Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Number 2567: Sparky Watts, glamour boy

Sparky Watts, the creation of cartoonist Gordon “Boody” Rogers, got his super powers from Doc Static and Doc's cosmic ray machine. Sparky was the strongest man on Earth, and could fly, but for some reason he still wore glasses. Occasionally Sparky had to get his powers recharged by Doc Static’s cosmic rays.  In this story Doc Static makes a mistake and Sparky becomes beloved by all, because Doc pushed the wrong button, the glamour button.

The story was published in a one-shot, Columbia Comics #1, in 1943. Boody Rogers had joined the Army the year before, but he had done a Sparky Watts newspaper comic strip before leaving civilian life, and this story appears to be an edited version of one of the continuities from the newspaper appearances. The story seems a bit crude compared to Rogers’ postwar work in Big Shot Comics and occasional full-length Sparky Watts comic books.

In the story Sparky defines “mugging” as a violent crime and robbery. He then flies off to catch the muggers. I remember as a kid being puzzled by the word “mugging.” In the context I knew it did not mean a drinking cup. When I asked my mother she said “mugging” was a slang word that meant kissing. Good thing I didn’t go to a big city and based on her definition, look to be mugged.



Daniel [] said...

I am imaging a young, naive Pappy, visiting the city, and chancing to meet a professional dominatrix, who pummels him and takes him money, sincerely believing that he wanted as much. (I admit that I once encountered a dominatrix such that I did not recognize her as such until years later. I was not pummelled nor was my money taken.)

The word “the” is almost always pronounced [ðə] or elided to [ð], but this story may be the first I've seen in which a deliberate effort were made to render “the” everywhere as “ th' ”.

The name “redro” of the ray is of course “order” spelled backwards.

drk said...

sparky's new to me, so i began from the beginning at comicbooksplus. much to my hyperbolic shock, i found gaps in the continuing story, so i looked at other columbia comics at the site. seems some of the gaps sre filled from these scattered stories, but not all the columbia books with the missing episodes are on the site. ex- suddenly there's a girl called sur (i think) and she and sparky mention how sparky discovered she's his sister. shrug. she just appeared out of the ether. frustrating. still, glad you called sparky to my attention. ☺️

Pappy said...

Daniel, I avoid all women dressed in leather, carrying whips and chains, but I am not above looking at old "smut" as drawn by some guys who were really into the fantasy realm in their ideas of women. Stanton, John Willie, etc. (What an admission. Jeez, I talk too much.)

If you type the word dominatrix in the search engine in the upper left side of this Pappy blog, you'll see I have featured a few stories with that sort of kinky stuff, from regular dime comic books. I do not doubt that more than a few of the comic book artists of those early days of comics delved into kinky fantasies. William Moulton Marston would just one of the more obvious.

Pappy said...

drk, I've posted a couple dozen (at least) Sparky Watts stories by Boody Rogers. Just go to the search engine. You'll also run into Babe by Rogers. Boody was quite a unique cartoonist. The book Boody, by Craig Yoe, might still be available on Amazon or other old book sellers' sites.