In case real life is not providing you with your recommended daily allowance of conspiracy theories these days, a comic called Stupefying Yarns has fans trying to un-bury the lost history of a Golden Age comics publisher.
Members of the comics press have begun to receive envelopes in the mail, containing a note:
"Earlier this summer, a vintage SY cover -- not advertised as such -- was sold at an estate auction for $34,000.00 to a man in a pinstripe suit. An intrepid Yarnie found the contents of this envelope in a neighbor's garbage can the next day."
Inside the envelope is, as one might guess, a number of fragments of paper that, when arranged in the correct configuration, make up the cover of Stupefying Yarns #10, which features a story about Johnny Delta.
A flier that accompanies the envelope identifies Delta (who bears a more-than-passing resemblance to DC's Adam Strange) as a "hero of science." Other superheroes mentioned on the flier include "The Mighty Thor'Ax, warrior of Old Gnarly," and "Strate & Flush, our nation's greatest spycatchers."
"Whatever happened to Stupefying Yarns?" the flier asks. "Did you read and love Stupefying Yarns, the greatest comics publisher of the Golden Age? Well they say it never happened. They want you to forget. WE REMEMBER...and we're asking questions."
A link at the bottom of the flier leads to a website that seems to host an anachronistic, '90s-style message board community dedicated to Stupefying Yarns. The registrant of the domain is not available through a simple WhoIs search.
What is more interesting, arguably, is the reverse side of the cover, which is an ad ostensibly for the Grunbaum Academy of Art.
Written in pen on the cover is a ZIP code -- 91109 -- for Pasadena, California, where the Academy ostensibly exists. The ad is a "talent submission" encouraging aspiring artists to submit their work -- free of charge -- for appraisal and potential employment, and there is a PO Box pre-printed on the coupon for the Grunbaum Academy, but no ZIP code.
(Sorry, there's no website for this one as far as we can tell.)
Seemingly in the same handwriting are the words "next: Brian Diffracted."
A Google search of the phrase "Brian Diffracted" reveals a website whose owner is reportedly looking for his brother, Brian Enright. Enright, the site claims, has been missing without a word for more than two years. The registrant of the site is not available.Just as you start to wonder whether this viral marketing campaign is in some kind of poor taste, linking out to a missing-persons website, you might notice that Brian is/was an artist who used to dream about "Old Gnarly" and "Laminar," and has comics-style sketches of each on the site.
Old Gnarly, of course, being the home of The Mighty Thor'Ax. And, while not specifically named, the header for the Brian Diffracted website features a different look at Johnny Delta than we see on the torn cover.0comments
So what is going on here? The clear implication is that the mysterious "they" who are trying to silence the truth about Stupefying Yarns may have gone after Enright after having obtained and destroyed the paper.
Whatever the case, we have not yet had time to dig through all of the threads on the Yarnies message board website. If you check that out, and find any clues we haven't got yet, feel free to hit us up in the comments below, or tweet them at me at @russburlingame!