Friday, November 20, 2009
Zook: Baby Talk or Pidgin English?
I've been a bad host again, and not posted for a couple of days. I'm backdating this to Friday, as it's been sitting in my "to do" box for a month. Out of fifteen votes over the month of October, 6 respondents (40%) believed Zook's dialogue indicated he spoke in "Baby Talk." To further elaborate, "with his underdeveloped toddler body, modest powers and unkempt hair, Zook was clearly meant to be yet another 'kid sidekick.'" That's how most comic book historians I've encountered have taken Zook, by the way.
On the other hand, struck by further reading, I'm not entirely sure Zook wasn't intended as a replacement for the subservient foreigners that were common to super-heroes until the 1960s. That would indicate Zook spoke "Pidgin English: The off-color, sub-human "otherdimensional pet" was the squat "helper" of our hero, another in the long line of disposable racist stereotypes in comics." 9 voters (60%) suspected such, myself included. The only men who knew for sure are long dead, and perhaps it's best that we never know. However, writer Jack Miller was a socially progressive sort, as I understand it, so I'd prefer to give him the benefit of the doubt.