Grillman

Cidu Bill on Sep 4th 2017

sept04-grillman-brevity-guy-and-rodd.jpg

Filed in Bill Bickel, Brevity, CIDU, comic strips, comics, humor | 54 responses so far

54 Responses to “Grillman”

  1. Arthur Sep 4th 2017 at 12:07 am 1

    He has no super powers, so he made an outfit out of old cloth
    and rigged up a way to make it seem as though he could fly. All
    so he could get in on the superheroes’ BBQ.

  2. James Pollock Sep 4th 2017 at 12:10 am 2

    This looks like a job for Gullman.

    Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! No, it’s a lot of birds! It’s Gullman!

  3. Usual John Sep 4th 2017 at 01:13 am 3

    I feel that the premise of this cartoon - that a guy without superpowers is trying to crash the superheroes’ BBQ - is undercut by the presence of Batman, who likewise has no superpowers.

  4. fleabane Sep 4th 2017 at 01:36 am 4

    And undercut by a guy who can successfully train scores of birds to lift him is far more impressive than some guy who just happened to be born on another planet/bitten by a radioactive spider/just a weirdo

  5. Fluffy Bunny Slippers Sep 4th 2017 at 02:37 am 5

    -How does The Grillmaster always know when we are having a bbq anyway?

    I dunno, but i always think it’s thoughtful that he brings the hot wings to put on the bbq.

  6. furrykef Sep 4th 2017 at 02:44 am 6

    @Usual John: I don’t think it’s undercut at all. Batman has proven time and time again (Justice League, etc.) that he fits right in with superheroes with traditional superpowers even though he doesn’t have any. This Gullman guy does not.

    It can also be argued that Batman does have a superpower, just not a physical one: a keen intellect.

  7. Pete Sep 4th 2017 at 02:54 am 7

    For a moment there I thought Guy and Rodd had returned to Brevity. What a disappointment.

  8. Kilby Sep 4th 2017 at 03:46 am 8

    I think they look more like doves(*) than seagulls (see @2, **), but wouldn’t it have been more logical to use birds that could also have been put right on the grill?(***)

    P.S. (*) - German has just one word (”Taube“) that serves both for “dove” as well as for “pigeon”.

    P.P.S. (**) - I wouldn’t want to taste either one.

    P.P.S. (***) - “As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!

  9. Stan Sep 4th 2017 at 03:56 am 9

    I thought the same as many, that it’s Gullman. I assumed his power was turning up to outdoor events like ball games, picnics, or barbeques to crap on people, like gulls do…if you live near the sea/largish bodies of water, I guess.

    This might be difficult to manage given his costume, but that’s what occurred to me when I first saw this. I laughed.

  10. Stan Sep 4th 2017 at 03:59 am 10

    “I thought the same as many”

    Well, the same as James.

  11. Olivier Sep 4th 2017 at 04:47 am 11

    The “crap on people” idea occurred to me as well.

  12. James Pollock Sep 4th 2017 at 07:18 am 12

    “s undercut by the presence of Batman, who likewise has no superpowers.”

    No superpowers? The guy is a top-level athlete and the world’s greatest detective. He’s definitely superhuman in both of those categories. He occasionally gets the help of Bat-Mite, a 5th-demensional being of intense (superhuman) power (And before you get all “but that’s someone else’s power, LOTS of superheroes make use of someone else’s power. Moon Knight, Shazam, Green Lantern (all of them), Power Pack, Blue Beetle, Iron Man (when IM isn’t Tony Stark), to name a few.)

  13. James Pollock Sep 4th 2017 at 07:23 am 13

    “crap on people, like gulls do…if you live near the sea/largish bodies of water, I guess.”

    I live near both (OK, I’m 100 miles and one mountain range inland, but that doesn’t keep the seagulls out), and seagulls are nowhere near as bad as ducks or geese. But ducklings are cute, so people put up with it.

  14. James Pollock Sep 4th 2017 at 07:37 am 14

    The problem isn’t that Gullman doesn’t have superpowers. It’s that the power he does have aren’t particularly useful in fighting the forces of evil.

    The Tick cartoon show used to play with this idea… just how USEFUL are the powers you have? In one episode, there were superpower “tryouts”… the better you did, the better the city you got to protect. Another episode featured the sidekicks… heroes with powers (or abilities) but not quite good enough to solo.

  15. Stan Sep 4th 2017 at 08:25 am 15

    “seagulls are nowhere near as bad as ducks or geese”

    OK then, perhaps the G on his cape stands for ‘geese’. I do think Gullman is a cooler name than Ganderman, though. On the other hand, I can think of a good sidekick for Ganderman: a cat called Peeping Tom.

