I hope you all had a pleasant Christmas/New Year's combo; mine was a fine old time visiting the family, but nonetheless I couldn't wait to get out and do my own meaningless thing. So when I got the chance to make a quick trip to Calgary on Saturday, I jumped.
After fulfilling my social obligations, I hit the bookstores, and found something marvelous: Bat-Manga. Apparently, for a single year in the 60s, DC had licensed a manga magazine in Japan to write their own all-new Batman stories. Here's a collection of Batman, as so many people remember him: facing a Rogue's Gallery of colourful criminals, awash in Bat-Gadgets, youthful ward at his side. Taken simply as straight Batman tales, they're a great read, but viewed through the lens of Japanese culture, they ever so slightly skewed. Perhaps it's just because we're viewing such characters for the first time. I suppose that the Penguin, for instance, looks just as odd as Karmak, a.k.a. Professor Gorilla, but we can no longer marvel at the whimsy and imagination involved in the Penguin's character.
But even better than a hooded, cape-wearing gorilla is another previously forgotten Bat-Villian: this chap was an expert plastic surgeon until a freak accident melted his face. Since then, he's been obsessed with faces -- stealing portraits, smashing clocks, even trying to destroy the Batman bust carved into the side of Mount Gotham. He doesn't have a secret identity, though: he's simply known as... Crazy Dr. Denton.
And he's a snappy dresser, to boot.
Speaking of fashion, my other stop in Calgary was at a Value Village, to look for some shirts that fit my tastes. What sort of tastes? Well, for example, I was wearing my "Hawaiian Stallion" shirt -- my one concession to Calgary culture:
I was looking through the Village for something like this. A pattern, some colour, but with slightly darker tones for contrast. What I found was a pretty good match:
Yep. I found the very shirt that I was currently wearing, on the Value Village rack.
Obviously, I'm starting a trend.