Wednesday, October 31, 2012

One Night in Rutland: One day, I'll leave you a phantom to lead you in the autumn to join the Rutland Parade

A lot of Halloween parades have been cancelled because of Sandy!

No, not that one.

Luckily, the world-famous Rutland, Vermont Halloween Parade was held before the deadly storm

Panels from Uncanny X-Men #147 (July 1981), script by Chris Claremont, pencils by Dave Cockrum, inks by Joe Rubinstein, colors by Glynis Wein, letters by Tom Orzechowski, not that one! ...this past Saturday. (Sorry I missed it, Rutland guys!) But even if you couldn't get to the Rutland Halloween Parade in 2012, you'll get to 1970! And 1971 And 1972! '73, '76,' 77! 1981, '85, '92, and even in 96! (And 1997.) "How?" you may ask. (And that's a very good question.) And I'll give you the same answer I give to any question of this blog...through the magic of comic books!

To begin, let's check in on Detective Comics #327 in May 1964 (the first ish of the "New Look" Batman, by the way) for 'Tec's very first letters page, and let's introduce you to Tom Fagan, the man credited with the early creation and superhero focus of the Rutland Halloween Parade. But let's hear it from Tom himself. Take it away, Mr. Fagan:

Well, that idea...a parade featuring Batman is sure to attract attention among the comic book community. And so it did. Here's Tom again, in the letter column of Avengers #88, recounting the success of 1970's parade:

Holy cow! Now that's a parade! And what's more, we're gonna all go the Rutland Halloween Parade of 1970, and many more years besides! No, you don't need a time machine (my Delorean is in the shop)...all you need is to stick around here today as I parcel out One Night in Rutland: a series of posts on the R.H.P. as seen in comic books! (And we'll see plenty more of Mr. Fagan along the way, too!) Pack your overnight bags, get ready to bring home some souvenir maple sugar candy, and join me here in a wee bit for One Night in Rutland: 1970!

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