    I’m torn.

  16. Powers Sep 4th 2017 at 08:28 am 16

    The movie “Sky High” did that as well; if your powers were lame you were shunted off to ’sidekick’ classes.

    Kilby: It seems English also has a single word for pigeons and doves: columbines. But the distinction between the two is not well defined, to the point that Wikipedia only has a single article for both. The domestic (and feral) pigeon is technically a rock dove.

  17. Olivier Sep 4th 2017 at 09:08 am 17

    What about Guanoman ?

  18. Olivier Sep 4th 2017 at 09:15 am 18

    Here are gulls in action in Tintin’s “Le temple du soleil”: http://i.imgur.com/WUUdRgY.jpg

  19. Olivier Sep 4th 2017 at 09:26 am 19

    James Pollock @14 & Powers @16: there is also the Wild Cards series (edited by GRR Martin); it seems that the border between super hero and freak can be very thin and that most SF authors play with this idea.

  20. Ian D Osmond Sep 4th 2017 at 09:32 am 20

    Powers (good name for this thread!) — as far as I can tell, the difference between a pigeon and a dove is that doves are light-colored and pigeons are dark-colored. Even if they’re siblings.

    I’m not sure if I’m joking or not.

  21. Joseph K. Sep 4th 2017 at 10:09 am 21

    I thought, at first, that he had managed to join the superhero group by his super grilling powers (joined with his flying ability), ’cause even superheroes love bar-b-que. But then I noticed that the real superheroes were frowning. Not sure why he has “G” on his costume.

  22. Olivier Sep 4th 2017 at 10:28 am 22

    Is it super Guy ? Or just some Guy. This Guy, and his faithful sidekick Rodd (who has less birds and will arrive later, after crashing through bushes and walls).

  23. padraig Sep 4th 2017 at 10:35 am 23

    Funny how he put the S on Superman but didn’t put a bat on Batman. Reminds me of when I got to talk to a longtime DC Comics editor (Denny O’Neill by name) and asked him why they put a yellow oval around the bat on Batman’s chest in the 1960’s. Seemed kind of dumb to me. He explained that a simple bat silhouette couldn’t be copyrighted, but a bat with a yellow oval around it could. Sad when your heroes have the same kind of problems as Kentucky Fried Chicken/KFC.

  24. billybob Sep 4th 2017 at 05:52 pm 24

    If Aquaman “communicating telepathically with fish” is a superpower, this must be one too. Able to peep and leap over back yard fences — maybe he’s Google Boy. And as welcome at a barbecue as Mister Ants-in-his-Pants at a picnic.

  25. furrykef Sep 5th 2017 at 12:30 am 25

    The Batman logo issue would be a trademark issue, not a copyright one.

  26. furrykef Sep 5th 2017 at 12:31 am 26

    That was supposed to say at the end, without the space. I guess the comment form eats fake HTML tags like that.

  27. furrykef Sep 5th 2017 at 12:32 am 27

    gah, that didn’t work either! OK, it was supposed to say [/pedant], but with angle brackets instead of square ones.

  28. Kilby Sep 5th 2017 at 05:24 am 28

    @ furrykef (25-27) - <nerd>If you want the HTML tokens to show up, rather than to be evaluated by Wordpress(*), then you need to encode the angle brackets as HTML named characters: “<” = “&lt;”, and “>” = “&gt;”.</nerd>

    P.S. (*) Anything inside <angle brackets> that Wordpress cannot evaluate is automatically deleted.

  29. Seth Sep 5th 2017 at 08:39 am 29

    billybob - “communicating telepathically with fish” is a definitely a superpower. Having the ability to command an army of sharks should get more respect. The superpower shouldn’t be limited by what children’s cartoons can show. If you can get anything from electric eels to giant squid to do your bidding, that’s an ability to inflict incredible pain and damage by proxy to any opponents in your territory.

  30. Arseetoo Sep 5th 2017 at 11:42 am 30

    Anybody else have an issue with mixing the DC (Supes and the Bat) and Marvel (Spidey) universes here? Though I suppose it’s ok since we’re tacking in an unknown “hero”.

  31. John Small Berries Sep 5th 2017 at 12:33 pm 31

    Anybody else have an issue with mixing the DC (Supes and the Bat) and Marvel (Spidey) universes here?

    I don’t, since there have been canon crossovers (and Spider-Man’s even teamed up with both Batman and Superman individually).

