Monday, March 23, 2015


Back in the 1940s, Lev A.Gleason comics ran their own confrontational version of “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” entitled “Deny It If You Can,” challenging readers to develop on-the-spot arguments against the existence of weirdos, hearsay and cultural errata. Why, in many ways, it was the comic book equivalent of getting into an argument on Facebook with that high school friend of yours you haven’t seen in twenty years and who homeschools their kid using a Klingon-English dictionary as a primary textbook.

Whereas Ripley only asked readers to either embrace credulity or, failing that, not to embrace credulity, Claude Moore's recurring feature seemed hell-bent on making its audience form a stance on useless trivia. I can't deny that there was a girl who blushed blue in France! I can't deny that a worker in a London tool factory successfully drilled a hole lengthwise through an ordinary sewing needle! You got me, Claude Moore, I surrender!

Like a great deal of trivia, no small amount of it is almost undeniably utter bullshit. As an example, I'll happily deny that King Arthur, "Chief Knight of the Round Table" (and thanks for clarifying that, Claude, I wasn't sure which King Arthur you meant) was seven feet tall, that anybody lived to be 169 years old, and additionally I don't think shipping cargo and carrying shipments by car is all that mind-blowing. Save it for Seventies-era Carlin, man.

A surprising number of Deny It If You Can features were ear-centric, by which I mean "these two of them."

Reed Delicola oughtta get together with that lady from Guy's Hospital, they'd just about even out.

Trivia and factual features like these used to be commonly found in just about every comic, newspaper and magazine for a couple of solid decades, spreading useless but fantastical information and outright lies in equal measure. It's a shame to see them go since the nearest equivalent we have in the modern day is British panel quiz shows and

That Tree Shrew line sounds like a burn.

No comments:

Popular Posts