Thursday, February 16, 2012

My Favourite Characters: Gangster G-Man

First created, written, and drawn in 1942 by Jack Cole for Quality Comics (later acquired by DC Comics) Woozy Winks is my man of the hour.

Appearing alongside the hero of 'Plastic Man' comics in the early 40's, (and as recently as my beloved cartoon Batman The Brave & The Bold) Woozy is a clown stooge, kind of an extra-bewildered Hardy or Costello. It seems Plastic Man was not ludicrous enough on his own, so a duo they became. The rubber man and the rudderless man.

Manifesting the adage "fate protects fools", the indigent Woozy Winks rescues a drowning soothsayer with the most minimal effort possible and is granted the boon of the protection of mother nature. No one can do Woozy a fatal harm, and it's difficult even to hold him against his will.

However, Woozy Wink's will is so weak he took a coin toss for his moral compass.

It is only when Plastic Man apprehends him in an ill-conceived money-making scheme to saw the arms off a sculptor that Woozy ends up opting instead for the life of an unrequested sidekick. Plastic Man is something of a sucker for second chances and redemption, so he accepts Woozy's parole, friendship, and "help".

Great contrast when drawn together: fat and slim, grounded and unearthly, puny and powerful. The bumbling gangster who'd rather make good as a G-Man. Provided there's somethin' in it for him. Woozy Winks can be counted upon to stumble into any murder mystery, fumble into servitude to a den of Nazi collaborators, buy any bogus treasure map, or pick the unnecessary pocket. A loyal friend on the up and square, provided someone is constantly supervising him.

Many thanks and hours of enjoyment for the loan of these antique but fresh and delightful darkly comic comics goes out from yours truly to Doctor Teeth. Please enjoy his Scotch and Comics podcast, or I shall provide you with a punch up the hooter.

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