Scary Monsters, Super Freaks. by Martha Thomases

Martha Thomases

Martha Thomases brought more comics to the attention of more people than anyone else in the industry. Her work promoting The Death of Superman made an entire nation share in the tragedy of one of our most iconic American heroes. As a freelance journalist, she has been published in the Village Voice, High Times, Spy, the National Lampoon, Metropolitan Home, and more. For Marvel comics she created the series Dakota North. Martha worked as a researcher and assistant for the author Norman Mailer on several of his books, including the Pulitzer-Prize-winning Executioner's Song, On Women and Their Elegance, Ancient Evenings, and Harlot's Ghost.

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18 Responses

  1. Walt says:

    No offense, but I like your husband's overall choice in candy much better than yours. Zagnut? Who knew they even still made those!

    • Martha Thomases says:

      I like his choice better, too. That's why I don't want him to buy them.

      • Joe in Philly says:

        You don't need to eat the extra Hershey bars he buys. Just send them to me. I'll be happy to dispose of them properly.

  2. Patrick says:

    As legend has it, I was able to combined the candy-begging and Vast Homosexual Agenda from an early age…I'm told I went in drag as a bride on my first Halloween, wearing my sisters 1st Communion outfit. I'm also told I danced on bars and pool tables all night. (We knew where the best trick-or-treating was done. Bartenders gave out great candy in my neighborhood, and the patrons gave out money!Pat

  3. John Tebbel says:

    I've always thought Zagnut was one of the scarier candy bar names. Sounds like something you get caught in your throat. Or some bad translation of the runic name of a Celtic troll. That's not thunder, it's, it's . . . Zagnut! Whew, it's only Mike Bloomberg; we have nothing to fear from him, he loves us, he said so. Olympic fever, catch it!

  4. Rick Taylor says:

    I big time on PayDay.With the nuts on the OUTSIDE!

    • Uncle Robbie says:

      What a coinkydink, I like the nuts on the outside, too. (Which led to more than a few bad costume choices and one unfortunate handshake incident.)

  5. Rick Taylor says:

    BTW – l'm big on the slutty adult(tress) Princess Leia costumes.Not just the 'slave girl' look.

  6. mike weber says:

    for a second, i thought you meant that that pic was a costume DC were planning to use in the comic. (BTW, the link for "ta-tas" goes to a nonextant page, apparently).Actually, it was a Clever Plan to help fight Bad Guys – sort of like Modesty Blaze's "nailer."

  7. Rick Taylor says:

    Modesty Blaze, that girl can wear out a catsuit!

  8. Tom Peyer says:

    They have Halloween Kit Kats covered in *orange* chocolate. Speaking of scary.

    • Martha Thomases says:

      Rats. I like funny-colored chocolate. I don't think I like it more than I dislike the cookie parts of Kit-Kas, though.

  9. pennie says:

    So much meat for this stew. Turn, turn, turn, turn again…Ruminating…in the 60s, a (rolling) paper carrying hippie chick, I found life far more colorful–and constantly transporting than anything DC or Marvel was brewing at the time. So I embraced underground Furry Freaks, Rick Griffin, and others. Then away from them. But, as a child of Vegas where Halloween was an ever-present part of daily life (hookers in pasties and g's shopping in the supermarket at 2 am, etc) each All Hallows Eve offered opportunities for us gay and happy people to go completely over the top. The modern-era Fetish Balls there now are just a tamer and toned down tourist-oriented public demonstration of the real thing. Use your imaginations.Candy? We had plenty of girls dressing just like her.Ta-tas were a fashion accessory to be dressed–or not–to a girl's best dreams. Fast-forwarding now, watching Rachel Maddow and Keith Uber-man each night elucidate the latest in Republican Foibles, I was thinking, you couldn't possibly invent a comic nearly as entertaining. Maybe you could but this version of reality is more startling and surprising. Costuming needs help but for the $150,000 Mrs. Moosehead spent, you'd think she could grab some cool duds, ta-ta's or not. Martha, you ALWAYS make me smile, think, recall, and laugh. WIth all of the grief right now, that's a mighty fine thing every Saturday–one I look forward to and treasure.There you have–a pennie for your thoughts!PS: maybe next time, we can hold Election Day on October 31. Far more fitting…

  10. Rick Taylor says:

    Hey baby,You so get my origins and what 'pushes my geek buttons'.Big hugz!Teddy Fanboy.

