The Art of the Funnies The Art of the Comic Book Children of the Yellow Kid Accidental Ambassador Gordo Milton Caniff Comversations
NEW!             Sold Out
Don't Forget These Great Books for Sale By R.C. Harvey!

Welcome to the webbed and wired edition of R&R, aristotle. We’ll be doing the same sort of song and dance here as we do in print: reviewing the latest comics and cartoon-related books and ranting about trends and abuses and unfathomable foolishnesses. Each installment will stay here for about four weeks, with a new one coming in just about every other week or so. If you don’t have the time to ponder every punctuation mark in this deathless prose and merely want to see what might be there that would interest you, we suggest you scroll down the page looking for the bold-face type that heralds the notables who reside herein this week. So here we go with Opus 375, (and a reprise of Opus 374, Part Two):

 

Opus 375: Editoons at the End of Trump’s First Year, New Comic Book Publisher, State of Gag Cartooning & Black Comic Book Heroes on TV and in Movies (February 15, 2018).

 

Opus 374, Part Two: December’s Editoons, Doomsday Clock & A Seminar on Sexual Harassment (January 3, 2018).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opus 375 (February 15, 2018). Inspecting 44 editoons from the last month or so, we celebrate the end of the Trumpet’s first year (which he finished by uttering his two-thousandth lie on the 355th day of his administration). We list the winners of the “Fakies,” announce the arrival of a new comic book publisher, review tv’s “Black Lightning” and marvel at “Black Panther,” ponder gag cartooning in the three premier magazines publishing them, and review 7 new books, among them Watchmen Annotated and The Realist Cartoons, another watershed moment in comics. We also have photos of Stormy Daniels.

            This is a somewhat longish posting, so rather than wade through it at one sitting, you might want to scan what’s here and choose the articles that most interest you. To assist you in this preview, here’s what’s here, in order, by department—:

           

 

Happy New Year

Prelude: Don’t’ Lose Hope

 

NOUS R US

Playboy Out of Print?

First Black Cowboy in Comics

Editooning Casualties—

Two More: Lee Judge and Cullum Rogers

The Other Stan Lee (in Syndicated Comic Strips)

Film About a Cartoonist on Wheels

Corben Wins Grand Prix (and It’s About Time)

Words of the Year (“complicit,” “youth quake”)

Stan Lee, Another Dirty Old Man? Not Likely

New Funnybook Publisher: Binge Books

 

Odds & Addenda

Archie’s Dick Tracy Scrubbed

Player vs Player Now 20

Silberkleit’s Anti-bullying “Archies”

Young Men Losing Interest in Breasts?

OppArt, New Satirical Art at The Nation Website

Graphic Medicine

Wolff’s Fire and Fury

 

FUNNYBOOK FAN FARE

Review of TV Series on Black Lightning

Tony Isabella’s Role

Black Panther Movie Promises Much

 

THE FROTH ESTATE

The Trumpet’s “Fakies” Listed

 

EDITOONERY

Trumperies: Trump on Magazine Covers

Trump’s First Year Triumphs: 5-6 Lies/Day

Forty-four Editoons of the Last Month Examined

Stormy Daniels Exposes Trump

 

Inspiration from Joe Kennedy

 

NEWSPAPER COMICS PAGE VIGIL

Camus in Pearls

 

BOOK MARQUEE

Short Reviews of—:

The Realist Cartoons                     

Trump’s ABCs

Playboy: Celebrating Hef

Borb (Comic Strips from the Web)

Painting with a Broad Brush: Rick McKee’s Editoons

The First and Only Book of Sack: Steve Sack’s Editoons

 

BOOK REVIEW

Watchmen Annotated

 

GAGGING

Reviewing the State of Magazine Cartooning In—:

Playboy

Esquire

The New Yorker

 

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

If Not of A Lifetime

“Goddamn it, you’ve got to be kind.”—Kurt Vonnegut

 

Our Motto: It takes all kinds. Live and let live.

Wear glasses if you need ’em.

