Sunday, September 11, 2005

Dr. Domino Week

Welcome-- fools!-- to Dr. Domino Week.

This is the subject of our celebration, the eponymous Dr. Domino (discussed lovingly in a previous post). He is, of course, the product of comicdom's greatest he-babe, the Madman Bob Kanigher. This panel alone tells you how much Bob loved his job!

Sometimes I despair that COMIC BOOK DRAMA of the kind found in Golden Age Starman stories simply passed from this Earth sixty years ago. Panels like this restore my faith in comic books. It's nice to know that close-ups of over the top, fist-clenching villains will never really go out of style.

"Prof. Zuni". "Dumped in concrete". "Into the Bosporus off Istanbul". "Bacteria cloudburst formula". "Against which no defense on earth exists once released."

THAT, people, is what English was put on this planet for. Not for whining about being bored by comics, or how John Byrne can't draw any more, or that Rob Liefeld never could draw (now that you're old enough to realize it). If we spent less time kvetching and more time celebrating villains with gamepieces for heads, the world would understand the glory of comic books, and no one would ever need to go to a Steven Segal movie or watch "Walker, Texas Ranger" ever again. What a beautiful world that would be!

This should be on the wall in an art museum somewhere (preferably Washington DC). The ruffled shirt. The banana yellow sky. The mummy gloves. The off-kilter battleship tower. The hideously blank and pitiless slate of Dr. Domino's face, with its "K'un The Receptive" pattern, its quiet mare-like perseverance bringing good fortune, the six above and the six below.

At this point, I must nod to Dave of Dave's Longbox whose eye-opening "Kobra Week" inspired this celebration and Marionette of Dance of the Puppets who introduced me to Dr. Domino. Dave, Marionette; may all your days be double-sixes.

We shall study the aesthetic, the meaning, the power of Dr. Domino in the coming days, but for today, let us content ourselves with sharing his dream:Poorly dressed people of all kinds finding ultimate unity through universal simultaneous destruction of the miasma-gasping sort, standing so close they knock one another over as they topple, falling one by one, inevitably, inexorably, like...

like dominoes.


And the baby in the carriage? Nice touch, Kanigher, you madman!

11 comments:

Marionette said...

Scipio I am humbled that you managed to find such entertainment value out of this comic. I can only recommend that you track down a copy of the previous issue. It doesn't have Dr Domino in it but I can't imagine how much fun you'd have with it.

Scipio said...

One could probably devote an entire blog to Wonder Woman #205 and post on it daily for 20 years, before exhausting the possibilities of the Doctor Domino story.

THEN you would start on the NUBIA story...!

N said...

That...

I hate to risk your wrath, Scipio, but to me, this panel has EVEN MORE drama than the Starman panels you've posted. And that's saying a lot.

I may have nightmares now.

Elephantine Room said...

Dr Domino has dreams... MIGHTY dreams. Luthor is a total poseur next to Dr Domino.

Scipio said...

N, it is one of comics' greatest tragedies that Starman and Dr. Domino never met. When Harvey Jerkwater writes the Starman revival, I will ask him to make Dr. Domino the centerpiece of his Rogue's Gallery, attended by the Mist, the Green Arab, the Infuriated Vurm, Purple-Turbaned Underling, and, of course, The Light.

Wishy-washy Luthor is ASHAMED of his own villain. But Dr. Domino...!

Tim S said...

Speaking of drama, Scipio, you might be interested in looking at the links on my latest post.

captain infinity said...

A whole week of Dr. Domino? Assist me to the couch! I feel faint!

Scipio said...

Gods, that's wonderful! I pray DC owns that character ...

Long time, no see, Tim!

totaltoyz said...

I can't help but notice that Dr. Domino is addressing someone named "Tracy". And damned if he doesn't look like a Dick Tracy villain!!

Scipio said...

That's "Morgan Tracy, trouble-shooter diplomat". No, really, that's how he's introduced. Diana's love-interest of the week.

Dr. Domino huMILiates his by pulling his tie-- repeatedly.

N said...

Dedicated Absorbafans remember that DD was addressing Tracy in the first panel shown here, as well. And you can see him there.