Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Discuss: Zorro


Doug said...

Happy Birthday to Steranko today! The Innovator is 75 years young.

If you're on Twitter, you need to get in on his Sunday evening chats with his "Henchmen" -- they generally take place at 10 pm ET. He takes questions and gives answers, or last week he spent his time telling about his greatest escape stunt.


Edo Bosnar said...

Hmmm, a post about Zorro, and then Doug's pre-emptive first comment is about Steranko? Is he trying to tell us that Steranko is secretly Zorro? Actually, that wouldn't surprise me a bit... ;)

Anonymous said...

Sorry, this is silly but...in my first job at a local bank, the name of the president of a competing bank, right across the street, was Guy Williams. So, of course, whenever our president referred to him he called him "Zorro".

"Man, Zorro is killing us on these loan rates!" etc., etc.


david_b said...

YAY that Steranko is still so cool and accessible to fandom. Would love to grab an autograph someday while I'm still breathing..

Zorro was typically just out of my peripheral in regards to interest. I watched the Guy Williams Disney show if/when the local affiliates would run them. I apparently watched it slightly more than I remember because my first watch around 1970 as a wee youngster was a Zorro watch; I vaguely recall I preferred a Batman watch or some other character, but Zorro was probably the only one still in stock. I guess any masked hero would have done nicely.

I will say Catherine Zeta-Jones was a delicious touch to the 1998 movie and sequel. I do have to actually watch those someday.

Anonymous said...

You know, I really should love Zorro more than I do.

But it is one of the properties that I loved as a kid that I have never really spent time with as an adult to see what there is for me there nowadays. I think part of the problem is that he has not been a consistent presence in mass media.

Aside from the Tarzan/Zorro hour from my childhood, Zorro the Gay Blade (in the same year - and a parody I still have never seen - will probably never see) and then later the film in the 1990s (and its sequel, which I have never seen and heard was terrible) there was no regular Zorro stuff - a well-done Zorro would be great! I'd love a version that really develops his connection to Mexico and the territory of Aztlan and the reconquista.

But from what I do know of him, he is the Batman prototype, down to the foppish playboy identity. . .

Edo Bosnar said...

Besides a made-for-TV movie from the late '70s that I've mostly forgotten, the only Zorro film I've watched all the way through (several times) is the Gay Blade. It's rather silly, but still quite funny. (For a while there, George Hamilton was full of win - just before that he also starred in another silly favorite of mine, Love At First Bite.)

Doug said...

I was hoping someone would bring up Zorro - The Gay Blade, and Osvaldo did. Man, I laughed and laughed at that politically-incorrect movie when I was a kid. We had HBO at the time, and it played in rotation long after the time it was "new". George Hamilton and Brenda Vaccaro were great, and Lauren Hutton was nice to look at. "Bunny Wigglesworth"... I'm about to cry now.

Sins of the past, I suppose.


Anonymous said...

I am not against watching the Gay Blade, but it'd have to be on Netflix streaming or something. .. thus why I said I'd probably never see it. :)

Edo Bosnar said...

Doug, yes, Hamilton and Vaccaro were indeed funny in that movie, but there are a few points where Ron Liebman really steals the show.

Doug said...

Edo --

You are exactly correct on Liebman.

I need to see this again.

What did he say?

"Four pence, six pence
Eight pence a peso.
All those for Zorro,
Stand up and say so!"

Something like that, right before a fabulous display of physical comedy/fighting.


Garett said...

I tried reading some Zorro by Alex Toth, but couldn't really get into it. I remember the Gay Blade being funny, and the Banderas film was pretty good...but I agree that there should be some better Zorro adaptations out there.

MattComix said...

Love Zorro! I first heard of him through a combination of the Disney series with Guy Williams in re-runs, the short-lived Zorro and Son series from the 80's and also when he was mentioned as an inspiration for Batman in a book I was reading around the same time.

I also enjoyed the later Family Channel series with Duncan Reghr and the movie Mask Of Zorro.

Humanbelly said...

I haven't checked at all, but wasn't Zorro a more-or-less deliberate take on The Scarlet Pimpernel? The Pimpernel being really the very first "secret-identity"-based hero, and also started that whole foppish, inane twit by day/driven champion of justice by night model?


Doug said...

Matt --

Thanks for the mention of the Family Channel series. I was thinking earlier today that there was a more recent iteration of the character, but couldn't recall what or where. My father-in-law is a child of '50s Westerns, and although he doesn't like comics we could enjoy that series together.


J.A. Morris said...

My introduction to Zorro was the Reed Hadley serial:

I saw the 1975 movie first, been more than 30 years now since I've seen it, but I remember liking it okay at the time.

Guy Williams was good too, but Hadley will always be "my Zorro".

Fred W. Hill said...

Zorro is rather unique as the most famous fictional masked Mexican hero in U.S. culture, with adventures set, unless I mis-recall, in California when it was still part of Mexico, although the character was very loosely based on a historical Mexican, Joaquin Murrieta who migrated to California during the Gold Rush (which was after California became part of the U.S.) and got into violent disputes with non-Mexican Gold Rushers. I don't recall having seen a Zorro flick or cartoon since I was a kid, but an interesting forerunner -- the direct intermediary between the Scarlet Pimpernell who made his debut in a 1905 pulp, while Zorro was introduced in 1919 and sometime after Batman's first adventure in 1938, it was revealed that the night Bruce Wayne's parents were slain before his eyes they had just seen Zorro on the big screen. So in pulp & comics lore, while Zorro wasn't the first, he still reigns large in the line of descent to the modern superheroes.

Humanbel said...

Very cool bit of historical clarification there, Fred. Thanks so much-! I'd assumed the Pimpernel was older than that, and that Zorro was younger-- didn't know he predated Batman!


Anonymous said...

Obviously there were a lot of great artists and writers on this mag, but I really enjoyed the Defalco-Frenz run. It was basically, I think, an homage to Lee and Kirby, but they put out some pretty good comics, and made for some good reading. I figured the title would go south after Simonson, and eventually it did, but I liked their run.
They threw in a couple of new, interesting villains like Quicksand, a Celestial here and there...not too bad. Some of the art was pretty darn good.
I'll put in a vote for Ego...the living planet! He was a Galactus-level threat! Only Lee and Kirby could come up with something that weird.

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