Thursday, September 1, 2016


This guy loves telegrams.

There must be something about being reduced to the size of a human thimble which makes a man want to take to the air. Perhaps it’s the sudden feeling of freedom one gains from being knee-high to a grasshopper’s dick, perhaps it’s the new perspective giving one an appreciation of life not lived staring at other men’s ankles, or perhaps it’s just pure cussedness. Whatever it is, it infected “Buzz” Balmer, the most laid-back victim of accidental shrinking yet introduced to mankind.

Therapy is really working out for him.
Launching a trio of adventures in Bang-Up Comics, Buzz is introduced on panel one in a state of ecstatic celebration – he’s won a plane! That’s like ten times better than buying a zoo, even! Unfortunately for Buzz, in his rush to share the news with his scientist father, he stumbles right through pop’s patented “Shrink-A-Wee Beam”. Okay, it’s actually called a “Minus Ray.” I like my name better.

Buzz is reduced, in his own words, to “the size of a peanut.” Taking the sudden reduction in short stride, Buzz keeps focused on his primary goal – flying. When he’s informed by his father that there’s no method of reversing the ray’s effects, Buzz whines “If I could only keep on flying, I wouldn’t care what size I was!” And, with that, his pop hucks him out a window.

It's not your brain that's the unfortunate thing here.
No, wait, sorry, dad does nothing of the sort… except to arrange a short-lived solution for his son. Spending a harrowing two weeks in his lab, Poppa Balmer rejiggers his Minus Ray to pocket-size, appropriately enough, and shrinks Buzz’s prize airplane to Funko Pop proportions. The sass-chatting Buzz loves it, takes to the air, harasses a local immigrant family and then gets shot down by a farmer. A proud career!

The solution to Buzz’s problem is to rat him out to the military. The Army Air Corps provides Buzz with another plane, shrunk down to lunchbox size by his pop, as part of a scheme to enlist Buzz against the forces of tyranny. It’s tough to imagine exactly how much of a hassle a man the size and shape of a novelty eraser could possibly inflict on the unstoppable war machines of European empire, but he does pretty all right AND he talks a good game while he’s at it.

Apparently there’s only so much room in the superhero universe for shrunk-ass superheroes in toy planes, since Buzz – like Minimidget, and the original Doll Man, both of whom also shared his obsession with aviation – eventually disappeared to make way for more independent bite-size baddie bashers like The Atom and Ant-Man. On the other hand, maybe they just rolled under the dresser, or were dropped behind the couch. You can never tell with these teensy-tiny types.

First thing he does with his new liberty is murder animals.
That's the first sign of a serial killer.

1 comment:

BillyWitchDoctor said...

I like "Shrink-A-Wee Beam" better, too. And now I know where that "my brain is becoming unfortunate" panel is from, so thanks for that. I think that abbreviated line (sans the stereotyping language) would kill as a T-shirt.

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