Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Bat-Signal from out of my past.

My job working on the Alumni Newsletter for the college I graduated from involves a lot of sitting at the computer and writing (Guess what I’m doing now.) Every so often I get to do a little something fun in researching the stories we may include. Recently I was giving the link to the college library’s archive. It includes photographs from through out the school’s nearly one hundred year history. The archive also provides every single issue of the student newspaper from when it began in 1923 as the Weekly Torch on to becoming The Hornet

Which includes the three years I worked on the paper.

Here’s a bit of trivia. When I attended the college they were just instigating a smoking ban in the student center and cafeteria. Today, they have declared the entire campus smoke free.

So I couldn’t help but to look at all the cartoons and illustrations that I drew for the paper, and the articles I wrote. One of my first editorial cartoons won an award for the school. Only wrote a few news stories, but did contribute multiple times to the Opinion, Entertainment, and Feature pages. I even got the opportunity to have a science fiction story published in the paper.

Not surprisingly I wrote about comic books on numerous occasions. In my memory the greatest of these was when I was given an entire page of the newspaper. The February 3rd issue was still a few months before the original Michael Keaton / Jack Nicholson BATMAN would reach the theaters. But I chose the time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Batman’s creation. (You can work out hold long ago that was, and how old I am, I don’t care.)

Along with talking about the history of the character, and providing a tone introduction in Batman’s own words, you’ll find some other interesting points. To the right of my fully painted image of the Dark Knight, you’ll find an article with a by-line that reads Michael Campbell. Young Mr. Campbell was always the fantasy version of myself that lived inside the DC Universe. What greater correspondent could a newspaper have? In the fictitious article, Michael gets to interview Commissioner James Gordon and meets his wheelchair bound daughter Barbara.

I had forgotten I had written another article for the page entitled: ROBIN: THE CONSPIRACY OF MURDER about the “Death in the Family” story line and how readers got to decide the fate of Jason Todd. I even quote Denny O’Neil: “It would be a really sleazy stunt to bring him back.”

Lastly in the bottom corner was the only advisement that helped pay for my Special page. Sadly Adventureland Comics has long gone out of business, but it was a great little store from which I bought my weekly haul of comics and just a few blocks from the college campus.

You can read the page at the Fullerton College Library Archive. Go to Page 6 of the issue.

I’m embarrassed by the mistakes I’m finding, yet am still quite happy proud with how it turned out all these years later. It’s good to remember where we came from to know where we’re at and where we’re headed.

To think that I am still writing about super heroes and comic books after all this time. Wonder what Michael Campbell is doing; I should probably look him up.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden
Four Names of Professional Creativity.

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