But it’s hard to live by this axiom in the Age of Tea Baggers,

so we’ve added another motto:.

Seven days without comics makes one weak.

(You can’t have too many mottos.)

 

And our customary reminder: when you get to the $ubscriber/Associate Section (perusal of which is restricted to paid subscribers), don’t forget to activate the “Bathroom Button” by clicking on the “print friendly version” so you can print off a copy of just this installment for reading later, at your leisure while enthroned. Without further adieu, then, here we go—:

 

 

Prelude

HAPPY NEW YEAR

William Falk, Editor-in-Chief of The Week wrote this, and I’m inclined to agree, so I’m quoting it herewith, verbatim—:

            This is the 16th time since The Week launched in 2001 that I've used this little space to try to make some sense of the world at year's end. Through this exercise, I've been surprised to discover that I'm an optimist, despite my veneer of journalistic cynicism. My livelihood has immersed me in the rich, colorful evidence of our species' foolishness, selfishness, and cruelty — sins I sometimes suffer from myself. Yet like many Americans, I am the descendant of immigrant strivers, bred to believe that tomorrow will be better than today, that human ingenuity can surmount all obstacles, that goodness wins out over evil in the end. (A corollary: Bad people eventually get what's coming to them. Right, Harvey?) Even when confronted with evidence that the universe is not just, I cling to my core conviction the way a shipwrecked man hugs a chunk of floating wood. But after one of the strangest, most tumultuous, and most disorienting years in our history, I must confess to moments of doubt and fear.

            Never in my lifetime, even in the 1960s, has the country felt so fractured — so close to a civil war. Our one nation, allegedly indivisible, has cracked open along fault lines of culture, class, religion, and partisan identity, creating chasms of mutual incomprehension and disdain. Politics has devolved into a winner-take-all blood sport. Virtually everything is politicized, from football to wedding cakes. In the coming year, Special Counsel Robert Mueller would seem likely to conclude that President Trump obstructed justice in the Russia investigation. Mueller may point to other high crimes and misdemeanors as well. It's impossible to predict how Congress and the nation will respond — or what will happen if Trump decides to fire Mueller — except that what follows will be convulsive. Our democracy will be sorely tested; in the crucible, we will discover whether character, decency, truth, and the rule of law still matter. I'd like to think we will pass the test. Happy New Year, friends.

 

 

NOUS R US

Some of All the News That Gives Us Fits

 

PLAYBOY OUT OF PRINT?

Discussions are underway at Playboy Enterprises that may result in the demise of Hugh Hefner’s iconic skin magazine. Playboy’s new owner, Rizvi Travese, a private equity firm, wants to get out of the losing magazine publishing business and concentrate on brand management.

            Rizvi helped Hef take Playboy private in 2011, saith Jim Puzzanghera at Tribune News Service, and received in return control of nearly two thirds of the company. “As part of the deal, Rizvi agreed to keep publishing the magazine for as long as Hefner lived.” When Hef died last September, Rizvi began to make moves.

            Can’t say I’d blame it. Playboy the magazine’s U.S. circulation has dropped from a peak of 5.6 million in 1975 to a mere 500,000. And to keep costs down, the magazine comes out only six times year.

            Rizvi is now in talks to acquire the 35 percent stake in the company that Hefner left in trust to his heirs, chief among them, I suppose, is Hef’s son Cooper, who is now the company’s chief creative officer, whose earliest act was to restore photographs of barenekkidwimmin to the magazine following an abortive, year-long experiment with nudes artfully draped to conceal more than to reveal.

            Meanwhile, Playboy (Cooper and other siblings?) wants to raise $25-100 million early this year to help buy back the shares Rizvi controls. How Cooper figures in all this, I dunno. But the story Pazzanghera told suggests the money Playboy wants to raise will fund future partnership deals—not with Rizvi?

            Down the scroll, we turn to other Playboy matters—namely, the magazine’s current crop of lame cartoons. See Gagging.

