Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Last Real Man In Comics

What interested me far more than Beau Smith's commentary on the pariah-cover-of-the-week "Showcase Presents Batgirl" was his "About Me" blurb:

"My name is Beau Smith. Others have tagged me as 'The Last Real Man In Comics'. That comes from a time when there was nothing but poodle skirt wearin', crybaby , hobbit lovin' liberals and former dope dealin' hippies in comics . I was one of the few if not only men in comics that liked and participated in sports, enjoyed grade B-Action movies and had done time in jail.

"I also did my time introducng other to my fists as my father and his father did. Rumors have it that I was in the first Tough man Contest in West Virginia in the late 1970s. The ones that weren't sanctioned by law and took place in the back alleys and bar rooms of various places of ill manners. My fists were sold for hire in college to girls that were gettin' smacked around by abusive boyfriends. I never wanted to take their money, but they insisted. I rarely turn a damsel in distress down. The longest love affair I've ever had is with cold beer. It began when I was in the 6th grade and continues to this day. Don't look all PC put out by that fact.. .things were different then. It was a time when Jonny Quest, a 14 year old boy , could blast bad guys with a machine gun and no one thought it was wrong."

Perhaps his bio is written a little tongue-in-cheek, but "the longest love affair I've ever had is with a cold beer" will stay with me a little bit today, at least until tonight when I have a cold beer.

Which brings up the topic of "He-Men" working in the comics industry. Larger-than-life individuals that would look comfortable wrestling with the Red Skull on the top of a moving train.

Two that come to mind is Darwyn Cooke & Howard Chaykin. Neal Adams might be a third, though his graying temples and listening him expound on his geological theories gives him more of a professorly aura.

Are they hearkening back to another time when men got up in the morning and caught their own breakfast and spent their leisure time wrestling sharks and fighting one deadly horde or another? Have they been influenced at all by the comics and movies they devoured as a kid, showcasing "men who were men," hard-as-nails heroes that predated the introspective second-guessing of the O'Neil/Lee era of comic book writing?

Beau Smith reflects on the controversy regarding the Batgirl cover,

"Who has time to think of this stuff? Is there some long line to be a victim of society that I’ve missed. Last time I looked there was a difference between being an activist and annoying. On second thought, no there isn’t. Not when it comes to this kind of time wasting stuff in comics."

Further on in the column, he profiles a MySpace hottie, with pictures.

I don't see anything wrong with the hottie photos or his take on the cover or the fact that he refers to liberals as "Hobbit-loving." The whole thing, taken as a package, has a rather cute pseudo-conservative quality about it; maybe not as adorable as Stephen Colbert, but somewhat more palatable than Guy Gardner.

As an aside, I actually clicked on the link for the hottie's MySpace page. It's...apparently not the same girl. BEWARE MYSPACE, PEOPLE!

Also, I am wondering if the "Last Real Woman In Comics" honor has been taken already. Nominees?


  1. There's always Larry Young, but we know how well that turned out.

  2. Beau Smith really is a perplexing guy. it's the forcing of his 'drunken hockey dad who fails at putting together a bike on christmas eve and giving people shit for his he man woman hating bullshit jerkoff' or as i like to dad. where stephen colbert has a shtick this guy jams this shitty stereotype 'real man' thing in your face and its kind of annoying.

    a little background. i was a child of abuse who fought back. i fought back so hard that not a day went by where i didn't come home bloodied up from a scrap.i don't really drink anymore due to a youth severely drugged and loaded to the gills. and yes i've spent time in jail. where as beau smith is forcing a shitty character i actually lived it and know the folly of being that way. i'm not a conservative and i'm not a liberal. anyone who fucks with me i deal with it. i'm not the toughest guy on the block but i damn sure hate hobbits. i can be imposing when i need to be.

    but in all that is a human being with feelings and loves of things. ideals and a way i go about things. i live a life of relative peace these days and i write and draw comics mostly for people who like good comics and women. i have sensibilities and emotions. i don't force a character like Mr. Smith does and i have no need to suck up to darwin cooke like he does. i'm more the real deal than he is. but a hell of alot more evolved than this cromagnon shit he writes.

