Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Understanding Doll Man, 2

 Doll Man sleeps on top of his bed canopy.

Much like Snoopy.

Doll Man does poppers.

"I couldn't possibly stop someone from doing with it what they please!"

Doll Man's hotel room comes with a complimentary hunchback.

But if you use the noose, it goes on your bill.

In Doll Man's city, local ordinances require all hunchbacks to dress like Quasimodo.

And the hotel rooms have idiosyncratic perspective and avant-garde decorating theory.

Doll Man is ever-ready for hot pursuit down a narrow black secret tunnel.

And dressed for it.

Doll Man can memorize his every step.

But only grimly.

Doll Man is vulnerable to steel doors.

Oh! Oh!

Doll Man has no trouble thinking in three dimensions.

Which is useful when you are six inches tall.

Doll Man's city has neighborhoods where diamond merchant hotels, recluse estates, and childhood homes are all adjacent.

P E R S P E C T I V E!

Doll Man can fly a plane.

Even one that, as a toy, cannot possibly contain interior control mechanisms.

Doll Man has NO idea what constitutes a fine runway.

Since, relative to him and the plane, the average grass lawn is the equivalent of three foot high, and fine runaways do not have three foot of grass.

Doll Man thinks the element of surprise is for wusses.

He can rely on simply having the strength of a normal-sized man.

Doll Man requires a desperate effort to break free of someone's grasp.

Even though he has the full strength of a normal-sized man and can fall the equivalent of sixty foot without harm.

Doll Man is perfectly capable of getting rough, if you like that sort of thing.

It's okay, though; he's only six inches.

Doll Man cannot distinguish between being unconscious and being peaceful.

 Because he has an idiosyncratic perspective.


Nathan Hall said...

The part about a canopy bed in a run-down hotel lost me. After that - the tunnels, the super-odd locals, flying a toy plane - whatever, man, whatever.

Scipio said...

Diamond salesmen are refined folk, Nathan.

Bryan L said...

Doll Man's costume is certainly idiosyncratic. My original assumption was that Doll Man was running around shirtless, but it seems that he's wearing a flesh-colored tank top? I guess that's how he avoids the whole "Superman revealed by tearing open Clark Kent's shirt" problem.

John C said...

I can't help but notice that either Darrell wears a see-through, sleeveless shirt as part of his costume, or the penciller and inker disagreed on his costume. And the spacing makes me wonder if the letterer wrote in an actual expletive and thought better of it, since there's more room between all the other exclamation points and their next sentences. But hey, as long as Darrell is enjoying himself in his new life, I guess that's all that counts.

Unrelated, Adelbert Ames seems like he'd be too old (in his sixties) to have read Doll Man, but it's worth pointing out that his work in forced perspective started in 1947. Assuming (based on the unsure costuming and the LARGE TEXT) that this is an early story in the run, that would only be a few years in the future.

Scipio said...

Doll Man's original outfit definitely did not have a shirt. Then, for some reason, they decided to cover up his magnificent, if tiny, torso with his more familiar blue sleeveless number. But clearly the colorist got that memo AFTER the penciller did.

Scipio said...

This story is from Feature Comics #31, dated April 1940.

Scipio said...

Adelbert Ames? Odd; I've been to his grave.

Nathan Hall said...

So I just reread this, and there's one thing I still don't get: What was Grimes's motivation? He was rich enough to own an estate with a big tunnel and high fence, so he didn't need money. Sure, he was deformed, so maybe he hated normals, but he didn't give any special sympathy to someone he thought was a dwarf. He left the bodies in the room, so he wasn't selling them to doctors or anything like that. Did he want to drive the hotel out of business and buy the land on the cheap? There have to be more efficient ways to do that.

Scipio said...

He is stealing the diamonds, presumably for money, although there is a panel where he looks at a drawer full of diamonds he stole. So, either he just likes killing people and collecting diamonds, or, being a recluse, he prefers to cash them in in bulk at Wal-Fence. Also, his home is not "The Grimes Estate", it's "The OLD Grime Estate". That implies, as does the conversion of surrounding properties into boutique hotels and suburban style housing, that's an ancestral home of a family gone to seed (physically symbolized by the fact that Grimes is a hunchback). This would be consistent with needing the diamond cash flow to maintain the estate (particularly in the face of the ongoing gentrification that we have already identified).

Anonymous said...

Hoo doggies, I like the new look!

Scipio said...

Thanks, I appreciate the feedback.

John C said...

Oddly, I didn't know Ames's name, but I was trying to find the name of those forced-perspective rooms that were briefly popular, and noticed his work came fairly close to 1940.

And I agree, the new look is a dramatic...I don't want to say "improvement," since the old design was also fine, but certainly modernization. It might be worth experimenting with off-whites (like a barely-noticeable version of the orange-red titles) and a matching black, at some point, similar to but more subtle than what's already done for the image captions, but that could also be my age showing by still railing against stark contrast. I get a kick out of using ColorHexa for fiddling around with this sort of thing. The analogous colors, the monochromatic scale, and the tones have made me look like I know what I'm doing on more than one project, before I learned to do the math myself. Anyway, just a Doll Man-sized possibility that probably fails to have the strength of a full-sized man.