Friday, October 17, 2008

The mystery beachcomber revealed

On Wednesday I asked the Gameblog readership to guess the age of a comic book character based upon four cropped panels of her frolicking by the ocean. Thanks for all the responses! All those pics came from a single page of Swords of the Swashbucklers, a 1984 Marvel graphic novel written by Bill 'the Thrill' Mantlo and drawn by Jackson Guice. I'm a big Mantlo fan but I'm not particularly familiar with Mr. Guice's art. I pretty much bought my copy of Swords of the Swashbucklers based on the fact that Mantlo's name was on the cover. Okay, maybe the space pirates helped.

Anyway, here's the answer to the mystery, given in a narration box on the same page:

Gameblog reader lisandro gaertner got it right in the very first comment on Wednesday's post. Gameblog regular wulfgar asked for Domino Blackthorn Drake's height, but I have no hard data on that point.

This is page 2 of the book. I haven't really been able to get much farther because this whole age thing snapped me out of the story before I could really even get into it.

It's interesting to note that writer Mantlo once had the reverse problem in that he wrote a character as a teenage girl but the artist drew her looking like she was in grade school. Chris Sims has the lowdown on that incident.


  1. Jackson Guice has always drawn elongated people. That's why she seems so tall.

  2. Another Mantlo and Guice fan! I sometimes thought I was the only one.

  3. Bill Mantlo's best works, for me, were the fill-in issues he did on the Avengers back in the late '70s, early '80s. Almost all masterpieces, particularly the Arsenal saga.

    Jackson Guice's magnum opus (with Mark Waid) was Ruse for Crossgen Comics.

  4. Yeah, Jackson changed his name to Butch and got a lot better as an artist; Ruse is very good indeed.

  5. As soon as I saw the pictures, I remembered Swords of the Swashbucklers. It started as a graphic novel and then Marvel tried to spin it into a regular series. I think it lasted all of three issues.

    And yeah, she doesn't really look thirteen, but there was a LOT of that type of artwork in the early to mid 80's. More than likely because in the pre-Watchmen, pre-Dark Knight era of comics, they were aimed squarely at young boys aged 12-15.

    Hell, I remember some artists of the era made 13-year-old Illyana Rasputin look like a damn fashion model.


  6. Anonymous11:08 PM

    Who'd have known that Gene Simmons was a closet comics nerd?

  7. Ha! How old is that song?