Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Alan Moore + Batman + Clayface = Corduroy?

The 2006 book DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore collects many of writer Alan Moore's well-known tales featuring the DC superheroes, including Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, For the Man Who Has Everything, and The Killing Joke. One story that I had never heard about, however, is called Mortal Clay, originally published in 1987's Batman Annual #11.

Mortal Clay is about the villain Clayface, and shows how he came to live in a department store with his love, a mannequin. (Yeah, he's insane.) It's a good short story.

While I was reading Mortal Clay, it struck me that it has many odd parallels with another, more famous story: the story of Corduroy, the children's picture book by Don Freeman. Corduroy is a teddy bear that also lives in a department store.

Let's follow the Corduroy and Clayface through their department store adventures.

First, Corduroy realizes that he has lost a button on his overalls, so he sets off one evening to find it.

And he does find a "button."

Clayface, on the other hand, originally winds up in the department store while searching for his lost love, a "woman" named Helena.

Then Corduroy has a run-in with the night watchman:

And so does Clayface:

Eventually, a hero rescues Corduroy from his plight:

Something similar happens to Clayface.

The hero takes Corduroy to his new home:

And Clayface is also taken to his new "home": Arkham Asylum.

By the way, Corduroy is written and illustrated by Don Freeman.

Mortal Clay was illustrated by . . .
George Freeman.

No relationship, as far as I know.