My Summer Lair Chapter #123: What Is The Good Tickle?
Typically, I’d ask the expected question: who was Gardner Fox and how did he change “everything?” instead I’m curious when comic book historian Jennifer DeRoss brings up “the good tickle.” Turns out it’s that blurred division between a life of pop culture and when your life is pop culture and suddenly your intellect is stimulated…you start to identify patterns and can successfully capture insights.
Which is exactly what she does with her Gardner Fox biography: Forgotten All-Star: A Biography of Gardner Fox.
With Fox contributions is the key word: in his lifetime (by his own estimation) Fox wrote 4, 200 comics (plus 160 novels!). It’s safe to say that one could talk to him about many aspects of a writer’s life save writer’s block.
Fox’s contribution will ultimately be the innovations and characters he gave to the DC Universe: from the “Flash of Two Worlds!” the big bang of the Multiverse an event so distinct it would evolve into a Crisis by the 80s; the Crime Syndicate of America used most recently by Geoff Johns in the 2013 crossover Forever Evil; Psycho-Pirate currently working with Bane in Tom King’s Batman to a broad range of good guys and bad guys including Jay Garrick-Flash, Hawkman, Atom (Ray Palmer) and Shade (wonderfully written in James Robinson’s Starman!).
As if all that wasn’t enough… Fox was the one who encouraged Batman to throw his first baterang (batarang current spelling) and this was after Fox accessoried Batman with a handy utility belt. Whew.
For more on Fox and his astonishing output pick up DeRoss’ book; she does a remarkable job of documenting a (sadly) overlooked All-Star. Such a treat to talk to her on Batman Day!
Host Sammy Younan
Recorded: Saturday September 21, 2019 at 6:30 pm
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