Friday, September 29, 2017

Number 2108: Eye-yi-yi!

The Eye is an enigmatic character, its origin never explained. The character was created and drawn by Frank Thomas (the Owl, Billy and Bonny Bee), one of the very early comic book men. (This Frank Thomas is not Disney’s Frank Thomas.)

In a link below you can read another Eye story. In my commentary for that 2014 post I presume the Eye to be a version of God. I have noticed many comics use God, thinly disguised. It is only natural for writers and artists to mix history, folklore, the supernatural and Bible stories into adventures of four-color superheroes.

From Keen Detective Funnies #20 (1940):

The second Eye story is here. The posting from 2014 also includes a link to the first Eye story. Just click on the thumbnail.


Daniel [] said...

Wow. The Eye isn't just morally wrong like a lot of fairly decent people are wrong; he's murderous in his enforcement of this variety of collectivism. I'm glad that he seems to have winked out of existence.

Brian Barnes said...

If this is god, it's old testament god: "I enjoy seeing the look in eyes of scoundrels like you when death stands before you!" YIKES.

OK, these stories always bug me. First, there's a real scary overtone to it. So the "aliens" refer to THEMSELVES as "undesirable aliens." I wonder what race/religion/etc the author is imaging them? Maybe they are criminals? You'd think that would be part of the thought balloon. No, these are something the author doesn't like, and back in the 40s, that could be about anything.

Second, criminals KNOW about the eye. WHY THE HELL would you commit a crime in this universe? Time and space don't matter! It has infinite power! Why risk it! It's a known entity!

Also (yes I'm yammering on here) there's no excitement to these stories. Sure, your good guy isn't getting killed, but the eye is never in danger.

Pappy said...

Brian, The Eye is never in danger is why I call him a fill-in for god. Who threatens a god? What happens to them if they do?

Why would criminals risk the Eye? For the same reason even otherwise religious people often challenge their god. We all know people who profess to be god-fearing who engage in behavior we don't think would be approved by him/her/it.

Oh well...I can't get in anyone else's head but my own, and I have enough problems just trying to figure out why I do what I do.

Pappy said...

Daniel, perhaps we could look at the Eye as an early version of Orwell’s 1984, where the cameras are on everyone all the time. The Eye appears supernatural, not mechanical, an omnipotent god who knows all, sees all.

But, before Orwell there were early movie serials that used television as a plot device. Then the idea of watching someone secretly or communicating directly through a screen (now common) was the stuff of fantasy. The Eye was probably easier for an audience to accept than the paranoia of being watched by superior man-made technology making such devices possible.

I mean, besides an omnipotent god, whose job it is to judge humans, only bad guys, fellow humans bereft of morals, would want to watch someone in secret, right?