Americans grow up with superheroes ‘n such. Sgt. Rock, Superman, Spiderman, Mr. A, Dr. Atomic and best of all, The Hog of Steel! Wonder Warthog turned up in mid-60s Drag Cartoons as technologist of scattershields and mechanical engineering, then resurfaced in the refined and sophisticated literature bristling up and down Haight Street all the way down to Market and to the Fillmore at Van Ness. Comics were the market currency with which kids learned to bargain, haggle and barter back in the day–skills that settled the Cold War on the side of Do Your Own Thing.
Skepticism struggled against the suspension of disbelief as Sgt. Rock’s deltoid looked the same after being shot dozens of times. How did Superman’s X-ray vision simultaneously project and receive? And howcum Wonder Warthog’s snout looked unlike those of pigs in the wilds of Texas and Mato Grosso? What was his other secret (besides identity)?
Research on the Opium Wars, Panic of 1907 and Balkan Wars required research in mail order catalogs of the sort Pearl S. Buck’s missionary father ordered stuff sent to China from at right about the time of the Boxer Rebellion, and lo! The secret of that most prurient of snouts was laid bare. As anarchist Leon Frank Czolgosz fired a bullet into President McKinley, patent lawyers sweated over the:
Thumbscrews! Is it any wonder Wonder Warthog became THE libertarian champion of freedom alongside Mr. A and Spidey? This Austintatious champion of laissez-faire was not only mutilated, but was also (SPOILER ALERT) Continue reading