Monday, August 18, 2008

Ear-Fall-Off Floyd Joins the Legion?

I have no control over my memory. I'm fairly certain I have forgotten a number of things that I would rather have remembered, and I know for a fact that I have remembered quite a few things that I would never have chosen to retain. Like Ear-Fall-Off Floyd.

I'll give you some details, but they're a little blurry. (I said I remembered it, but I didn't say I remembered it clearly.) Ear-Fall-Off Floyd was a superhero parody strip in which the would-be hero's "superpower" was that his ear would fall off in moments of crisis. I find two references for Floyd on the internet, and they seem to be somewhat at odds.

Over on The John Byrne Forum, webbers were asked to post who their favorite member of The Legion of Super-Heroes was. The second poster went way offcourse in naming Ear-Fall-Off Floyd, who was never in the Legion. The individual said in explanation that Floyd had been created by Mercy Van Vlack and the "great Legion fandom of the early seventies." (I learned from Ms. Van Vlack's website that, in more recent decades, she has written for Richie Rich comics!)

If you can believe it, Ear-Fall-Off Floyd even has his own Wikipedia entry. The article states that EFOF was written by Jay L. Zilber and drawn by Jim McPherson for the fanzine Fandom Funnies #3 in 1976. But notice that there's no mention of Mercy Van Vlack in that Wiki! It's possible, of course, for both of these two internet references to EFOF to be correct, but there are some chasms to be bridged. On your behalf I will try to contact the primary parties so we can get to the bottom of this.

There was a recent occurrence that triggered my memory of EFOF. I picked up last month's Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #16. I usually don't read that series but I noticed that the issue featured artwork by Shawn McManus, whose drawings I've been enjoying for about twenty-five years now. (And, by the way, I recently added to my Artwork by Jack Kirby... almost Gallery a page of Demon pencils by Mr. McManus which you can admire here.) While last month's Legion story doesn't exactly feature Ear-Fall-Off Floyd, there is a character in the story named Arm-Fall-Off Boy and his name is Floyd! Just as the cover is a credited homage to the cover of Adventure Comics #247 drawn fifty years ago by the great Curt Swan, the entire issue seems to be an homage to that great Legion fandom of the early seventies.

I will try to dig deeper into the history of Ear-Fall-Off Floyd and get back to you on it. I hope I remember to!


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