jbgall (jbgall) wrote,

Origin of Buzzboy's "first" costume

Buzzboy's first Buzz-a-riffic costume!
Buzzboy was created with a history. When I first wrote the buzzboy title, he was a much older character, come out of retirement. I was playing off the fact that AL:L sidekicks are... well, a bit DUMB.

Not lacking intelligent, but just not a good idea. As much as I loved Robin, or Bucky as a kid (I even begged my dad to dress up as Batman, so I, in my homemade Robin costume, could  idea around in our station wagon and pretend that it was the Batmobile. zNo go.

In a real world, as we supposedly live in, a sidekick is a bad idea. IT'S dangerous for the child, they are constantly getting captured and used as bait by the villain, etc. But also, looking at the history of sidekicks, it was based upon the very dumb idea that young readers, mostly boys back in the 1940's, would enjoy comics better if there was a kid their age in the stories to relate to.

Now think about that-- Batman, Superman, Captain Marvel-- all were selling literally MILLIONS of copies-- it's doubtful kids were not relating to the fun of being a superhero. In fact, cartoonist Jules Feiffer, in his well regarded introduction to the book, z"The Great Comic Book Heroes," stated that he HATED Robin, because, as he put it, there was a CHANCE of growing up and becoming Batman. but Robin was already BETTER than any kid that was reading the boo.

Now, I think I was so full of myself even then, that I truly believed I had all it took, at five, to be a sidekick.  This had wonderful results of the playground as NOBODY wanted to be Robin, and somehow, that gave me the power to cast all the parts, from Batman to Two-Face (usually the kid most resembling Pigpen from Peanuts) - sorry, whomever you were, you really should have wiped the spaghetti off your shirt after lunch...

Anyway... Sidekicks equaled Stupid, because, hey, who wants top be named after a bird (although it was actually after Robin Hood), or be "Bucky" to Captain America. There was also TNT and his sidekick Dyna-Mite, and worst of all, Mr. Scarlet and (wait for it...) PINKY!

Okay, so Buzzboy was my idea of a goofy name that might be redeemed in some way, not unlike how Mike Mignola's HELLboy was an ironic title for a 50-something creature from the underworld. Why the "Buzz?" The idea was that the buzzbelt, source of all of BB's powers, would let off a strange hummmmmmm, or buzzing sound. It seemed only natural that his first costume would have a bee theme, and so, bumble bee trunks were added to the overused star logo, gint boots for goofiness, and we were off.

Whew-- now you know. Buzzboy is a love letter to how bad an idea it is to have a sidekick, or be a sidekick. And yet, the youth and optimism of young people somehow makes it all work. Just like a bumblebee, in the world of physics, cannot logically fly-- it's impossible, they say, kids CAN be heroes, they CAN save the world, and, you know what?

I truly think they will.
Tags: animation, batman, bucky, buzzboy, captain america, captain marvel, cartoonist, comics, costumes, graphic novel, heroes, john gallagher, jules feiffer, kids, kids comicsadventures, robin, shazam, sidekicks, super hero, superhero
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