 

 

JUST IN TIME FOR BLACK HISTORY MONTH

The Chisholm Kid was the first black cowboy in a comic strip in the 1950s, says Rene A. Guzman at mysanantonio.com/lifestyle. “And you thought Black Panther was the first black hero of sequential art.” Guzman continues—:

            More than a decade before T’Challa first prowled through the panels of Marvel comic books, the Chisholm Kid rode through the funny pages of the Pittsburgh Courier, an African American newspaper. Starting in 1950, he was the first black cowboy in a comic strip.

            Now the Chisholm Kid rides again in San Antonio. The Institute of Texan Cultures celebrates that “Lone Fighter for Justice for All” with an exhibit of colorful panels from the original strip, courtesy of the virtual Museum of UnCut Funk, along with supplemental Chisholm Trail material from the institute and the Texas Historical Commission. The exhibit runs through April 1. We have a picture of the Kid on the Other $ide of the $ubscribers Wall.

            According to the Museum of UnCut Funk, “The Chisholm Kid” exhibit pays homage to the more than 5,000 black cowboys who drove cattle along the historic Chisholm Trail, which stretched from Texas to Kansas after the Civil War. The museum notes the Chisholm Kid also was known as Rod Stone, an outrider with a wagon train on the Chisholm Trail.

            Carl Pfeufer wrote and illustrated the strip, which wrapped in 1956. Pfeufer, who is not black, is perhaps best known for his early art of Marvel’s Sub-Mariner, as well as Don Dixon, a character much in the vein of Flash Gordon, who debuted in 1935. [My favorite Pfeufer work is his stint on the Tom Mix comic book—energetic and stylish.—RCH]

 

 

MORE EDITOONING CASUALTIES

From the Notebook of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists

After 37 years at the Kansas City Star, Lee Judge was shown the door at the end of 2017. At Opus 361, you can see a generous sample of his unique style of fire-hydrant-like characters, looking dashed off, even sloppily executed. And that’s what I love about it: its loose and casual flavor is worth savoring. We have samples on the Other $ide of the $ubscribers Wall. Judge discussed his departure online in December: “You can curse the changes or adjust and move on. And I plan to adjust and move on.”

            He then expresses his appreciation for the 37 years of employment and once-in-a-lifetime experiences at the Star.

            “April 1, 1981 was my first day at the Star, and back then my boss was editorial page editor Jim Scott. Not long after I arrived, Jim taught me a valuable lesson. One day I drew a cartoon that upset some people, and Jim was getting phone calls of complaint. I dropped by his office to apologize; he was having a rough day because of something I’d done. Jim said I shouldn’t worry: he’d fought in World War II, and once you had someone try to shoot you with a machine gun, nothing else seemed that bad.

            “Good point.

            “Over the years, the Star has paid for my house, sent my kids to school, and allowed me to travel the country on their dime. Back when there were enough political cartoonists to have a yearly convention, the Star sent me to those conventions and allowed me to spend a week hanging out with my friends and colleagues.

            “Because I worked at the Star, I’ve been invited to lecture at dozens of schools and universities. One year, I was invited to lecture at the John F. Kenney School of Politics at Harvard University and spent a week roaming Cambridge—and one night sleeping in JFK’s old dorm room.

            “Harvard has kept Kennedy’s dorm room just like it was when he was a student, and if you get invited to spend the night there, you sign a register for posterity. I looked through the list of celebrities who had bunked down in JFK’s room and was most impressed that I was sharing the space that had once housed my childhood hero—the King of the Cowboys, Roy Rogers.

            “No word on where his horse Trigger spent the night.

            “Because I worked at the Star, I won an award given out by the Columbia college in Chicago and was seated at a table along with newspaper legend Mike Royko. After the awards were over, Mike took us to hear jazz pianist Art Hodes and bought me one of Art’s albums.

            “On another trip to Chicago—once again, financed by the Star—I shared a cab with Jim Belushi. We hit if off, and he invited me and a friend to visit his bar and hang out with the guys from Second City.

            “The only reason I had those experiences was because I worked at the Kansas City Star.

