Tuesday, January 10, 2012

GIANT PENNY WEEK, #8: Haikuesday with the Giant Penny

We have already noted two comic book haikus in the Giant Penny's original story, "The Penny Plunderers":

I call this one "Skinny's Epitaph":

Tough! But that's always
the risk a fellow takes when
he turns criminal.

I call this one "Joe's Two Cents" (a.k.a., "If Joe Coyne weren't a Sarcastic Wise-Ass, He'd be Alive and Batman & Robin would be Dead"):

So long! Here's two cents--
that's all your lives will be worth
in a little while.

But today we round out Giant Penny Week with ONE MORE. It's in Joe's famous meltdown scene, and I call it


It's a pay phone ! I
need a single nickel to
be able to dial!

And that's the end of GIANT PENNY WEEK! Except for tomorrow's epilog, which is about the Giant Penny's home: the Batcave!


CobraMisfit said...

One issue only
Giant Penny eternal
In hearts and Batcave.

Nathan Hall said...

"in a little while" and "be able to dial!" have six sounds when I say them.

Those lines only work for haiku read below the Mason-Dixon line.

Scipio said...

Heh; yes, ones mileage varies with regional accent.

Scipio said...

Heh; yes, ones mileage varies with regional accent.

Bryan L said...

Giant penny's tale
Is almost at an end now
Batman, bring it home.

ronald said...

"Look -- somebody's put a penny on his lips!"

"Yes, clearly the fare for Charon, ferryman of Hades who carries souls of the newly deceased across the rivers Styx and Acheron! Maxie Zeus has been here!"

VoiceVote said...

You know, if he'd just kept the nickel that the guy pitched him during the flashback to his paperboy days (http://bit.ly/xtqNVH), he'd be fine.

And HOLD ON a second. In that flashback, he gets a NICKEL for a three-cent paper. Yeah, that's two cents in change, but no pennies actually ever change hands! He even stands there in the streetlight, with a SINGLE NICKEL in his hand, thinking, "Pennies! Other guys have big bills, but I've got pennies!"

No, Joe. You have a nickel. Would "Nickel Nabber" really have sounded so bad that you needed to hallucinate about pennies?

Somehow I think Joe Coyne was slipping the surly bonds of sanity LONG before he ever set foot in a Gotham prison.

Scipio said...

" "Pennies! Other guys have big bills, but I've got pennies!" "

Believe it or not, I have already had this one out with someone. The first thing Joe says is "Change! A measly two cents!" So he's well aware it's a nickel; that why he doesn't say "two pennies" ("cents" being a unit of measure and "pennies" being actual objects).

Of course, he owes three cents out of that nickel to the newspaper distributor. He can't keep the nickel (just in case he might need it 30 years later to make a phone call with which to kill Batman & Robin, although REAL supervillain DO think that way).

Joe then laments that his earning money in small increments (cents rather than dollars). Joe (who, as we know, is a poet at heart) is poetically expressing his concern using concrete imagery, rather than abstracts; "pennies" symbolize "small change" and "big bills" symbolize "lots of money". The pennies are a symbol. A CRIME symbol.

This tendency in poetic expression is typical of the Romantic Poets, like Colerigde and Shelly. You may want to examine
Ezra Pound's theory of concrete poetry and T.S. Eliot's theory of the objective correlative.

Note that Joe's use of the penny as a symbol is consistent in his crimes: he never actually steals any real, physical pennies. Just like he's not actually holding any pennies when he complains about having only pennies. ;-)