    he really needs to dial the bullshit back and add decent content into his work. not everything is beer and hotties. being proud even in character to be a violent 'toughman' jerkoff is really sad. i've had hundreds of fights. winning some..almost dying from others. it's not something to be boasting about. it makes me wonder if and when his shit falls on deaf ears will he play the 'beats his wife and kids card'

    where colbert is a savvy comedic force, beau is the vile underbelly that perpetuates the bullshit you see in comics. it further drags the medium down into self parody when we should all be doing something to lift it up and make it great.

    i'm not condemning beau as a person. i'm condemning the character he forces. it's a bad message to have out there. he's the bubba the love sponge of comics.

    it really hits a nerve when he talks exactly as my father did. praising the victimization of others is no way to make a living. even if its all jest i don't care..i have a sick sense of humor and really way funnier than he could ever dream to thing i don't do is the 'macho bullshit as real' thing.

    it's like he taps the hive mind that jammed kyle raynors girlfriend into a fridge and raped sue dibney. treating women if an awkward comical i suspect way as if all they are is cumdumpsters.

    i guess this is why i sort of have to try and make my way back into comics to at least if anything foster a change in some fashion to all this shit. seems like my mission in life. which is sad because i should have bigger priorities and maybe like a girlfriend who doesn't mind my idiocy.

    that guy just gets me angry..hitting every nerve as he moves along.

  3. Beau Smith is actually one of the nicest guys in the comics world today. The "He-Man" facade he puts on is more out of obligation to those who've come to respect his no nonsense ways of looking at the comico-political landscape. Sort of like watching Hulk Hogan and the crew during those "Friday Night Main Event" matches back in the 80's. He calls them like he sees them. Something that today, especially online, gets you branded everything from troll to misogynist.

    At his core, Beau is just an average guy who enjoys a good beer, a simple life and a nice schloky b-action film. Things that the "enlightened intelligencia" tell you is wrong, evil and harmful to us all.

    Beau is always willing to help people out, if he knows the cause is just. He doesn't advocate "beating the wife and kids" (in fact, he'd be more inclinded to say "beat the wife and child abuser"). Beau is very firm in what he knows is right and wrong. And he doesn't let anyone tell him otherwise. He also picks his battles carfully (as he mentioned doing regarding the nonsense over the Showcase Batgirl trade cover). He's what you'd say is the kind of person who uses a lot of "good old fashioned common horse sense."

    Whatever one might think of the "toughman" persona he plays up for the fans, Beau Smith truly is a REAL man. He cares, he does what he knows is right and will admit when he's wrong (something a lot of these other online crusaders seem totally incapable of).

    No matter what you think of his "shtick", Beau Smith is just a down to Earth guy. Anyone would be lucky enough to call him "friend". Which my wife and I surely do. If you want to judge the man, judge him for who he really is, not how you perceive his character act. You don't have to like the show, but you should always show some respect to the showman.

  4. I tried posting on here before, but as always, my computer plots against me.

    I wanted to stop by and give Maddox Misery (Rob) my apology if my opinion column offended him. That was never the purpose.

    It is an opinion column and that's what I do. I love the fact that we all have different opinions and that the internet gives us the chance to share them. Granted, we may not always agree, but that's what makes it interesting.

    One of my goals with my column is voice my opinion and to hear the opinions of others. Sharing opinions are great and I always strive not to be petty and to be civil no matter how much I disagree with someone. Sometimes the hyperbole of my column causes some folks to misunderstand things. I have to admit, it is a fine line that I have to walk and sometimes I lose my balance.

    I appreciate your passion and having the honesty to share that passion.

    I also appreciate James for his posting. He and his lovely wife, Heidi have been wonderful friends that I've gotten to know through my writing work and their support of it. That means a lot to me.

    As far as what being a "real man" is...I've said it before in my column...Being a real man is being a good father, husband, son and friend. I try really hard to be all of these things.

    Your amigo,

    Beau Smith