Bizarre Baseball Culture: A Cal Ripken Bio-Comic

In Bizarre Baseball Culture, I take a look at some of the more unusual places where baseball has reared it’s head in pop culture and fiction.

There is a special type of baseball culture that I haven’t really covered yet… the baseball biography comic. Whether authorized or unauthorized, the baseball bio-comic is it’s own small subgenre of weird.

Take Baseball Superstars Comics‘ bio-comic on Cal Ripken, Jr. from 1992. A black-and-white comic from the now long-defunct “Revolutionary Comics” and seventh in a series of baseball bio-comics, it’s like a fever-dream of a look into the life and times of the Orioles great up through the 1991 season. The art is disturbing, the writing wooden, and the facts sometimes feel wrong.

That said, it’s not all bad. It’s got a so-bad-it’s-good quality at times, and any comic that features two pages devoted to the longest game ever is going to get my attention.

So, on his 54th birthday, here’s a look at the Baseball Superstars comic on Cal Ripken Jr…. after the jump:

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VIDEO WEEK: Michael Jordan asks Ken Griffey Jr. for an autograph

It’s VIDEO WEEK on the Baseball Continuum!

In 1994, then-baseball player Michael Jordan visited the All-Star Game. It provided us with two indelible images:

1) Confirmation that Cal Ripken Jr. was nearly as tall as Michael Jordan (going by listed heights, he was only two inches shorter than MJ).

2) Confirmation that Ken Griffey Jr. was such a big star that even the most famous athlete in the world would go out of his way to get his autograph.

Bizarre Baseball Culture: The Batman and Cal Ripken Jr. join forces to promote Big League Chew

In Bizarre Baseball Culture, I take a look at some of the more unusual places where baseball has reared it’s head in pop culture and fiction.

When I was growing up, there was only one true cartoon Batman, and that was the Batman voiced by Kevin Conroy in a series of cartoons that started in the early nineties, ended in 2006, and then briefly revived for the occasional video game or DVD movie. The shows that featured Conroy- usually headed by a writer named Paul Dini and an artist named Bruce Timm- were and are masterpieces, regarded by many as the definitive Batman and not just great kids shows, but great shows period.

However, there was the slight problem that having a deep and rather mature Batman in the cartoons meant there wasn’t as much stuff for the very little kiddies, so in 2004, while the Conroy-Batman was in a Justice League cartoon, a new show was created, entitled simply The Batman. While it did have it’s moments (or so I hear, I think I only watched maybe four episodes of it in total), it was not dark, it was not deep, it was not mature and it just in general was an abomination, especially when compared to the Batman cartoons I’d grown up watching. It was created basically just to sell toys to little kids in the run-up to the release of Batman Begins (which, as we all know, was totally kid friendly, right?).

Still, there was one thing that The Batman gave us: a comic book in which Batman joins forces with Cal Ripken Jr. in order to stop the Penguin and hawk Big League Chew. Just as Bob Kane and Bill Finger intended.

(Go below the jump for more)

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