            “Frankly, I’ll be okay. As Jim Scott taught me all those years ago, it’s really not that bad: nobody is trying to shoot me with a machine gun.”

            A graceful finish.

            P.S. The number of full-time staff editoonists at daily newspapers now stands at 48; ten years ago, it was 101.

 

 

Yet Another. Rancid Raves just got news that freelancer Cullum Rogers is being dropped by Indy Week — after 21 years. The paper canned Cullum (along with at least 2 other staffers) even though he won first place for editorial cartooning last year from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia — meaning he was the altiest of the alties in the eyes of the industry. We’ve posted his last cartoon for the Indy on the Other $ide of the $ubscribers Wall.

            Cullum is a long-time active member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, a sort of walking (and talking) history of the AAEC and of editorial cartooning. Not surprisingly, the AAEC issued a statement, to wit (in italics)—:

            While cutting off essential body parts is an effective weight-loss strategy, it tends to have bad long-term health consequences. So it is that yet another cartoonist is let go and the position eliminated, all in the name of cost-cutting. North Carolina-based Indy Week is dropping its long-time political cartoonist Cullum Rogers without plans for a replacement.

            Rogers, who has drawn for the alt-weekly newspaper for 21 years under the name VC Rogers, was just last year named best cartoonist by the Association of Alternative Newsmedia. In addition, Indy Week has a long history of publishing and supporting editorial cartoons, most recently as a sponsor of the 2016 Political Cartoon & Satire Festival at Duke University.

            Soon after buying the paper in 2012, Mark Zusman told Romensko, "The Indy [is] situated in a great market, filled with readers who care about local news. … We hope to continue that arc."

            The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists is disappointed that Zusman and co-owner Richard Meeker seem to have forgotten what makes local, local. Cartoonists dealing with local issues are often one of the few features that give a newspaper identity and character. A good, local cartoon can hit like a Great White Shark attack. It leaves scars.

            We all know publishers face challenges, but eliminating original, local content is not the answer. It’s cutting off one’s nose (or some other body part) to spite your readership.

            Meeker and Zusman also own Portland’s Willamette Weekly, described in a recent Columbia Journalism Review article as "…smart, gutsy, colorful, conversational, self-aware, funny, buttressed by context and background, and fueled by righteous anger against Orwellian privacy invasions and the hypocrisy of public officials."

            Sounds like a job custom-made for cartoonists.

            The AAEC hopes that, even if they do not hire back VC Rogers, Indy Week restores the position and invests in another editorial cartoonist.

 

 

THE OTHER STAN LEE

Turns out that the revered Stan Lee tried to escape the comic book ghetto for years—the years 1956-1967, to be exact. The current issue of Alter Ego, the Stan Lee Birthday Celebration in No.150, presents a detailed history of Lee’s attempts to get into syndicated newspaper comic strips. In an exhaustive report, Ger Apeldoom details Lee’s efforts from Clay Murdock, V.P. to Willie Lumpkin (which actually ran for a while in 1960) with stops along the way for Mrs. Lyons’ Den (Cub Scouts), Life with Lizzie and For the Love of Linda and others. Lee worked with Vince Colletta, Joe Maneely, and, most often, Dan DeCarlo. Copiously illustrated; don’t miss it if you can.

            Another older Stan Lee compendium, The Stan Lee Universe (2011) edited by Danny Fingeroth and Roy Thomas for TwoMurrows, offers other glimpses of Lee’s encounters with the world and with comics, including a 1968 radio encounter with Hilde Mosse, a onetime colleague of Frederic Wertham. Their exchange, sometimes a little testy, is worth the price of the book. She, as Wertham and other comic book critics do, keeps harping on the evil effects of violence in comics (and tv) upon young readers, and Lee points out that all kinds of children’s literature (fairy tales, conspicuously) not to mention the Bible have episodes of violence. If, as she maintains, Superman is a bad role model and should be banned, then what are we to do with other superheroes in the culture—those in legends, for example. Hercules. Samson. Are they next to be banned?