    This cartoon does make me wonder if the superheroes would also give the cold shoulder to Mike Grell’s interpretation of the Green Arrow - no super powers, no ridiculous gimmicky arrows, not even any vast sums of money with which to purchase or develop high-tech equipment; just a plain longbow and a level of skill achievable by normal humans with enough practice (e.g. Howard Hill), and the will to employ them to fight evil. And a love of puns (”Welcome to Sherwood Florist, milady!”).

  32. furrykef Sep 5th 2017 at 04:19 pm 32

    At least the Green Arrow is a genuine and highly competent crimefighter, and not somebody just trying to crash a barbecue.

    @Kilby (#28): yeah, I thought that might work, but I didn’t want to try it in case it didn’t.

  33. Kamino Neko Sep 5th 2017 at 08:10 pm 33

    If you can get anything from electric eels to giant squid to do your bidding

    And that’s just in the Silver Age. His telepathic powers have since been…I don’t want to be expanded, because they haven’t really, but the consequences have been explored.

    Grant Morrison made the dodgy assumption he’d have a limited ability to affect land creatures (including humans) since our ancestors were aquatic.

    Geoff Johns has, more recently, and more reasonably, given him the ability to control an abyssal abomination. (A new version of his old buddy Topo the Squid. Now something like a cross between an Isopod and Cthulhu.)

  34. James Pollock Sep 5th 2017 at 08:45 pm 34

    Having sea creatures do your bidding is cool, sort of (OK, shrimp… into the nets! The people of Houston need your help) but still isn’t particularly help with most crimefighting most forms of crime, and you tend to notice that most of the evil threats that the king of Atlantis winds up defeating… originated in Atlantis.

    Now, there are some military applications (what, the ballistic missile submarine is where?) but not much in law-enforcement (except for smuggling and piracy). Not one bank robbery occurred in international waters last year. Or the year before that. Or the year…

    Then, you have old-school Aqualad, who couldn’t be out of water for an hour. Sorry, bud, but this Teen Titans mission is in California. We’ll take Hawk and Dove.

    The fish-talking thing isn’t his only power… he’s also super-strong, as he’d have to be to survive the crushing depths. And Marvel’s version can fly, because… reasons. And he was a ladies’ man… Susan Storm wavered between Reed Richards… a guy who can totally control the size and shape of his body parts… and the Sub-Mariner.

    Back in the “Super-Friends” era, they struggled to give Aqua-Man things to do when the threat-of-the-day needed to be addressed. He’d always be having a couple of whales keeping a ship from sinking. Also, his main bad-guy looked like a bug.

  35. Arthur Sep 5th 2017 at 08:47 pm 35

    Re Aquaman and squids: I’m reminded of a line I see often on the
    Internet: “I’ve seen enough hentai to know where this is going.”

  36. John Small Berries Sep 6th 2017 at 12:52 am 36

    furrykef@32: “At least the Green Arrow is a genuine and highly competent crimefighter, and not somebody just trying to crash a barbecue.”

    Yet if the comic had shown the Green Arrow coming down a zip line attached to an arrow he’d shot into the fence, wouldn’t someone wholly unfamiliar with him see only a Robin Hood cosplayer just trying to crash a barbecue?

    For all we know, the G-Man may have eradicated crime in the streets of his own city by sending his avian avatars to blind evildoers; there’s no way to judge, from this single panel, anything whatsoever about his crimefighting competence, or very much at all about his abilities or lack thereof. Except that, since the birds are using their beaks to carry him (as opposed to him having to tie strings/wires around their feet to force them to convey him), he either has the power to mentally control them (or at least convince them to do what he wants), or his bird training skills are far above average.

    And at least he’s smart enough not to wear his underpants outside his other clothes.

  37. Winter Wallaby Sep 6th 2017 at 01:56 am 37

    Yet if the comic had shown the Green Arrow coming down a zip line attached to an arrow he’d shot into the fence, wouldn’t someone wholly unfamiliar with him see only a Robin Hood cosplayer just trying to crash a barbecue?

    Not really. Because shooting arrows, and using weapons ziplines are normal, “cool,” superhero crime-fighting activities. Getting transported by birds in the manner shown in the comic looks silly and weird. I mean, yeah, I guess it’s possible the superheroes are just unfairly biased against bird-borne-superheroes, but their skepticism seems natural.

