Wednesday, 21 August 2013

We've Done A Good Day's Work!

Welcome to part 18 of

Where The Human Fly is triumphant and is mobbed by a crowd in a baseball pitch in this the final recreated page from issue 1 of The Human Fly Comic:-

Last week I promised I would try and answer the big burning questions about The Human Fly that have been accumulating as this blog has progressed through what is known of the real-life character of the same name, as I hope it is fairly clear most of the answers can only at best be semi educated guesses as the details / proof necessary in most cases is not known…

Was The Human Fly Real?
Yes there really was a person who wore the same costume as seen in the comic, the corner box of each  comic issue, and in the trademark filing for Human Fly Spectaculars Ltd and called himself The Human Fly

Did the real life Human Fly really do stunts?
Yes, at least 3 attempts at a wing walk (one successful) and one successful rocket powered motorcycle jump can be proven to have occurred

Was The Human Fly really Rick Rojatt?
The comic character is Rick Rojatt even though that was never revealed within the pages of the comic itself, as for the real life Human Fly, my best guess is that "Rick Rojatt" is possibly an alias the Human Fly used

Was the real life Human Fly really in a car accident?
It seems unlikely that The Human Fly was really in a car accident of the extent that is shown or has been described, certainly not to the extent of injuries shown or described - see next question…

Did the real life Human Fly really have a skeleton of steel?
Again its very unlikely, possibly some limbs or a portion of bone could have been replaced, but it is unlikely it would have actually been steel that was used.  It is medically rather difficult to replace the entire or even parts of the skeleton, there's the issue of no bone marrow (meaning no red or white blood cells being produced) and the question of how do you graft working muscles onto whatever you replace the bone with and have them still working. Also the Human Fly did not appear to walk with any kind of obvious gait / limp - in other words there was nothing obvious to suggest he had been that seriously injured in the first place - just look at the real life racing driver Nicki lauda for a comparison

Did the real life human fly do "good deeds"?
Yes there is is video of The Human Fly visiting kids at a hospital

Was the real life human fly a professional stunt man?
All the evidence suggests he was not, at best he appears to be an enthusiastic amateur. He did not appear to prepare for or practice his stunts adequately and did not seem to be aware of the difference between a risk and outright danger that not preparing /practising can cause

Why did The Human Fly (and or his PR people) say he failed the motorcycle jump at Montreal when he succeeded?
There seems to be no obvious reason for this, but see the next question…

Why did The Human Fly (and or his PR people) blame mechanical failure of the rocket powered motorcycle as the cause of the Montreal accident when it appears to have been bad judgement on the part of The Human Fly?
It is clearly stated that a large insurance policy was taken out against The Human fly just prior to Montreal and this does appear to be at the very least a rather large coincidence…

Was The Human Fly prone to exaggeration?
Although it is fair to allow some leeway in the name of "showmanship" (like you would with a ringmaster in a circus) most of what The Human Fly is recorded as having said does not bare that close scrutiny, a lot of what he said he was going to do, he never did not even in the context of a recorded attempt

How did the press treat The Human Fly?
By all accounts rather cynically and with derisiveness

Was it a mistake to make a comic based on a real-life character?
Actually I think the mistake was the other way around, in taking a real life person and expecting them to become an ideal, when in reality they are just a human person and prone to weaknesses, failures, mistakes and any number of things which would only muddy the waters in terms of them being the physical representation of an ideal.  As an example I can't think that Captain America could ever be actually real, I can certainly imagine a person being as passionately patriotic as Captain America is but within the confines of being a person, not an infallible ideal

Does this mean the comic should have been more "real-to life"?
No, because it is the comic and in particular the heart that Bill Mantlo put into it which is what everyone really remembers and celebrates more than the real life Human Fly - a comic based on what actually happened would have never achieved this

So just to provide a bit more on this, as to my mind this is one of the focal points of my journey through The Human Fly - The idea and the ideal of what The Human Fly could be or what he could represent is something Bill Mantlo strongly believed in, Bill Mantlo believes in the traditional heroic myth and making inspiration by example, in short Bill knew exactly what a mythical hero should do and be, someone for kids to look up to and be inspired by and a hero is exactly what Bill Mantlo is, not just for the comic but for the way he lives he life both in the past and in the here and now

Finally here are some more questions -

Whatever Happened to the Human Fly comic,  to the Stunt competition, to the Human Fly for real and to the comic book character?

Is there a better such of information /answers to all these questions?

All of these and more in NEXT WEEKs final concluding part of my journey into The Human Fly

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