Lines nspired by a Jimmy Olsen Caption.

I stumbled across a copy of the September 1964 issue of Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen comic on-line recently, which contains a time travel story called The Red Headed Beatle of 1,000BC. One of its captions reads “Shortly, in the distant past”, and that phase stuck in my head, so I wrote this:

Lines Inspired by a Jimmy Olsen Caption
by Paul Slade

Shortly, in the distant past,
The first comes in behind the last,
The evening’s early, morning’s late,
Your history fills a future date,
Time’s arrow turns the other way,
And June surrenders unto May,
Slow progress circles backward, fast,
Shortly, in the distant past.

Contact this guy–you may have a, uh, future in this!:

I like it Slade. Pretty clever.

Thank you, Skammer - much appreciated.

Nicely done!

You can find the cover of the comic itself here.

And Sub-Pop’s own The Makers named a tune after the story, which you can hear on YouTube here.

The music kicks in as soon as you open that second link, so you might not want to do so at work.

Hey, I once owned that issue!

Can that poem be set to Beatles music? Can’t check video now.

I didn’t write it with that in mind, but if you can find a Beatles tunes that fits, then go nuts!

My God, those old comic stories were so dumb. And look at that cover- the kids are so into Jimmy’s drum playing that they don’t notice a brightly colored man FLOATING IN THE AIR RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM.

I think “dumb” is a little unkind.

I’d prefer to call them charmingly silly comics, written for an audience of children and young teens at a time when people of that age were perhaps a little more innocent than they are today.

Even now, I’d rather read Jimmy Olsen circa 1964 than one of the cynical over-produced torture porn outings that passes for a superhero comic these days. Are we really all so dour that even a kids’ comic isn’t allowed to be entertainingly daft just for the sheer fun of it?

Maybe “dumb”* is* a bit harsh. I grew up reading every comic book I could get my mitts on, so I know the zaniness of the plotlines. I read somewhere that the editor at the time actually consulted a group of kids for story ideas, like making Jimmy a robot for example. I loved the old stories. And I, too, would rather read an old comic than that new airbrushed looking stuff. Yecch.

Hmm… It kinda works to George’s “Something.”

That is some genuinely clever word-smithing there, Slade. Kudos!

“Across the Universe” almost fits. It’ll need a refrain, though, for the “Hai guru deva om / Nothing’s going to change my world” part. Maybe “Zeee–Zeee–Zeee–Jeepers! Kirby says, ‘Don’t ask! Just buy it!’”