All of my posts in The Notebook Notions have been recollections of things I jotted down in the dozens of notebooks I filled with such nonsense as a teen in the '70s. I haven't seen those notebooks in decades, but my Mom just found one at her house and tossed it over to me. As a pop-culture archeological find, it falls short of discovering a copy of The Marx Brothers in Humor Risk or the ballad version of "Please Please Me" by The Beatles, but I'm delighted to have it.
This particular notebook doesn't contain many real scraps of almost-ideas; most of my notebooks were stuffed with proposed comic book covers, lists of titles for proposed stories, and even the occasional (if infrequent) completed script. Aside from one hypothetical Detective Comics cover and a mess of jumbled sketches on the inner and outer covers, there ain't much of any of that here. A back cover reference to the Cathy Lee Crosby Fan Club would place the date of the notebook around 1974, when I was 14; that was the year the lovely Ms. Crosby starred in a universally-reviled Wonder Woman TV-movie, and I thought she was kinda cute.
|Don't make me blush, Cafarelli!|
|Who the heck are Paul McCartney and THE Wings?!|
|Uh--YES! Of COURSE this was my notebook art! I could draw JUST LIKE Jim Aparo when I wanted to!|
The notebook continued with notes on my favorite art teams for specific comics characters, ideas on weekend matinee packages at The Hollywood Theater in Mattydale, and thoughts on casting new Superman and Batman TV series; these included the questionable ideas of Sally Struthers as Batgirl and Jack Klugman as Perry White, and the not-that-bad notions of Lori Saunders (from Petticoat Junction) as Lois Lane, Christopher Lee as The Joker, Raymond Bailey (aka Mr. Drysdale on The Beverly Hillbillies) as Commissioner Gordon, Clayton Moore as Clark Kent's boss Morgan Edge, Chad Everett as The Batman, and--naturally!--Cathy Lee Crosby as Policewoman Pat Powell.
Lois Lane? Meet Pat Powell. 'Sup?
There were also several pages devoted to my proposed publishing empire. Based on the notes, it looks like I was planning on taking over DynaPubs, a company which published the tabloid periodical The Buyer's Guide To Comics Fandom and a series of black-and-white Golden Age comics reprints called Flashback; Flashback had been the source of my cherished reprint of the classic Daredevil Battles Hitler. My apparent plans for DynaPubs included switching Flashback to an oversized color format, and a massive expansion of the line, with new reprint series (of both comics and pulp magazines), a new pulp title called Amazing Fiction, and acquisitions of a number of properties held by other publishers (Vampirella and the rest of the Warren line of comics magazines, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Analog, and a long list of others). The flagship title would be a magazine called Comix Criterion, which would mix commentary and reviews with new comics (including The Spirit, Buck Rogers, The Phantom, Torchy, The Lone Ranger, The Green Hornet, and Isabella), plus prose fiction starring Billy Jack. I may return to this subject in a future edition of The Notebook Notions. For now, we'll let this stand as mute testimony to what a geek I was at 14.
Looking at the notebook the other day, taking in its busy, crowded scribbles and claustrophobic crush of image on top of image, my lovely wife Brenda asked if I wrote the names of girlfriends on the pages or in the margins. I could only chuckle and reply:
"Honey, does this look like it was done by someone who had a girlfriend?"