Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Doodle Penance: "double speedy"

This week's "Doodle Penance" comes from the fairly simple search term "double speedy."

I can guess which of our pages gave the Google a place to land, but clearly this is an issue which we haven't really addressed before, and since I know we have a readership that appreciates comics-history arcana, I'll give a few details.

Some of you may know that in 1971, the year of my birth and the year Jack Kirby moved to DC, shockwaves rocked the zeitgeist of Green Lantern and Green Arrow when it was revealed that Green Arrow's kid sidekick Roy Harper, a.k.a. Speedy, had fallen prey to the seductions of heroin. It's a pretty famous story, and the cover has seen at least a handful of swipes and parodies. (Scroll through all the images in that link on "swipes"; it's worth the time the whole post takes.)

What you may not realize is that DC almost undertook their own twist on this famous cover, at that moment in the early '90s when mutants (and mutagenic serums) were all the rage in comics. Yes, they briefly considered having Roy Harper shoot up with some sort of dragon's-blood mutie-juice that turned him into a double teen. Here's a treatment for the cover of the never-completed story:

At least, that's my explanation for the Googling this week.

As for Mike, he says,

My initial thought also involved Oliver Queen's ward, but when Isaac sent me a sneak-preview of his contribution I knew I'd better try something else. (I'm fine to post something nearly identical to his work when the similarity is not premeditated but only discovered after the fact of drawing... but since I hadn't drawn anything yet it seemed not quite cricket to duplicate his doubled Speedy and thereby quadruplicate the critter.)

The second and third Speedys I thought of were Señor Gonzales and Wesley Webb West, better known as Speedy West (a name apparently given him by Slim Wilson—the human Slim Wilson, not the Muppet). When an image search turned up a picture of Speedy West wearing a necktie not unlike Speedy Gonzales's neckerchief, I decided to double up on the Speedys by drawing Mr. West's head on Sr. Gonzales's body. So that's what I did.

That's Mr. West's pedal steel guitar in the background, of course. Furthermore, in an effort to satisfy the "double speedy" request, I drew this piece PDQ; but you probably didn't need me to tell you that.

...And that's this week's attempt at penance. What will the rest of the week hold? Time will tell.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Wow. I knew that Green Arrow's sidekick was named Speedy, but I didn't realize that Oliver Queen's ward was named Roy Harper. It's like the two Slim Wilsons! Let's just say that when I hear the name (Roy) Harper, I think of Led Zeppelin, not DC Comics: