Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Waiting to Regale

As mentioned, I've been designing slide shows to run on the Big Screen all day long at Big Monkey ( please come visit us in DC sometime!). One of them has been a series of some 80+ covers of romance comics, interspersed with some "fast facts" about the genre.

One of those facts is that the Romance genre was basically invented by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. Yes, those guys. And by that I mean not romance per se, or even the genre, but the genre in a comic book form.

Yeesh. The idea of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby inventing romance is enough to give even me the heebie-jeebies. No, strike that; especially me...

"Jack, I -- I want to talk about where our relationship is going!"

"Me, I'm more worried about where ar feet are goin', Joe;
now shut yer yap, I'm tryinna smile fer the judges!"

Anyway, this slideshow was inspired by the recent release of a reprint of DC's 100-page Superspectactular Love Stories from 1971. Which no one bought at my store. Except me. I cried myself to sleep that night, hugging the tear-stained volume to my chest, sobbing out-loud: "Why am I so unpopular at school? Why can't I find a boy who likes the titles I like? Why is the dog looking at me so strangely?" Because, you know, I get easily caught up in the spirit of things.

Now, there's a lot of fun to be had in this volume. In fact, you should run, not walk, out to get a copy. Preferably at Big Monkey. It'll be easy to find the book; I'll be standing beside it with a teary visage.

But my favorite part is the centerfold piece:

Who's Ted Long, you ask? I've tried desperately to find some sort of internet trail left by Ted Long. Most of the trails lead back to this comic itself, making it, I suppose, his greatest legacy. Think about that for a while. It's okay, Ted; I appreciate it.

I know at least that he was still making people look fabulous as late as 1997, because he was the key hair stylist on Waiting to Exhale, Panther, Dead Presidents, and Rosewood. And Ted was head stylist for the Today Show in 1971, so, if you'll pardon my saying so, he's had a Long career.

Okay, I'm from the world of 1971; let me annotate this introduction for you. "Super proud"; it's like being "super bad", not like having, say, "superventroloquism". It's not like some guy named Bruce Orgulloso jumps out of a phone booth saying,
"I'll handle this, for I am EGO-MAN! I am super proud, so your insults cannot harm me; my self-esteem is like a shield of steel! Narcissus, the Boy Wonderful, and I will take care of you, Sollipso!"
As cool as that would be. Tommy Roddy, consider it.

As for being a "hip hairdresser" who's "quite a doll"; well, even in 1971-speak, that doesn't necessarily mean he's gay.

Not necessarily, mind you.

How powerful a make-over master is Ted? "He's the gentleman who helps to prettify Barbara Walters..." Whoa. I'm used to comic books introducing me to mind-boggling concepts that challenge the imagination, but, really, "prettify Barbara Walters" is a concept not even Grant Morrison could come up.

BW in 1970. Before, or after? You decide.

Note that Ted "helps" prettify Barbara. In 1971-speak, this means at least two things. One, what he does "helps" but no one's pretending it actually succeeds. Two, there are other people who sisypheanatically try to help roll this rock up the hill. Many other people. The Vaseline Technician. The Baffler. The Cheesecloth Grip. The Unsteadycam Operator. Why, they're all still with her today, on The View:

Well, now that we've established Ted's herculean street cred in having worked on Barbara "Augean" Walters, let's head to his bona fides and teleology:

Okay, Ted, I'm with you so far; I'm already convinced you, Ted Long, know how to take full advantage of all your feminine qualities and become the real you men will love. Even in 1971. No, strike that. Especially in 1971...


Guys' Guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Guys' Guy said...

Wow...while Mr. Long was making people look fabulous on the today show in 1971 I was being born and concentrating on being a fabulous baby...not to hint at my age :) But that is a long time to be making people look fabulous.

Can't wait to see what's next...I'm taking notes.

SallyP said...

If Ted Long can prettify Barbara Walters, then I AM impressed. Also, he's taking the time to show the girls how to prettify themselves...so as not to frighten the boys away.

I love Romance Comics. They are scarier than Horror Comics, and funnier than the humor Comics! And practically every cover has a clone of Hal Jordan on the front! What's not to love?

I have to go and titivate now.

Harvey Jerkwater said...

I have resigned myself to the truth that I will never be fabulous. But if you and Ted Long can get me to at least look fabulous, I will owe you a debt. A debt of fabulosity.

Not to mention, I'm excited about taking full advantage of my feminine qualities at last. Excellent.

Gus Casals said...

Scipio Wrote: "I cried myself to sleep that night, hugging the tear-stained volume to my chest, sobbing out-loud"

Well, I'd buy a Roy Lichtenstein out of that image...

Anonymous said...

Two, there are other people who sisypheanatically try to help roll this rock up the hill.

If that isn't a real word, it ought to be. It describes a lot of the things I do, like buying Aquaman comics and voting Democratic. Or voting at all, post-2000.

I think these days, Barbara Walters' "beauty" secrets consist of nine tana leaves...

Anonymous said...

That black and white photo of Baba Wawa is enough to stir up nightmares: it looks WAY too much like the reconstructed Elena Hoyos, whose story can be found here. For those who are rightfully reluctant to be creeped out: in the 1930s a man in Key West fell in love with young beautiful Elena Hoyos, and after she died of tuberculosis he stole her body and repaired her as best as he could. (Nor was he a perfect gentleman and that's all I'm going to say about that.) And if you look at that page I linked to, you'll see what looks like Baba Wawa's long-lost sister.

Anonymous said...

I knew Ted Long when he had a small shop in Harlem in 1971...would love to hear more about what he is doing now...he wrote a book called Hair Styles for the Black Woman -published by Cornerstone Library for $1.00 boy I know he has come a long way since then...does he have a web site?