  11. Uncle Robbie says:

    Martha, darling, I have to say, while my comic book days are long behind me (I gave them up in a fit of pique when my own superpowers failed to develop), your columns always have a broad enough appeal to give me food for thought. Or nostalgia. When I was a lttle uncle, I loved Hallowe'en more than even Christmas. My first costume was a handmedown ghost costume that had made the rounds will all of my cousins and older brother before it got to me, face powdered white, eyes ringed with kohl. Then came a brief flirtation with rubber masks before a lifelong obsession with stage makeup (the smell of greasepaint and spirit gum makes me tingle in places you don't even want to imagine). I didn't care so much about the candy as the magic transformation from boring little me to anything I wanted to be. It led me to many places and many experiences that warped me into the big uncle I am today. As I see Hallowe'en become more marginalized by the "big" holidays (I kid you not, the stores here have jack o'lanterns right next to the candy canes) and fear of every sort, I look fondly back to the days of yore, when great troops of us would terrorize our neighbors with the vague threat of "tricks" we might perpetuate if they didn't buy us off with "treats" (except for the year Mom made us yell HAPPY HALLOWE'EN! in some well-meaning but embarrassing effort to curb our taste for blackmail) and the costume makeovers we would perform to get more from the houses with the best treats (BIG HERSHEY BARS?! WE GOTTA GO BACK!!). And the ineveitable sugar high followed by the devastating crash that left us drooling by the fireside, too tired to drag ourselves to bed (let alone brush teeth), our faces marked by melted spoils. Age, marriage, traffic, and other horrors served to cool my vigor for Hallowe'en, but last year I went out, costumed and all for the first time in ages, to a party with old friends. Having given up junk food, drinking, smoking, and small talk, I found myself more of a bystander than I recall ever having been, but I learned my lesson. This year I'll curl up with a mug of tea and watch Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas by candlelight. And maybe, just maybe, I'll wear a cape.

  12. Howard Cruse says:

    I'm safe in Massachusetts now, but my scariest memories from New York City Halloweens in my last years there were the inebriated onlookers at the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade. (The costumes were always great, though.)

  13. Russ Rogers says:

    I went to the list-a-holic list of Slang terms for breasts. Because I believe my vocabulary can always do with some expansion and because I've never gotten over being 13. In my search of other synonyms for the mammarological features, I found the Sex-Lexis. think most costume companies agree that Adult Womens Halloween Costumes (and far too many costumes for preteen girls) aren't complete unless you make them Slutty. Women can't be just a Stewardess, Pirate or Nurse. They are encouraged to be a Flirty Flight Attendant, Captain Booty the Pirate or the 3-piece Black Pleather Nurse! The difference between Halloween Costumes and fetish wear is only one of quality. Halloween Costumes are designed to be disposable. The "fabric" in them is fabric in name only. It's like petroleum by-product packing materials horribly pressed and spun into the most uncomfortable, flimsy cheap material! Maybe that's intentional. It's planned obsolescence on the part of the costume manufacturers. And a way for the person in the costume to say, "I'm not REALLY a SLUTTY NURSE! See? The material in this is really cheap. I'm just a pretend Slutty Nurse!"Why are women encouraged to dress like skanks on Halloween? Why do women WANT to do that? Hmm. I think Halloween is one day when it's socially acceptable for attractive women to FLAUNT it. It's one day when women don't need to use the line, "Oh God, I'm SO drunk," to say, "I'm HOT and HORNY!" I don't know if that's a sign of social progress or degeneration. It's nice that women can own their sexuality and take command of it. Then again, crude is crude. "Oh God, I'm SO drunk" is a DANGEROUS come on. It leaves men assuming that women get drunk because they WANT sex, they WANT someone to take advantage of them. It encourages rape. But I've seen that ploy used by women. Liquor becomes a mask, a way of not taking responsibility for what we do. Guys do it too. "Oh, that was just the Beer talking."Maybe that's the whole point of Halloween. You get to wear a mask and behave in ways that would otherwise be inappropriate. You get to go up to stranger's houses and beg for candy! You get to wear the SEXY ROBIN costume if you want. You get to be something or somebody else and not have to worry that what you do is a reflection on YOU. Even if it is. Seriously, is there anything more desperate, stupid and LESS sexy than THIS? Or, for men, THIS? Oofdahmyarocky!

  14. Neil in Nashville says:

    Great column Martha! You're the best!