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?

If you really don’t want to post comments on Facebook, you can comment on the article here, if you’d like. I’ll see them!

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?

If you really don’t want to post comments on Facebook, you can comment on the article here, if you’d like. I’ll see them!

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?

If you really don’t want to post comments on Facebook, you can comment on the article here, if you’d like. I’ll see them!

Comic Book Legends Revealed #635

Welcome to the six hundred and thirty-fifth 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.

Did a Spidey Cover Promote an Unmade Spider-Man Film?

Did Steve Ditko Invent the Comic Book Corner Box?

What Did Stan Lee Want the Vulture to Look Like?

If you really don’t want to post comments on Facebook, you can comment on the article here, if you’d like. I’ll see them!

Were Gary Cooper’s Batting Scenes Reversed in Pride of the Yankees?

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: Gary Cooper batting right-handed led to them reversing the film in Pride of the Yankees to make it look like he was batting left-handed

The Pride of the Yankees is a 1942 hit film (also a critically acclaimed film) about the life of New York Yankee great, Lou Gehrig.

Lou Gehrig had a Hall of Fame career as the “2” half of the 1/2 punch that was Ruth and Gehrig in the 1920s’ Yankee lineup, with Babe Ruth batting 3rd in the lineup and Gehrig batting 4th (they helped make up the so-called “Murderer’s Row” of the 1927 Yankees, also containing Hall of Famers Earle Combs and Tony Lazzeri batting at the 1st and sixth positions – #5 hitter Bob Meusel actually led the league in home runs in 1923!).

In the film, Gehrig, who retired at the age of 36 because of a debilitating disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is now most commonly known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”) that killed him two years later, was played by screen idol, Gary Cooper.

The only problem was, Lou Gehrig batted and threw with his left hand.

Cooper, though, was right-handed.

It seemed like a pretty mighty fine impasse (as recreations for the film would be obvious that the person hitting the ball was not Cooper), until director Sam Wood came up with an ingenious solution. He would simply flip the shots, with Cooper wearing a jersey with the team name written in reverse on his chest.

However, those were only used in certain close-ups and in scenes where Cooper threw the ball. As Cooper recalled years later, “To remedy this in close-ups, the letters on my uniform were reversed as in mirror writing, and the film was processed with the back side to the front. My right hand thus appeared to be my left.”

The batting scenes, however, were NOT done in that fashion. Cooper just faked batting left-handed as best as he could.

As it turns out, while you can passably learn how to hit a ball left-handed if you bat right-handed, you really can’t fake throwing it. So it was just in the THROWING scenes that they reversed the film. The batting scenes were all done like normal filmed scenes (no reversed jersey numbers or anything).

So the legend is surprisingly, for the most accepted version of the story…

STATUS: False (just with some truthiness mixed in there)

Thanks to Tom Shieber for doing the research and discovering the truth on this one. Check out his extensive research here.

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 19th, 2017 | Posted in Movie Urban Legends Revealed | No Comments