Here it is, The Fayest Comic Ever. Actually, I really like this character. I grew up enjoying Mandrake the Magician, Thunderbolt and The Phantom, and Batman rather than Superman, because these people didn't have 'super powers' per say. It seemed to me that if I could become a superhero (that was my plan at one point), then it would be easier to become Mandrake, or The Phantom, or Batman, because just learning and training and dedication would get me there.
So, derivative characters like Zanzibar the Magician didn't bother me, they were simply, like me. Just like me, they had decided that they could become 'super' by copying the other characters who didn't have powers from outer space or as a result of strange scientific incidents. I've let the cat out the bag, it's Zanzibar, isn't it? Well, it is, in this adventure in Paris, at least. This is one hilariously camp adventure, from Mystery Men #4 and it just cracks me up every time I look at it.
I mentioned a drawing, here on the blog, that I did in Sunshine on Leith, where I think I captured the movement I wanted, and I just had a really good feeling about it. It's that moment, that split-second when the entire story is encapsulated in the one-single-frame. Well, the single shots in this Zanzibar story seem just to be snapped at precisely the wrong moment; like when your Mother or Father took that really embarrassing photo, rather than the one you wished for. They either caught you looking ridiculous before it, or ridiculous after it, but never at the one second when you know you looked magnificent.
Here we are, in Gay Paris. Zanzibar has arrived and the campest gang member you've ever seen, until now, is about to take flight.
I think this is a fairly typical camp 'Mon Dieu' stance. Note the dapper villain's left breast. The dapper villain is talking to the evil female boss in their 'underground' den.
This is now, thanks to the guy on the right, the new typical camp 'Mon dieu' stance. Again, the left breast is used for emphasis.
Zanzibar though, with his manly gait, steps in and lands a superior right hook on the gang member with the silly hat, who even falls over in an uber-camp manner, but, something has surely passed between them; either that or the camp-ambiance of gay Paris has rubbed off on our hero because look...
I'm not kidding when I say I love this comic, I really do. The exaggerated stances may well be deliberate, depending on the attitude toward the French at the time, I don't know - it really just could be down to bad choices. What makes me suspicious is that some of the stances are very like those practised by Michael Crawford in his role in the popular, very camp, British comedy Some Mothers Do Have 'Em.