prefer the weird ones.
The Captain Titanic comic looks like it came from the same studio that created the notorious giveaway comic for the (now defunct) “Larry’s Big Bloke Hinden-Burgers” chain of fast-food restaurants in the early ’70s. Is there a connection?
I think it’s the same artist. Hal Munroe did both Captain Titanic stories, according to wikipedia, and I’m fairly sure he did most of the burger comics of the 70s, except the McDonalds ones. I noticed you had some of those Larry’s Big Bloke Hinden-Burger comics last time I was at your apartment. I’d love it if you could scan some so everyone could see them.
When do you find time at these conventions to sneak off and dig through back-issue bins? You always seem to be manning your booth for the most part. Or has it been a Ty-bot I’ve been chatting with all this time?
I always, always, always make time at each convention to do a circle of the dealer’s floor. Usually it’s first thing on Sundays, or when I get a break on a Sunday. I’m the working pro who invariably comes back from each convention with a stack of comics to read. When I’m out of town, it’s a limit to fifty comics or else I can’t fly back with ’em. When I’m in Toronto, I can sometimes come home with a hundred new books from a good dollar bin. I love to buy old Eclipse or Malibu or Crossgen or Red Circle comics I don’t have for a buck…cheaper than cover price, and often artwork by Butch Guice, or Starlin, or Toth or someone.
My favorite Titanic comic still has to be Hover-Boy #79, where he fights a giant radioactive shark guarding the wreckage which has been possessed by the ghost of Captain Smith. I think this was also the first appearance of the Hover-Sub, but correct me if I’m wrong there.
Yup, it’s italian. It says “The sinking of the Titanic”. 🙂
I’d really love to read the captain Titanic comic, do you think you could upload a readable copy of it?
That would take me weeks of work to write and draw it, Daniel. The cover only took me an hour or so, but a full story would be far more work.