::Literate Blather::
Sunday, November 19, 2006
The Legends of Literature Part 3

(Welcome to the third installment of literary characters who transcend the page to become true cultural icons. These are the characters that have infused themselves into the culture (music, movies, comic books, games, TV, etc.). They have integrated themselves so deeply into our society that many people have never even read the original books (or comic books) that made them famous -- but are intimately familiar with them anyway.

DaRK PaRTY presents the final part of "The Legends of Literature." Today we give you the characters from children's literature and comic books.)

Children’s Literature & Comic Books

Claim to fame: Tumbled down the rabbit hole and helped set the course for fantasy fiction and the 60s
Created by: Lewis Carroll (aka Rev. Charles L. Dodgson) Born: 1865 First appearance: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (novel) Appearance in a nutshell: A little blond girl in a blue and white dress Supporting players: The Hatter, The White Rabbit, The Caterpillar, The March Hare, The Cheshire Cat Enemy: The Queen of Hearts Quote: “A grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in all my life!” Tidbit: The film “Resident Evil” features a protagonist named Alice who is forced into an underground bunker to battle a supercomputer named “The Red Queen.”

Dorothy Gale
Claim to fame: Whisked away by a tornado to become one of the most endeavoring characters in literature and film
Created by: L. Frank Baum
Born: 1900
First appearance: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (novel)
Appearance in a nutshell: A little girl in pigtails with a little dog
Supporting players: Toto, Uncle Henry, Aunt Emily, The Tin Man, The Lion, and The Scarecrow
Enemy: Wicked Witch of the East
Quote: “There’s no place like home!”
Tidbit: In 2000, a pair of ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in the movie “The Wizard of Oz” sold at an auction for $666,000.

Claim to fame: The Dark Knight who has become one of the most recognizable superheroes
Created by: Bob Kane and Bill Finger
Born: 1939
First appearance: Detective Comics #27 (comic book)
Appearance in a nutshell: Bat mask with a flowing black cape
Supporting players: Robin, Commissioner Gordon, Albert
Enemy: The Joker, Catwoman, Penguin, Two-Face and Riddler
Quote: “A bat! That’s it! It’s an omen. I shall become a bat!”
Tidbit: In the 1954, Psychologist Fredric Wertham asserted in his book “Seduction of the Innocent” that Batman and Robin were gay.

Peter Pan
Claim to fame: The boy who never wanted to grow up is now a disorder for single adult men who can’t grow up
Created by: J.M. Barrie
Born: 1911
First appearance: Peter Pan and Wendy (play)
Appearance in a nutshell: Green tights and a green cap
Supporting players: Wendy Darling, Tinker Bell
Enemy: Captain Hook
Quote: “I can fly!”
Tidbit: Michael Jackson, the self-proclaimed King of Pop, once said: “I am Peter Pan.”

Doctor Dolittle
Claim to fame: He talks to the animals, of course
Created by: Hugh Lofting
Born: 1920
First appearance: The Story of Doctor Dolittle, Being the History of His Peculiar Life at Home and Astonishing Adventures in Foreign Parts (novel)
Appearance in a nutshell: A chubby doctor with a top hat
Supporting players: Polynesia (parrot), Gub-Gub (pig), Jip (dog), Chee-Chee (monkey), Pushmi-Pullyu
Enemy: The African King
Quote: Ah, he talks to the animals
Tidbit: The most famous film adaptation of the book was a 1967 musical starring Rex Harrison as the good doctor

Claim to fame: The Man Steel who is one of the most famous comic book characters of all time
Created by: Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
Born: 1932
First appearance: Action Comics #1 (comic book)
Appearance in a nutshell: Red cape with an “S” on his chest
Supporting players: Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White
Enemy: Lex Luthor, Brainiac, Doomsday
Quote: “Up, up and away!”
Tidbit: Comedian Jerry Seinfeld is a huge Superman fan and his long running series had several references to the Man of Steel.

Winnie the Pooh

Claim to fame: The lovable bear who may be the most famous bear in the world
Created by: A.A. Milne
Born: 1926
First appearance: Winnie-the-Pooh (novel)
Appearance in a nutshell: A gold bear in a red sweater
Supporting players: Tigger, Piglet, Owl, Rabbit, Eeyore, Christopher Robin
Enemy: None
Quote: “Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?”
Tidbit: Author Benjamin Hoff wrote two books about Taoism using the characters from Winnie the Pooh to explain the philosophy of the Eastern religion

Claim to fame: The most beloved superhero of the teen set
Created by: Stan Lee and Steve Ditko
Born: 1962
First appearance: Amazing Fantasy #15 (comic book)
Appearance in a nutshell: Red and blue costume with spider webs on it.
Supporting players: Aunt May, Gwen Stacy, J. Jonah Jameson, Mary Jane Watson, Harry Osborn
Enemy: Dr. Octopus, Green Goblin, Venom, Sandman
Quote: “Your friendly neighborhood Spiderman!”
Tidbit: The theme to the Spiderman Saturday morning cartoon has been covered by The Ramones, Aerosmith and Tenacious D


Claim to fame: A puppet that became a little boy
Created by: Carlo Collodi
Born: 1883
First appearance: The Adventures of Pinocchio (novel)
Appearance in a nutshell: A marionette of a boy with a long stick nose
Supporting players: Geppetto, Blue Fairy, Jiminy Cricket
Enemy: Society
Quote: “I’m a real boy!”
Tidbit: The Disney film adaptation (1940) has been deemed culturally significant by the Library of Congress

Nancy Drew
Claim to fame: The girl detective you helped usher in women’s liberation
Created by: Edward Stratemeyer
Born: 1930
First Appearance: The Secret of the Old Clock (novel)
Appearance in a nutshell: An independent 16-year-old girl
Supporting players: Mr. Drew, Hannah Gruen
Enemy: Various
Quote: “If worry were an effective weight-loss program, women would be invisible.
Tidbit: There are 56 books in the first and original Nancy Drew series

The Hulk
Claim to fame: The raging green monster and son of Edward Hyde
Created by: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Born: 1962
First Appearance: The Incredible Hulk #1 (comic book)
Appearance in a nutshell: Enormous, green, and muscle bound
Supporting players: Rick Jones, Doc Sampson, Betty Ross Banner
Enemy: The Abomination, Absorbing Man, The Leader, Major Glenn Talbot
Quote: “Don’t get me angry. You won’t like me angry.”
Tidbit: There is an Incredible Hulk roller coaster at Universal Studios Island of Adventure in Florida

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