 

 

 

FILM ABOUT A CARTOONIST ON WHEELS

In Park City, Utah, the annual Sundance film preview festival January 18-28 included a movie entitled “Don’t Worry. He Won’t Get Far On Foot,” about which Entertainment Weekly’s Chris Nashawaty said, briefly, that its title flaunted marquees, then adding that the Joaquin Phoenix drama was “about a paralyzed cartoonist.” Judging from the title, which is the title of John Callahan’s first autobiography, the movie is about Callahan, a quadriplegic cartoonist who taught himself to draw by holding a pencil between two spastic hands, pressed together as if in prayer.

            Callahan died July 24, 2010, in Portland, Oregon, the town where he lived most of his life and through which he roared daily on his wheelchair. He was 59, and he’d been a quadriplegic since he was 21 (the result of a drunken car accident)—that’s 38 years in a wheelchair; an alcoholic since he was 12. And a cartoonist since he was 32.

            Often compared to Charles Addams and Gahan Wilson, Callahan was neither: they were much more playful than he. Callahan drew praise from Simpsons creator Matt Groening, who said Callahan's works were "rude" and "depraved"—in short, Groening said, "all the adjectives that cartoonists crave to hear." Callahan’s cartoons appeared in nearly 300 publications worldwide, including Omni, The New Yorker, National Lampoon, Whole Earth Review, Lear’s, American Health, Penthouse and Esquire to name a few, and he was, for a time, syndicated.

            There’s more about Callahan at Opus 265, wherein we gathered tributes from several colleagues. And on the Other $ide of the Wall, we’ve posted a smattering of his shockingly tastelessly hilarious cartoons.

 

 

 

CORBEN WINS GRAND PRIX

After Art Spiegelman (2011) and Bill Watterson (2014), American author and counter-culture icon since the late 1960s Richard Corben won the Angouleme International Comics Festival’s Grand Prix 2018 after a vote that brought together 1,341 cartoonists. The news release announcement continues forthwith, verbatim—:

            Born in 1940 in Anderson, Missouri,  Corben began publishing stories in underground magazines before joining Warren Publishing, where he rose to fame for his horror and science-fiction illustrations. He thus became one of the major contributors to cult magazines Creepy and Eerie.

            Corben's lush drawings are immediately recognizable. The master of "mauvais genre" (disreputable) imagery depicts horror, fantasy, and hallucinated and psychedelic sci-fi tales, often with an acid touch of humor. Virtuoso Corben is drawn to graphic experiments and admired by image professionals from all walks of life; he carves highly expressive bodies and faces with an astonishing attention to detail, amidst hauntingly chimerical creatures and settings. His compositions are shaped by unreal light as well as vivid, quasi-saturated color gradients in the author’s longstanding airbrushed style.

            Corben was one of a kind among the 1960s-1970s generation of independent American cartoonists who inspired many. In the early 1970s, he contributed to French magazine Actuel before working for both Métal Hurlant and its American version, Heavy Metal. Influenced by great authors such as H. P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, and Edgar Allan Poe, he published the sagas Den, Vic & Blood, and Mondes Mutants.

            Corben now collaborates with major publishing groups such as DC/Vertigo, Marvel, or Dark Horse, and his unique style stands out in Luke Cage, The Punisher, Hulk, and Hellboy to name but a few. Winner of the “Prix du dessinateur étranger” (Foreign Cartoonist Award) in the third edition of the Angoulême Festival in 1976, Richard Corben was also recently honored by the Festival's selection committees (Esprits des morts & autres récits d'Edgar Allan Poe and Ratgod, published by Delirium).

 

 

 

ANNUAL WORD LISTS

As 2017 slips past its official closing, it’s time for us to reflect on the words that impacted all of us this year—for better or for worse. At Dictionary.com, the Word of the Year serves as a symbol of the year’s most meaningful events and lookup trends. The Word of the Year 2017 is “complicit.” Complicit means “choosing to be involved in an illegal or questionable act, especially with others; having partnership or involvement in wrongdoing.” Or, put simply, it means being, at some level, responsible for something . . . even if indirectly.

