Dun, Dun, DUH-NUH-NUH!

Okay, OKAY, I will get back to chronicling the trip soon, promise, but my time in front of a computer has been few, far between, and co-opted with other responsibilities. We're staying at the beach another day (wouldn't you?), so I hope to get more of that done, y'know, then. This time, I have just enough time to settle the Iron Man controversy single-handedly.

Iron manCheck the link above for the deets, but the upshot is "Which came first: the Marvel Comics character Iron Man" (also the subject of an upcoming blockbuster flick), or the Black Sabbath song of the same name?" Apparently the Boston Globe feels this warrants coverage. So it's the least I can do to settle it from South Asia.

Back in the mid-90s, when I was a high-profile comic book editor for the late Byron Preiss, handling boutique comics adaptations like the Douglas Adams Hitchhikers series, Roger Zelazny's Amber, Harvey Kurtzman's The New Two-Fisted Tales, etc., I'd be sent to the San Diego Comic Con every year. This particular year, I spent the week working like a dog at the booth while our two senior editors schmoozed artists they couldn't afford and took off to visit the zoo, respectively. Leaving me to deal with fanboys, placate unpaid talent and take the boss's three-year old girl to the restroom.

One of my more menial duties was to work the line at a Stan Lee signing. Stan had created a series of novels for Byron, called Stan Lee's Riftworld, and we got him to do a signing at the 'Con. My job was to tell the people in line that the only thing they could bring for him to sign were copies of Stan Lee's Riftworld.My other job was to then offer them a leather-bound signed limited edition for $35. Classy.

As the signing time wound down, a blond lady in her late 30s-early 40s, two towhead boys itow, came up to me and asked if her husband could meet Stan, as he'd written a song about one of his characters. I said I'd try.

Geezer ButlerAt which point her husband showed up, an unassuming dude with a 70s stache and cutoff shorts, lugging a 'Con bag and an autograph book. Long story short, It was Geezer Butler of Sabbath. So not only did I have the singular honor of setting up this auspicious meeting--easily my only highlight of Comicon that year--I got first-hand confirmation that Geezer (MISTER Geezer to you), wrote the song AFTER the character. Period.

Okay. Some of you are in comic- or metal-geek ecstasy right now. Some of you are bored crapless. I can live with both. More India trip coverage soon.