Arlen Schumer, a comic book-style illustrator and author of coffee table art books, joined Richard Syrett (Twitter) to pay tribute to the artists and art of comic books. The irony of comics in the 21st century is that film and television versions are more popular than ever while comic book sales are at their lowest levels in decades, Schumer explained. Today's movies and shows would not be possible if it were not for the great stories and artwork of the Silver Age done by the likes of Jack Kirby and Neal Adams, Schumer suggested. He commented on the "Sgt. Rock" title done by artist Joe Kubert. No one before him made strokes and marks like he did, Schumer opined. "Joe Kubert had one of the greatest most-unique styles of pen and ink and brush work in the history of not just comic book art but art itself," he said.
Schumer recalled the time when he was five years old and held in his hands for the first time a Superman comic with cover by artist Curt Swan. In that time DC did not credit artists, he revealed. "We liked Curt Swan's Superman without even knowing it was Curt Swan, we just knew his version," Schumer noted. He spoke about the rivalry between DC and Marvel in the Sixties, describing it as establishment versus counter culture. DC defined the out-of-touch establishment while Marvel, with creative dynamos Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, invented alternative and problem-saddled versions of DC characters, Schumer pointed out. He acknowledged Carmine Infantino as DC's premiere artist. "His style was sleek and angular and dynamic and very emblematic of the kind of early Sixties looking ahead to science and technology," Schumer said. Infantino was ultimately promoted to art director and then publisher—a rare occurrence in the comic book industry at the time, he added.
During the latter half of the program, author Jim Harold shared new creepy and touching 'campfire' tales. He shared a story about a woman who learned about Reptilians while listening to Coast to Coast. According to Harold, the woman was discussing the topic with her skeptical husband the next evening when their toddler son inexplicably joined the conversation. "All of a sudden this little boy... looks straight at them and says very clearly, 'People not ready yet,'" he revealed.
Another tale followed a terminally ill boy who's dying wish was to go on a dinosaur dig. The organization heading the dig could not get to the location of a new excavation so they took the boy to a previously examined site, Harold recalled, noting paleontologists had gone into that river bed numerous times and found nothing. After a short time of digging the boy uncovered a nasal bone that belonged to a full triceratops skull. "That skull, I believe, was put there for that little boy to find to get his last wish," Harold suggested.
Harold related an account told to him by Allen from Texas who was on a road trip with family when their car's rear tire blew out and caused the vehicle to flip numerous times. Allen was thrown out of the vehicle and briefly blacked out. When he regained consciousness Allen reported seeing an unusually white semi-truck and its driver who apparently had stopped to help Allen. The man told him not to worry about his brother, Harold recalled, noting Allen watched his brother-in-law walk through the man on his way to help him. Allen's brother succumbed to injuries and died at the scene of the accident. "[Allen] felt very warmly about this man, so he believes that was his guardian angel brought their that day to comfort him," Harold said.