Miscellaneous Shark Stuff
by Brant W. Fowler
Throughout the course of Shark Week this week, we have shared with you shark characters in comics, comic art featuring sharks, sharks in animation, sharks in film and a site dedicated to Comic Book Shark Week. So I thought it would be fun to take a look at some miscellaneous stuff related to sharks and the various mediums we so love around here.
Shark Repellent Batspray!
Something I had mentioned in passing and was requested on the forums is a shark reference all comic fans should be familiar with. And that is, of course, the famous Shark Repellant Batman implemented in the 1966 Batman movie based on the hit TV show.
Who could forget that classic line when Batman said " Hand down the shark-repellent Batspray!" I mean, it's Batman, he's always prepared for everything! So this should come as no surprise. Though, from the looks of that picture, apparently Batman has gained Superman's invincibility, or he's encountered a toothless shark!
Doing some research on this, I discovered that Brian Cronin actually wrote a book called "Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent?" Yep, that's a thing. It's on Amazon even!
Furthermore, did you know that there actually is such a thing as shark repellent? Google it, you'll be amazed. I wonder why I never hear about this on Discovery Channel!
And just for fun, here's a cool fan painting by Andrew Zubko of Batman fighting a shark... with a lightsaber!
Jumping the Shark
Speaking of classic television, have you ever wondered where the phrase, "jumping the shark" came from? Okay, most of us know exactly where it came from. If you don't, I'll let you in on the (not so) secret in a second. First, for those who may not be sure what the phrase means, it's basically saying that a story - typically a TV show, but could apply to comics or any other storytelling medium - has gone past the line of believability and beyond the limits of suspension of disbelief. It also refers to an outlandish gimmick to try to keep viewers' interest, which results in the former.
And while this probably occured before, the first notable instance was in the TV show Happy Days where The Fonz, Arthur Fonzerelli actually jumped a shark. The scene took place in Season 5, Episode 1 of the show in 1977 (the year I was born incidentally). It was a continuation from the previous season where the gang had gone to Hollywood. Fonzie, donning swimming trunks and his trademark leather jacket, attempts to jump a confined shark on water skies when his bravery is challenged. What's odd is the show actually lasted nearly five more years after this. Today, we're not quite so forgiving, but continued success after that point does still happen.
They even made a toy of him in his shark-jumping attire...
I'm not sure if this actually happened in an episode, but I thought it was a funny image spoofing the whole shark jump:
And of course, we did our own spoof of the incident in New Comic Day a while back in strips #66-67 (click images to read):
Also, check out webcomic XKCD's take on Shark Jumps: http://xkcd.com/585/
Speaking of The Simpsons, this is a funny scene from Season 6, Episode 4:
Shark Boy, huh? Hmm... I always thought this guy was Shark Boy:
And that's the fishing line, 'cause Shark Boy said so!
And no relation to this guy either I guess:
Yep, that's Taylor Lautner, folks. Before he was a werewolf he was a shark... boy.
Then there's Peter Griffin...
Apparently at Comic-Con last year there were flying sharks about, terrorizing the attendees:
Speaking of flying sharks, check out this cool toy:
Doctor Who knows a thing or two about flying sharks as well, as evidenced in the 2010 Doctor Who Christmas Special:
Who can forget Dr. Evil's sharks with lasers... or lack thereof:
At least until he actually got them...
Brant and the Shark
And I'll end this piece with my own encounter with a shark:
I'm the guy in the middle. You know, with his head in the shark's mouth? That was one mean shark! I don't know how I ever escaped!
I hope you enjoyed this series. It doesn't look like I'll be able to finish the last piece I intended, but we'll see. In case I don't, if you enjoyed this series of articles let me know and maybe I'll revisit it next year. If you'd like to see more tie-in stuff like this on the site, we'd love to hear your ideas on that as well.
Thanks for reading!
Brant W. Fowler / Writer, Letterer, Reviewer, Columnist, Podcaster, Co-Owner/COO/Site Manager of Comic Related
Brant W. Fowler has been a professional comic book writer, editor, flatter, letterer and logo designer for several years, and has been a freelance editor for the past five years or so. He is one of the cast members and host of the Zone 4 podcast here at Comic Related, and he letters some of the webcomics on the site. You can see samples of his works and how to hire him at Gonzogoose Design and Just-Flats.net. And catch up with him on his forums right here at CR. Brant is also a member of the core operations team at Comic Related.
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