  38. James Pollock Sep 6th 2017 at 01:38 pm 38

    “For all we know, the G-Man may have eradicated crime in the streets of his own city by sending his avian avatars to blind evildoers; there’s no way to judge”

    That would be a criminal act, and would put Gullman squarely in the “bad-guy” camp. See also the DC character “Vigilante” and the Marvel character “Punisher”.

    Whereas in the golden age, the good guys were super-totally good in everything they did, and the bad guys were super-totally evil in everything they did, and there was a wide chasm in between the two, nowadays the line between good guys and bad guys is a bit more narrow. Lex Luther and Tony Stark are amazingly similar characters… amazingly smart, rich munitions moguls wearing battle suits to fight their enemies. In fact, if not for the explosion that cost him his hair, Lex would have been a good guy. The entire Justice League were imported into the Marvel Universe… as bad guys, in the form of the Squadron Supreme. Original model Magneto wanted to take over the world because he could. Movie-edition Magneto has reasons (actually, fairly good ones) for wanting to take over the world. Original-version Mr. Freeze is just a bad guy with cool weapon. TV-show Mr. Freeze is fighting for justice for himself and his wife.

    Now, Superman has great PR, because he started out right away to control the press coverage of his exploits. Batman has less effective PR, because although he did court Vicki Vale, he could only stay interested in her for one movie. Spider-Man has mixed PR… at least one of New York’s newspapers (The Picture-News) gives him positive coverage, and at least one (the Daily Bugle) crusades against him. But they ALL get lots of press coverage. Gull-Man, on the other hand, needs a publicist. (Also, for all we know, Aquaman’s been blacklisting Gullman from the Justice League.)

  39. Olivier Sep 7th 2017 at 02:17 am 39

    “If not for the explosion that cost him his hair, Lex would have been a good guy”. Lol. I don’t know anything about super-hero comics but this sounds hilarious.

  40. Seth Sep 8th 2017 at 06:17 am 40

    Olivier - That’s sort of the “talks to fish” version of the event. The original story also involved Luthor figuring out how to create a life-form from basic chemicals, and having all the work end up destroyed in that explosion. It’s very possible to sympathize with his angry reaction at the heat of the moment.

  41. Olivier Sep 8th 2017 at 06:51 am 41

    “‘Talks to fish’ version of the event”: this probably means “shamelessly simplified for laymen”; is that an allusion to Aquaman ? You know, I REALLY don’t know anything about super-hero comics…
    That said, even knowing a fuller version of the event (thanks, btw), “If not for the explosion that cost him his hair, Lex would have been a good guy” is still hilarious. Even more so, actually.

  42. James Pollock Sep 8th 2017 at 10:03 am 42

    “The original story also involved Luthor figuring out how to create a life-form from basic chemicals, and having all the work end up destroyed in that explosion.”

    Lex is a supergenius. He invents a way for Superboy to be immune from Kryptonite, but clumsily starts a fire. Superboy arrives to save the day, but in putting out the fire, the Kryptonite cure is lost. Lex is insecure enough to imagine that Superboy did it on purpose, because he’s jealous of Lex’s achievement. And also, the fire made Lex’s hair fall out.

    https://culturapopnaweb.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/lex_luthor3.jpg

    It also shows that whoever wrote it doesn’t know how science works. No, not because of the flying man. Not because of the super-breath being a fire extinguisher, either. But because super-scientist Lex Luthor did thousands of experiments, and apparently didn’t keep notes on any of them.

  43. Winter Wallaby Sep 8th 2017 at 11:33 am 43

    Yes, Luthor can invent an antidote for the effects of an alien mineral on an alien species. He can also invent interdimensional warp portals, sentient machines, grow clones of himself and transfer his mind into them, etc. . . But he can’t figure out how to reverse hair loss.

    Sort of like how Richard Reed can figure out anything, except how to cure Ben Grimm.

    (To be fair, the clone that Luthor grew and transferred his mind into had a nice head of hair. But that’s really overkill as a method of reversing hair loss.)

  44. Winter Wallaby Sep 8th 2017 at 11:42 am 44

    My recollection of the old live-action Incredible Hulk TV show was that there were quite a lot of episodes where Dr. Banner was just days away from curing his hulk-ness. Then he would miss the last injection/pill/treatment he needed because it would get destroyed in a fight, or because he missed it to selflessly save a puppy or something. Missing the last treatment would apparently make all his previous experimentation and tests pointless, so he would have to start again from scratch looking for a cure.

  45. James Pollock Sep 8th 2017 at 12:27 pm 45

    “Richard Reed can figure out anything, except how to cure Ben Grimm.”