            Not everyone agrees, of course.

            At Oxford Dictionaries, where one word has been judged as not only reflective of the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of this past year, but as having lasting potential as a word of cultural significance, the 2017 Word is “youthquake.” The noun, youthquake, is defined as “a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people.”

            But the Word of the Year game I like best is the one played by the wordsmiths at Lake Superior State University where they’ve just released the 43rd annual List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness. Among the words listed this time is my favorite, “fake news.”

            “We’ve drilled down and unpacked tons of pre-owned words and phrases deemed impactful by hundreds of nominators during 2017. Let that sink in,” said an LSSU spokesperson in a news release from which we quote copiously.

            LSSU’s word banishment tradition is now in its fifth decade, and was started by the late W. T. Rabe, a public relations director at Lake Superior State University. Rabe and fellow LSSU faculty and staff came up with the first list of words and phrases that people love to hate at a New Year’s Eve party in 1975, publishing it on January 1, 1976.

            Through the years, LSSU has received tens of thousands of nominations for the list, which now includes almost 900 entries. Word-watchers target pet peeves from everyday speech, as well as from the news, fields of education, technology, advertising, politics and more. An editor makes a final cut in late December.

            And now, the 2018 list:

            Unpack – Misused word for analyze, consider, assess. Concepts or positions are not packed, so they don’t need to be unpacked.

            Tons – Refers to an exaggerated quantity, as in tons of sunshine or tons of work. ‘Lots’ would surely suffice.

            Dish – As in to dish out the latest rumor on someone. Let’s go back to ‘talks about’ and leave dishes in the cupboard.

            Pre-owned – What is so disgraceful about owning a used car now and then?

            Onboarding / Offboarding – Creature from the HR Lagoon. We used to have hiring, training and orientation. Now we need to have an “onboarding” process. Firings, quitting, and retirements are streamlined into “offboarding.”

            Nothingburger – Says nothing that ‘nothing’ doesn’t already. I’ll take a quarter-pound of something in mine.

            Let that sink in – One could say shocking, profound, or important. Let that sink in.

            Let me ask you this – Wholly unnecessary statement. Just ask the question already.            Impactful – A frivolous word groping for something ‘effective’ or ‘influential.’

            Covfefe – An impulsive typo, born into a 140-character universe, somehow missed by the autocorrect feature.

            Drill Down – Instead of expanding on a statement, we “drill down on it.”

            Fake News – Once upon a time newsstories could be empirically disproved. Now ‘fake news’ is any story you disagree with.

            Hot Water Heater – Hot water does not need to be heated. ‘Water heater’ or ‘hot water maker’ will keep us out of hot water.

            Gig Economy – Gigs are for musicians and stand-up comedians. Now expanded to imply a sense of freedom and a lifestyle that rejects tradition in a changing economic culture. Runs a risk of sharecropping.

            RCH—I know: it’s not comics. We just do this for the fun of it.

 

 

 

Department of Dubious (Dare We Say “Fake”) News: Part One

STAN LEE, ANOTHER DIRTY OLD MAN?

I hesitate even to bring this tale to the surface here in the otherwise reputable confines of Rancid Raves. I severely doubt that the salacious parts of it are true. But bringing it up here does two things: it shows how allegations of sexual harassment are likely to leap into view if the alleged perpetrator is famous; and it gives me a chance to destroy the allegations.

            The 95-year-old Stan Lee has hired home care from nursing companies. So far, we know of two of them. The first, which hasn’t worked for him since the end of 2016 (that is, a whole year ago), has nurses who have accused Lee of groping them and harassing them. A representative of the second company (Vitale Nursing) that has been caring for Lee for the last year said the comics legend has been “polite, kind and respectful” to the nurses.

            The story surfaced in two of Britain’s tabloid newspapers, a genre known for perpetrating salacious gossip whenever it can—the Daily Mail and the Independent.

            That’s all we know for sure.

            Sources for the Daily Mail story (probably the first of Lee’s home care companies) said Lee walks around naked, has “lost his filter,” and sometimes asks his female nurses “for oral sex in the shower and wants to be pleasured in his bedroom.”

