Wednesday, July 20, 2005

It's a sad, sad day in geekdom.

Today, we lost two great men in fandom.

James Doohan -- Star Trek's Scotty -- and Jim Aparo, co-creator of Batman and the Outsiders and the artist for The Brave and the Bold.

Jim Aparo -- he's known for bringing life to a great many characters, but for me, the work I will always remember him for is Batman.

Maybe it's because you'll always remember your first. Bruce Timm's work on Batman: the Animated Series notwithstanding, Jim Aparo's Batman was my introduction to the character. I came into comics during the Knightfall storyline, and the visual storytelling from those books is as good (and in many cases, far better) than all Batman stories to come.

I prefer Aparo's Batman over Neal Adams', and that's saying a lot.

He's definately a hidden gem of comics art. Last I checked, you could get an original page from his run on Batman for under 60 bucks. That's a damn shame.

***

It may surprise some readers of this blog, but Scotty was my favorite Star Trek character long before I fell in love with James T. Kirk.

It's easy (and rather amusing) to make fun of most of the acting in Star Trek, both on the various television series and the movies. It's mostly melodramatic, over-the-top... but James Doohan as Scotty was rarely so.

Watch Star Trek II and see Doohan cradling the broken and bloody body of Scotty's nephew Peter Preston. I dare you to watch that scene without reaching for the tissues.

Or the scene in Star Trek IV, using a personal computer:

Scotty: "Computer?" (nothing.) "Computer?"
Businessman: "Um, just use the mouse."
Scotty: (picking up the mouse like a walkie-talkie) "Heloooooo computer."

That's comedy gold, people.

My all-time favorite issue of the Star Trek comics is a Scotty issue, as well. Star Trek Annual #3, by Peter David, Curt Swan and Ricardo Villagran. (It's also available in the Best of Star Trek trade paperback.) Scotty reflects on the deaths of Peter Preston and his wife, Glynnis.

It's beautiful. I've read it a hundred times and it still chokes me up.

***

You will be missed, gentlemen. Oh God, you will be missed.

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