    Reed Richards “cured” Mr. Grimm on several occasions.
    Grimm decided that Benjamin Grimm, normal human test pilot wasn’t as much what he wanted to be, as the ever-lovin’, blue-eyed Thing.

  46. Kilby Sep 8th 2017 at 02:26 pm 46

    @ WW (43) - “Sort of like how Richard Reed can figure out anything, except how to …

    Not to mention how Roy Hinkley, Ph.D. could build anything, just as long as it wasn’t supposed to float.

  47. Winter Wallaby Sep 8th 2017 at 02:54 pm 47

    Kilby #43: They didn’t need a genius to get off that island. They just needed someone, just once, to say “Hey, this plan has a real shot of getting us off this island. Let’s tie Gilligan to a tree for a while.”

  48. Seth Sep 8th 2017 at 05:57 pm 48

    Olivier - I meant more like “Powerful implications (command sharks, squids, electric eels, etc) presented as a joke (chats with tuna)”.

    James Pollock- That link is missing the surrounding panels talking about the life-form. This one has more:

    https://bigglee.blogspot.com/2011/12/lex-luthor-gets-smashed-supermans.html

    Actually, I think the relatively true to science aspect is the caption “shorty before dawn”. Feel for the guy. He’s been pulling an all-nighter, working in a frenzy of inspiration. Of course he’s clumsy, he hasn’t slept in a day or more, probably hasn’t eaten either. Now he’s exhausted, hungry, suffering from smoke inhalation and poisoned by whatever toxic fumes have been generated. Then all his work gets trashed. And while he’s enduring this, his hair falls out. That’s the last straw, and he just loses it. It’s very “human” from that perspective. No, he isn’t going to think “I did it once, so I can do it again, and I can certainly fix my scalp”. He’s thinking “It’s all ruined, I’m a mess, and it’s his fault”. That’s not the most logical reaction, but it’s a very understandable reaction under the circumstances.

    He didn’t fix his scalp later because that wasn’t the point. He thought Supes was sabotaging him. He probably subconsciously considered the bald scalp as some sort of reminder of the event.

  49. James Pollock Sep 8th 2017 at 07:57 pm 49

    “he isn’t going to think “I did it once, so I can do it again, and I can certainly fix my scalp”. He’s thinking “It’s all ruined, I’m a mess, and it’s his fault”. That’s not the most logical reaction, but it’s a very understandable reaction under the circumstances.”

    Nobody is complaining that Lex yelled at Superboy for putting out the fire in such as way as to inconvenience him. That’s not fair to Superboy, who, you’ll note, WAS SUMMONED BY NAME and then not given any kind of “please protect my precious research!’ warning, but it’s perfectly understandable for a man who’s just lost his shot of ever hooking up with Lana Lang.

    The problem is that he’s spent the following 50+ years CONTINUING to blame Superboy for his own mistake. And also, all those innocent people his threatened, injured, killed, or destroyed the property of in all the years since then, of course.

    It was the 60’s. Of course losing his hair was the worst thing that happened to him. Dig it! Being bald was WAY uncool back then, man!

  50. Mark in Boston Sep 8th 2017 at 09:09 pm 50

    Just like the Professor can invent anything, make anything and fix anything except a hole in a boat to get them off Gilligan’s Island.

  51. Seth Sep 9th 2017 at 12:35 am 51

    “… CONTINUING to blame Superboy for his own mistake. And also, all those innocent people his threatened, injured, killed, or destroyed the property of in all the years since then, of course.” - that’s the definition of “villain”. But it wouldn’t be the first time a person with a character flaw held an ongoing grudge. As an origin, despite the flying boy and the super-science, it’s got a reasonable emotional core at its heart. Not in the sense of moral ambiguity, but in the sense that one can see how someone with approval and alienation issues (which resonate with the readership) gets to that point.

    Luther works really well in my view when Superman is thinking “There but for the grace of (my family) go I”.

  52. Kilby Sep 10th 2017 at 04:02 am 52

    @ MiB (50) - Just who do you think “Roy Hinkley” (see @46) was supposed to be, anyway?

  53. Mark in Boston Sep 11th 2017 at 08:04 pm 53

    Wow, Kilby, I sailed right past your note about Roy Hinkley without even noticing it.

    Get it? Sailed?

  54. James Pollock Sep 11th 2017 at 08:34 pm 54

    “the Professor can invent anything, make anything and fix anything except a hole in a boat”

    At least once, the Professor fixed a hole in the boat. Turned out the glue only lasted a day, though, and then turned into magical anti-glue, so boards were literally flying off the wreck of the Minnow.

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