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Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Number 877


Sivana sounds off!


How many times has this happened to you? You're driving home from work; your mind is on what's for dinner, is there a game on TV tonight...you pull up to a stop light. Suddenly you feel a tremor. You think, earthquake! But you realize it's a sound, a pulsing, loud sound that is shaking the windows of your car, causing the road to buckle, cars to levitate inches off the blacktop, and your whole head to vibrate. Then you recognize it...it's some jerk with his stereo system turned up so it can be heard on the moon. His sub-woofer is really woofin', man...the bass is so loud the fillings are dropping from your teeth. You turn to look at this person. He's a cool dude, sunglasses, cigarette dangling from his lower lip, gold chains around his neck, and when he sees you looking he gives you a sneer and actually turns up his stereo another notch, making sure the noise level approaches the decibel level for a 747 takeoff!

By the time you get home your ears are ringing like the bells of St. Mary's. It doesn't matter how loud you turn up the TV. You won't hear the game tonight. Better just turn on the closed captioning.

Anyway, here's our story today: "Sivana's Sound Plague" from Captain Marvel Adventures #118, 1951. Wear your earplugs while you read.













6 comments:

Daniel [oeconomist.com] said...

Since bels are logrithmic, with a base of 10, so that 1 0001 000 decibel would be 10-to-the-million times more powerful that 1 decibel, we can be pretty sure that Sivana's device would do considerably more than just drown-out all other sound.

Illsa Gorrey said...

Gaaah! It goes on panel after panel--just like when my young Hispanic neighbors are booming the bass as you described on an early afternoon--when this crotchety old lady is trying to sleep after working a night shift! If I had Captain Marvel powers I would woof their woofers and say "sorry guys, I need my beauty sleep--as you can plainly see!"
The word verification is "reledem." That sounds like something that could appear in a comic.

Pappy said...

My sympathies, Illsa, but I understand. I have a young neighbor with a garage band. He and his band mates stand in the garage all night drinking beer, and then practice with their guitars at 2:00 a.m., just long enough to wake up everyone in a two-mile radius. They quit right before the police cars pull up in response to the neighbor complaints.

Pappy said...

Daniel, you are the man. If I have one reader who can figure this stuff out it's you. You're amazing.

Mykal said...

Pappy: regarding those young garage punks, what crafty bastards! You must lay awake nights fantasizing about taking a handy tire iron and . . . well, let's not get into the bloody specifics.

Actually, my fantasy when noisy neighbors are a problem usually revolve around me having Samantha the witch's powers to wiggle my nose and make amplifiers, car-stereos, powerful vocal chords - or my personal favorite: a small, barking dog that yaps in a repeated three-bark trill over and over - just go poof.

I really love C. C. Beck (if that is indeed him)! What simple purity!

Pappy said...

Mykal, I think the artwork is by Pete Costanza, but he and Beck worked together so Beck's artwork could very well be a part of it, too. Someone who is more expert can probably tell what's what and who's who.

The funny thing about the kid across the street is that one night in early December he came to my house and said, "I'm having a birthday party tonight and it might get rowdy. I'll give you my cell number and if it's too loud for you call me."

I was so stunned all I could say was, "Well, Cam, just try to keep the noise down." I heard nothing from him or his buds at all that night. I could have called him and said, "What's with all the silence?" but didn't want to push my luck.

My fantasies involve remote control death rays. I'm too old to engage these young muscle-headed guys in mortal combat with tire irons.