A look at the career of comics artist Jim Aparo.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Pogs by Aparo

POGS! I don't honestly have much to say about these. To my thinking, pogs were one of the stupidest "collectibles" ever perpetrated on the gullible kids of the early 90s. In case you missed the craze, pogs originated as a sort of prize available under the caps of a brand of mixed fruit juice (hence the acronymic name, from the words 'passion fruit', 'orange', and 'guava') popular, I believe, in Pacific island states. Pogs are small cardboard disks with a picture on them. There was a simple game associated with them, which involved stacking your pogs, flipping a special disk at the stack, and then scooping up those pogs which landed face down (or maybe it was face up--I saw my nephews playing the game once, but I forgot the very simple rules). The game reduced trading to a game of (mostly) chance between kids who'd pool their pogs into the stack. Or something like that...I've already admitted that I thought the whole thing was pretty stupid, haven't I?
Sensing that the collectible card craze was waning, comics publishers joined in on the pog craze, pumping out tons of pogs with comic book connections. I didn't care much for the card craze, either (although we'll see some cards soon with exclusive Aparo artwork), but at least they were a little better at depicting an actual story, given the larger size (and a complete collection).
DC put out a series of pogs spotlighting the then-recent story in which villain Bane broke Batman's back, and Jim Aparo was one of those whose art was featured. I'm not very impressed with the selections, including an unattractively-drawn Poison Ivy and a bizarre scene of Robin cutting Azrael's hair! It's not clear from the scan, but the Bane pog (#B2) was a "chase pog" (Please don't get me started on "chase" collectibles!): it has a metallic-looking background on an otherwise ordinary cardboard disk. (NOTE: As noted in the comments, the art on the Bane pog is from the talented Graham Nolan, not Jim Aparo!)
It's not Aparo at his best, but it's something that many Aparo fans would never even have thought of looking for, now that the pog is (so far as I can tell) extinct.
And that's ok with me, since I've got my Aparo pogs.

2 comments:

  1. Hi,

    I'm a HUGE Aparo fan myself...
    I was lucky enough to buy a few original pages,
    including a couple which were inked by Scott Hanna.

    I was wondering if the BANE pog was indeed penciled by Jim Aparo (and not Graham Nolan) ? And if so, is there any chance at all to locate the original art ? Any info would be welcome.

    Thanks,
    Gal
    galschwart@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good eye, Gal! You are correct that the Bane are was done by me.

    ReplyDelete