The First Comic I Ever Made a Play of

UNCANNY X-MEN #153, Marvel Comics, January 1982
Another comic that holds an important place in my heart is "Kitty's Fairy Tale" by Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum and Joe Rubinstein. This, in fact, is the first comic I ever made a play out of.

You heard me. Uncanny X-Men #153 came into my life via one of those bagged two-packs you could get at your local department store. In this case, I got it at a just-opened Wal-Mart in Texas (it was a new thing back then, but already branded as pure evil... Wal-Mart, not Texas) and it came with a Marvel Super-Heroes issue reprinting a fight between Rhino and the Hulk that I didn't turn into play.

See, when we were kids, we were shipped off every summer to see our dad in the States, and there, divorced from everything that made me happy (i.e. my comic book collection), those 2 comics were all I had. I don't know how many times I read and reread "Kitty's Fairy Tale" (I do know how many times I read the Hulk story: exactly once).

And to justify my rereading it so much (toys we were obsessed with tended to be confiscated back on the ranch), us older kids turned it into a play for the younger kids starring various stuffed animals and action figures. And we had more than one show. We toured it. We translated it. It eventually turned up as a book-on-tape. Oh god, I wish I was kidding about any of this.

"But what's it about, Siskoid?" Ah, glad you asked. Behind the Monty Python cover, this is a simple and touching interlude during which Kitty Pryde (favorite X-Man, right there) improvises a bedtime story for Colossus' little sister (not yet grown up and hellbound). She uses the X-Men as characters, and gives a happy ending to the Phoenix Saga. It's sweet, and I didn't even know what they were talking about back then. It didn't matter. It was well-told, well-drawn, and full of light-hearted humor. It was Elseworlds before there were Elseworlds.

The dramatis personae is no doubt what made me do that thing I did:
Nightcrawler and Wolverine are just the funniest. Were I Wolverine, I'm not sure I would have agreed to a Wolverine & Kitty Pryde mini-series after this character assassination. After all, he says in this issue that "I don't like to feel silly". Is this silly, I ask you?
"I'm--MEAN!!" Hilarious, yes. Silly, no. This on the other hand... more open to interpretation.

Come to think of it, Nightcrawler should probably sue her for turning him into an oversexed smurf. Love the smart-alecky Lockheed too. And you gotta love any comic that has Colossus with wings (thanks to the Storm genie):
Extra points for showing Carol Danvers, AKA Ms. Marvel in the actual Captain Marvel shirt:
And speaking of the faux Captain Marvel, this issue also has this ad for Twinkies that I have to reproduce here because it is so stupid (as is any Captain Marvel that doesn't shout Shazam).
Anyway, that's how on one evil summer, in one evil state (sorry, I'm--MEAN!!), one evil store sold me a little bit of goodness. And I'm not the only one who remembered this comic fondly, since artist Dave Cockrum returned to this imaginary world in the Nightcrawler mini-series.


Anonymous said...

Well I'm having a strange feeling of DÉjà vu....

SallyP said...

Ooh, ooh, I have this! Yes, it was sweet, and yes, I loved the Cockrum artwork. Claremont hadn't lost his mind yet, and it was really a lot of fun.

Siskoid said...

I admit it. I'm removing part of an old website and repurposing and refurbishing some of the articles there. It's better than no content. So I appologize to the three people who's read them before years ago. :)

De said...

I don't mind the recycled content. I'm maybe 5% through the old Siskoid Space stuff to begin with, so I don't mind the occasional recycled piece.

Siskoid said...

And there was no way to respond to those or spark discussion for reals.

It's just to tide me over when work gets in the way of posting.

Siskoid said...

So nobody's done plays of comics except me?

I am a sad individual indeed.

Hale of Angelthorne said...

"(it was a new thing back then, but already branded as pure evil... Wal-Mart, not Texas)"

Texas isn't "evil," we're just...misunderstood. Plus, we don't exactly put our best foot forward nationally, if ya catch my drift.

Siskoid said...

Yes, you're the Quebec of the USA.

I spent 6 summers in Texas as a result of... parental arrangements, let's say, and I met a lot of nice people. I've met really nice people from Tx since then as well. If only you'd admit that while everything's big in Texas, that doesn't apply to the deer...

Anonymous said...

I remember that. What a great run the X-Men had for a while there.

It's exactly that run still makes me smile when I think my childhood comic reading.

And like many young boys at the time, I had a terrible crush on Kitty.

Siskoid said...

We must be around the same age (b.1971, d.????), because I had one too.

Colin said...

Hm, can't say I was ever that much of a Kitty Pryde fan. Admittedly, I didn't read Claremont's run until the Essentials, but it just seemed to me like they became "The Uncanny Kitty Pryde , guest-starring the X-Men". The earlier stuff was much better.

Siskoid said...

You really be Kitty's age when you read it for it to work its magic.

Porridge Face said...

Wait! Not so fast! I wrote a play of a comic too. Granted it was a Neil Gaiman "The Sandman" issue, which is a little more oriented to the theatre then X-Men, but it's still pretty nerdy.

The story was Three Septembers and a January. It was about some chap who was about to kill himself, failed businessman I believe, but instead Morpheus makes him thinks he's the emperor of the US and lives happily in his conceived reality. (Reminds me much of my experience reading comics)

I actually got in put on for a Student Experimental Theatre back a while. It turned out pretty well, thanks more to the director then to me.

Anyway, spiel over, haha. That went on for a little too long.

Toby'c said...

That flea market comic was featured on Atop the Fourth Wall earlier this year (Comic Book Quickies #2). Linkara's reaction was hilarious as usual.


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