Monday, July 05, 2010
Igor the Archer
It's 1946. You're a comic book scriptwriter and you have a problem. What to write? You have to get something in to EC Comics by tomorrow, and the publisher, Max Gaines, is sweating you for a six-pager in so he can turn it over to a freelance artist who has been bugging him about work. Kurt...Kurt Snuffenburger, or Scharfen Berger, or name like that.
So your eyes fall over your bookshelf and right in front of you is The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle. Then you glance over at your newspaper and today's headlines...another suspected Russian spy--those dirty commies!--has been caught. You think, Robin Hood...Russia...Robin Hood in Russia...not today's Stalinist Russia, but czarist Russia. That's it! He's Igor the Archer, he's like Robin Hood, only in Russia! You rush to the typewriter and by the next morning you're presenting your script to Mr. Gaines. You explain what you've done, but he just waves it off. No big deal. Who reads comic books? Kids. What do kids know from Robin Hood? They don't care, either. He gives you the OK and you leave to go on to the next assignment.
Kurt Schaffenberger* did the artwork for this story from International Comics #1, Spring, 1947. Igor, who is here set firmly in another century, had about six appearances in EC pre-trend comics, and the only other appearance I have by him is his last, in Crime Patrol #8. In that issue Igor is in a modern day adventure as a member of International Crime Patrol. I'm not even going to try to figure it out.
*I've got another story by Kurt S. this week: Thursday a special flying saucer story!