Comic Book Legends Revealed #643

Welcome to the six hundred and forty-third in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Each part of this week’s legends has their own link.

Was Starfire Originally Going to be Black?
Did Marvel Try to Release a Daredevil Comic Sans-Code?

Why DC Couldn’t Have a Team Book Called The Trumps

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Comic Book Legends Revealed #642

Welcome to the six hundred and forty-second in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Each part of this week’s legends has their own link.

The Mutant Abortion Story Marvel Wouldn’t Publish

Was Jason Todd Set To Be Replaced BEFORE He Died?

When Superman Became a Little Girl

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Comic Book Legends Revealed #641

Welcome to the six hundred and forty-first in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Each part of this week’s legends has their own link.

How Marvel Wouldn’t Let the Hulk Have Sex

How the Hulk Saved the Life of a Spider-Man Character

Why Did Captain Britain Become Britanic?

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Comic Book Legends Revealed #640

Welcome to the six hundred and fortieth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Each part of this week’s legends has their own link.

How FF’s Movie Rights Led to the Last Lee/Kirby Comic

Did UK Have Star Trek Comics Before the Show Itself?

Did Kirby Have Strange Demands on His FF What If Issue?

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Comic Book Legends Revealed #639

Welcome to the six hundred and thirty-ninth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Each part of this week’s legends has their own link.

The Spider-Man/Ghost Rider Crossover That Never Was

What Was the Surprising ORIGINAL Justice League Lineup?

Was Batman Almost Written Out of JLU?

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Comic Book Legends Revealed #638

Welcome to the six hundred and thirty-eighth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Each part of this week’s legends has their own link.

Which X-Men Villain Was Originally Intended to be Gay?

Was There Nearly a Ghost Rider: The End?

Did JLU Almost Feature the Birds of Prey?

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Welcome to the six hundred and thirty-eighth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Each part of this week’s legends has their own link.

Which X-Men Villain Was Originally Intended to be Gay?

Was There Nearly a Ghost Rider: The End?

Did JLU Almost Feature the Birds of Prey?

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Were Tom and Jerry Inspired By….Tom and Jerry?!

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about movies and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the Movie urban legends featured so far.

MOVIE LEGEND: Tom and Jerry were named after a cartoon featuring human characters named Tom and Jerry that Tom and Jerry co-creator, Joe Barbera, had worked on earlier.

Created for MGM in 1940 (well, technically 1941, as you’ll see later on in this story), the Tom and Jerry characters were William Hanna and Joe Barbera’s first huge hit working together, as they worked on the cartoons (which aired as film shorts) for nearly 20 years, picking up a pile of Academy Awards for their work. MGM eventually decided that it was cheaper to just re-air old cartoons than make new ones, so they shut down their entire cartoon division.

Luckily, Hanna and Barbera then teamed up to form a cartoon studio that made cartoons for television and, well, I think you know how well THAT turned out.

In any event, my friend Chris N. wrote to me to ask if Tom and Jerry were inspired by an old 1930s cartoon duo, a human team who were ALSO called Tom and Jerry!

Created by Amadee J. Van Beuren’s New York studio, Joe Barbera even WORKED for Van Beueren it the early 1930s (after the original Tom and Jerry cartoons had debuted, though)! So, is there a connection?

Oddly enough, it doesn’t appear to be one, no.

Tom and Jerry is credited as being introduced in 1940, but in reality, the 1940 story that introduced the characters, “Puss Gets the Boot,” technically starred two OTHER characters, Jasper and Jinx, who had slightly different designs…

MGM originally did not like Hanna and Barbera’s idea of doing another cat and mouse cartoon right after “Puss Gets the Boot” (which was nominated for an Academy Award), but they eventually let the pair go with their idea to do more stories featuring the characters. However, now that they were going to be a regular thing, Hanna and Barbera wanted to both tweak their design and come up with a new name for the pair. So they had a contest with the animators at MGM to name the pair.

Animator Jack Carr won the contest. He suggested “Tom and Jerry,” Tom and Jerry were characters in an old Pierre Egan play, but by the 20th Century, they had become much more familiar as both the name of a drink (a Christmastime drink involving eggnog, rum and brandy – also devised by Egan) and as the slang term people used to describe British and German soldiers (Tom and Jerry, respectively) during World War I. So the phrase was a common one, and when you add in the double meaning of “tomcat,” it just made sense. Hanna and Barbera weren’t thrilled with naming their characters after a phrase then most popular as being a drink name, but they went with it, and obviously the cartoon ended up taking over the name (by the way, when the original Tom and Jerry cartoon aired on TV years later, they obviously had to change their names, so they went with Dick and Harry).

So there does not appear to be any connection to the original Tom and Jerry cartoon, so I’m going with the legend as…

STATUS: False

Thanks to Chris for the question!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is [email protected]

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July 27th, 2017 | Posted in Movie Urban Legends Revealed | No Comments

Comic Book Legends Revealed #637

Welcome to the six hundred and thirty-seventh in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Each part of this week’s legends has their own link.

Which Intended Member of the X-Men Never Got to Join?

Did Dungeons & Dragons Object to Erik Larsen’s Dragon?

Did People Really Mail in Dress Designs to Comics?

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Comic Book Legends Revealed #636

Welcome to the six hundred and thirty-sixth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Each part of this week’s legends has their own link.

Why Wasn’t Daredevil in Secret Wars?

The Censored Sex Life of Howard the Duck

Did George R.R. Martin Win Marvel’s First No-Prize?

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