Stan Leverburgh RIP Considering this is supposed to be the Made Up History of Stornoway we seem to be doing obituaries for a lot of famous Hearachs these days. Not so long ago the great Burt Rhenigadale went to meet his maker, and now the legendary Stan Leverburgh has recently gone to the great comic convention in Skye. Sorry, “the sky”. Leverburgh created some of the great superhero characters of the last 70 years and oversaw their transition from the pulp comics of the 1940s to television (in the classic ruppish BBC Alba cartoons of the 60s and 70s) and onwards to the blockbuster movie incarnations who dominate the Lanntair and the Screen Machine today. Stan Leverburgh was born Stanley Martin Ladyleverpark in 1922, and in 1939 went to work as a pencil sharpener in the busy Stornoway offices of “Airidh-an-tuimely Comics”, a front company for the propaganda department of the Free Associated Continuing Church. The church was worried about the island’s wee coves and blones getting drawn in by worldly and sinful publications such as the Beano and the Free Church Monthly Record, so they’d established their pulp magazine business to promote their message of cuireamachness to the youth without them knowing. There was a lot of this sort of thing going on in the 30s and 40s; Most of the Outer Hebrides’ comic publishers were secretly or not-so-secretly run by the islands’ various religious denominations. FP Comics, Hell Comics and All-Amarybank Publications among them. But the biggest outfit in town was APC Comics – home of Backman, FishSupperman (from the planet KrypTong), Wonder Woolman etc. With his Bernera-based collaborator Jack Kirkibost, Leverburgh soon worked his way to the top of “Airidh-an-Tuimely Comics”. Deciding that the holy comic market in Stornoway itself was saturated, Leverburgh rebranded the company to focus on sales to the rural peasantry outside the cattle grid. Maw-vel Comics hit the streets (or at least the single track roads with passing places) in 1961, and soon began to chalk up impressive sales (5 copies a month in Tommy Nicholson’s). Amongst the many characters Leverburgh created were; Captain Amarybank, with his Cortina hub cap nicked from Marybank garage as a shield The Mighty Todhar (from A-sgàrd)-was originally the god of thunderous diahhoreah (and instead of a hammer wielded a mighty toilet brush), but he had to change it due to complaints from his readers. The Inedible Dulse – mild-mannered scientist Brues Beannag worked in the Keose alginate factory by day, but when angry turned into a monster made out of allegedly nutritious seaweed that tastes horrible really. Back Panther Peat-Iron Man (billionaire playboy blacksmith Tony Steallag) -Steallag Industries making Hi tec military equip (well, for the Army Cadets at least) Guardians of the Galaxy Disco- the Seaforth bouncers led by Stair-rod, The Fantastic Four Crown- a particular success in Maw-vel’s early years was this team of superheroes who had gained their powers after exposure to a combination of cosmic rays and fortified South African wine, during a scientific mission to Cathy Dhall’s The Punishader Plocrapool Snaredevil – whose superpower was catching rabbits down at the Braighe for selling to the local butchers. Doctor Coulegrange Supervillan Doctor Mitchellspus Woolverine (played in the films by Huge Cacman) The Tha Vengers The Eggs Men- a team of superheroes with mutant hens producing double yolks Splaoid-erman (alias Peater Parkend – a mild mannered weaver from Garyvard who transforms into a binge-drinking superhero when he comes to town and gets paid for a tweed). Leverburgh also managed to convince BBC Alba to start making films of many of his creations. These summer blockbusters provided to be extremely successful and raked in loads of spondoolacs. Leverburgh also managed to snag himself a wee cameo appearances in nearly all of the BBC Alba Maw-vel movies, and also starred as himself in a famous episode of Beag Bang A’ Shiorraidh in which he’s stalked by arch-nerd Shellfish Crùbag. He’ll be much missed. (as will his cousin Stan Lee).

8 12 2018
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