            Lee's lawyer has responded to the allegations in a statement saying,“Mr. Lee categorically denies these false and despicable allegations and he fully intends to fight to protect his stellar good name and impeccable character. We are not aware of anyone filing a civil action, or reporting these issues to the police, which for any genuine claim would be the more appropriate way for it to be handled. Instead, Mr. Lee has received demands to pay money and threats that if he does not do so, the accuser will go to the media. Mr. Lee will not be extorted or blackmailed, and will pay no money to anyone because he has done absolutely nothing wrong.”

            The latter Mr. Lee sounds more like the man we’ve been watching for decades than the naked wanderer.

            By responding publicly, Lee has disarmed the supposed blackmailers and has probably revealed the allegations as false.

            ICv2 reported this story, and it is no more persuaded of its truth than I am. It’s possible, ICv2 allows, that the harassment allegations are true and are part of a lifelong pattern of behavior by Lee. “If that’s the case, we’ll know in the next couple of days; Lee’s nearly constant public exposure over a period in excess of 50 years created many opportunities for bad behavior if that’s who he was.”

            This newsstory was posted online January 9, 2018; I’m writing this on January 26, over two weeks later, and so far, no news has surfaced suggesting that sexual harassment is “part of a lifelong pattern of behavior by Lee.”

            It’s also possible, ICv2 continues, that the harassment allegations are true but are reflective of dementia, which often leads to reduced filters on behavior and speech. If so, his harassing behavior may be recent and limited. And a couple fraudulent check-writing transactions victimizing Lee could also be a sign of deteriorating faculties.

            “Or the harassment allegations could be false and an attempt to get money out of a rich old man, as the fraudulent transactions appear to be. Those could be related, both a sign of Lee’s vulnerability.”

            The first fraudulent financial transaction, for $300,000, was reported to the Beverly Hills Police Department as a fraudulent check drawn on Lee’s account made out as a loan to Hands of Respect, an organization he started to "promote a culture of respect among all communities across the nation." A second unauthorized check, used for an $850,000 West Hollywood condo, was discovered by money managers as they researched the first check, according to the TMZ report.

            I’m reciting here this highly questionable report of Lee’s alleged harassing (even though it is undoubtedly not true) because I want to expose it as untrue. To give the accusers the benefit of the doubt, they may be just trying to be socially responsible by jumping on the #MeToo bandwagon. Or they may be blackmailers who saw a chance to make money off an old man, who, at 95, they may have presumed is demented enough to fall victim to their scheme.

            But this shameful episode is also an example of how the current anti-lechery epidemic can easily get out-of-hand. Social media makes it too easy to gang up and damage the reputations of wholly respectable, innocent persons. Women have every justification for wanting better treatment, but we ought to be able to achieve that without trading bad behaviors.

            More on this issue will be ground out in our next Opus. For now, just hold your breath.

 

 

Part Two: Other Dubious News

IS THERE A NEW FUNNYBOOK PUBLISHER?

According to a news release that floated in over the internet transom a week or two ago, a new comic book publisher has just emerged on the West Coast. ... To Learn More about this Brash Newcomer and its Offerings, to Sample Some New Satirical Cartooning at The Nation and to Remember Tony Isabella’s Role in Fashioning the First Black Superhero, to Be Inspired by Joe Kennedy, and to Read Reviews of Seven New Books about Cartooning (Including the Superlative The Realist Cartoons) —and More, Much MoreClick Here

 

 

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!
Just $3.95/quarter after $3.95 introductory month

 

NOTE: You can gain temporary access to this posting (and all the rest of this website)

by paying the trial month fee of $3.95 (which is about what the

New York Times used to charge for a single print-out).

 

$ubscriber/Associates: To Continue reading please CLICK HERE

 

To find out about Harv's books, click here.


send e-mail to R.C. Harvey
Art of the Comic Book - Art of the Funnies - Accidental Ambassador Gordo - reviews - order form Harv's Hindsights - main page