House ad for The Shadow #1 (October-November 1973);
printed in Weird Worlds (1972 DC series) #7 (October 1973)
Ad art taken from the cover of The Shadow #1 (October-November 1973), pencils and inks by Michael W. Kaluta
Yep, I prob'bly shoulda put up this post last Thursday, on Independence Day. But I have a very, very good reason why that didn't happen: I hadn't written it yet.
So now let's take a look back to the world of America immediately post-9/11 and see how we coped with our new uncertainty on the world stage and the sudden surge in paranoia-fueled patriotism, but most important, how you could fight al-Qaeda by buying action figures. Because if you don't continue with your hobby, the terrorists will have won. Just in one single issue of the late Wizard's late ToyFare magazine, there's so much flag-waving that your head will explode with six red stripes, seven red stripes, and and a heckuva lotta stars. First up: in the words of Graham "Suggs" McPherson: I'm sailing across the sea to see my Uncle Sam.
from ToyFare #56 (April 2002)
"He comes with two extra hands." I'm pretty sure I don't remember that about the mythical spirit of our country, and that it hasn't been previously featured in any of the history or guidebooks about Uncle Sam...
Huh. I stand corrected.
Here's an ad in the same issue by the manufacturer of that Uncle Sam figure. Well, it's a decent-looking figure and proceeds went to good causes, so I'll refrain from making fun by guessing how many of those 1,776 figures are still in the warehouse. The usage of Comics Sans, however, warrants a proper guffaw. "Guffaw!"
In case you prefer your Uncle Sam to be copyrighted by a major entertainment conglomerate, here's a competing figure of the Earth-X DC Comics hero version of U.S. No sign of his secondary mutation of two extra hands, but check out that snazzy star-spangled waistcoat he's sportin'. Fresh duds, Sam!
But hey, what if you want your fervent love-it-or-leave it for your country in anthropomorphic funny animal form complete with ripped abs and blasted delts? Well, in 2002, Toyfare has you covered. Oh boy do they have you covered.
IT'S A FREAKIN' KICK-ASSIN' EAGLE. WITH MUSCLES. Also, fingers. But at least he only comes with one set of hands.
So, from sea to shining sea, Toyfare has you covered for all your jingoisticopportunistic proud-to-be-American action figures needs. What do you have to add to that, Twisted ToyFare Theater?
"Captain Tootsie and the Mysterious Plan" from World's Finest Comics #41 (July-August 1949), by C. C. beck
Captain Tootsie has never had an official birthday, but since I'm running this strip on this day I hereby declare July 9 is Captain Tootsie's birthday! Take that, internet and comics cultural historians of the future...a little stuffed bull invented a birthday on the internet so it will someday become fact!
(You know, you kids really ought to eat some lettuce sometime.)
Panels from "The Man From L.E.G.I.O.N. '007: The Spy Who Fragged Me" in L.E.G.I.O.N. '95 Annual #5 (1995), script by Tom Peyer, pencils by Mike McKone, inks by Wayne Faucher, colors by Gene D'Angelo, letters by John Workman