Rutland Halloween Parade

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Rutland Halloween Parade
in Batman # 237 (1971)

(storyline by Denny O'Neil, drawings by Neal Adams, colored by Dick Giordano, lettering by John Costanza)

( Please note copyrights )

The Rutland Halloween Parade is an annual parade in the city of Rutland , Vermont and has been held regularly on Halloween since 1959. The parade is thematically oriented towards superheroes and has already been included in comics several times for this topic . According to local authorities, it is one of the largest Halloween parades in the United States . It takes place on Merchant's Row, a street with restored buildings dating back to the mid-19th century. 108 of these inner-city buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places .


Mary Marvel on the cover of Wow Comic # 38

Tom Fagan , a local writer and comic book fanatic, was instrumental in the early development of the parade and its theming focus on the superheroes. With letters and texts to the comic book publishers DC Comics and Marvel Comics as well as to comic authors and cartoonists, he promoted the publication of the parade as a backdrop in several editions of DC Comics and Marvel Comics, such as Detective Comics # 327, published in May 1964 and Die Avengers # 88, published in May 1971.

According to a 2006 article in the Boston Globe , the comic characters Joker , Plastic Man and Doctor Strange made the streets of Rutland in 1965 , along with Batman (presumably portrayed by Fagan himself; but like Bruce Wayne, the man behind the mask of the dark Ritters , he did not reveal his identity either) unsure. Other comic heroes took part in the parade in the following years.

According to a 2008 obituary for Fagan in the Comics Buyer's Guide :

“5,000 spectators watched the 11th annual parade in 1970, with marchers who included the Black Panther , Scarlet Witch , Black Widow , Medusa , Wasp , Quicksilver , Vision , Captain America , and Havok . Riding on a float were Thor and Sif , along with the Norn Queen . The Red Skull hitched a ride on the float for no known thematic reason .... Also present were Nighthawk , Batman , and Captain Marvel - and probably a few other DC heroes that Fagan was discreet enough not to mention. The parade kicked off, he noted, with the familiar cry of 'Avengers Assemble!' and ended on the same note. "

“5000 visitors watched the 11th annual parade in 1970, in which Black Panther , Scarlet Witch , Black Widow , Medusa , Wasp , Quicksilver , Vision , Captain America and Havok marched among others . Thor and Sif were on a moving van , along with the Norn Queen . The Red Skull tried to get on this moving van as well. This without a special thematic reason. [...] Also there were Nighthawk , Batman and Captain Marvel - and probably a few more DC superheroes that Fagan was discreet enough not to name. He mentioned that the parade had the popular reputation of 'Avengers Assemble!' started and also ended. "

- Comics Buyer's Guide, 2008

A 2006 report in the Boston Globe explains that Fagan had contact with many comic book writers and artists, most of whom were from New York. Fagan persuaded some of them to take part in the Rutland Halloween Parade in costumes of the cartoon characters. Many authors stayed as guests in Fagan's 24-room villa outside Rutland, which was later converted into the Antique Mansion Bed & Breakfast , a half-board accommodation. In addition to the parade, the parties on the evening after the parade were popular and a draw. Well-known comic book writers who have participated in the parade over the years include Steve Englehart , Gerry Conway , Marv Wolfman , Bernie Wrightson , Dennis O'Neil , Roy Thomas , Alan Weiss , Richard and Wendy Pini , Dave Cockrum and Len Wine .

The time after Fagan

From the mid-2000s, Fagan was no longer directly involved in planning the parade. The event continued anyway and Fagan attended as a guest in 2006 and 2007 and sat with the judges. Fagan had planned to attend the parade in 2008 as well, but died on October 21 of that year. An article about Fagan in the Rutland Herald stated, “Without Tom, there would be no Halloween parade in Rutland. [...] That is his legacy. "

The parade celebrated its 50th birthday in 2009.

Appearances in comics

The Rutland Halloween Parade became well known in the 1970s when it was used as the setting for many superhero stories in comics from rival publishers DC and Marvel Comics. Tom Fagan himself appeared as a character in a number of these stories. Usually he was introduced as an acquaintance of the title characters.

Due to the nature of a parade with disguised participants, the heroes of Marvel Comics and DC Comics met on the parade. These were the first unofficial encounters between the superheroes of the various publishers. These encounters were reflected in the publications of the publishers. The characters of both publishers were carefully used and Fagan, who in real life usually hosted the parade dressed as Batman , then became Nighthawk in the Rutland Halloween stories published by Marvel .

In the fall of 1972, writers Steve Englehart, Gerry Conway, and Len Wein worked together on a loose three-part story that spanned titles from both companies. Every Englehart comic, Conway and Wein, as well as Wein's first wife Glynis Wein , involved interactions between Fagan and the villains or heroes of Marvel or DC Comics. It started with “Amazing Adventures” # 16 by Englehart, with drawings by Bob Brown and Frank McLaughlin in the Beast Comics. Beast also arrives in Rutland with Englehart, who drives the Weins and Conway to Rutland. The story ends after Juggernaut tries to steal Englehart's car. The story continues in "Justice League of America" ​​# 103, by Wein, Dick Dillin and Dick Giordano , when Batman and others disrupt the parade while trying to catch Felix Faust . Faust then actually steals Englehart's car, but is stopped by the police. In the third part of this unofficial collaboration, "Thor" # 207 by Conway, John Buscema and Vince Colletta , the three comic book authors and Wein's wife visit Fagan again and Englehart's car is stolen again. This time by invisible and unmentioned villains of DC Felix Faust as shown in JLA # 103.

In the question part of the comic What If? # 22 from August 1980 asks a reader: “Does Rutland, Vermont, annually become a nexus of realities similar to that existing in the swamp near Citrusville , Florida?” (German: Is there an annual combination of realities in Rutland, Vermont, similar to how they exist in the swamps near Citrusville, Florida?). The Marvel author Mark Grunewald writes as a watcher : “While the nexus in Citrusville is a natural aperture, the nexus near Rutland is an artificial one that fluctuates in size and accessibility. For reasons that I have not investigated, it has not been opened in recent years. ”(Dt .: While the connection of realities in Citrusville is a natural opening, the one in the vicinity of Rutland is an artificial one in its size and accessibility is not stable. For reasons I haven't investigated, it hasn't opened in recent years.)

In 1986 the parade reappeared on WaRP Graphics in "Thunderbunny" # 5. The city of Rutland was featured in DC's Animal Man # 50 in 1992, but not the Halloween Parade. The parade was most recently mentioned in "Generation X" # 22 in 1996 and in "Superboy and the Ravers" # 16 in 1997 from DC Comics.

Chronological list of appearances

Please note: Not all publications relate to the Halloween Parade. Some relate to Tom Fagan and others to the City of Rutland.

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Peggy Shin: Rutland's hallowed tradition is a treat . In: The Boston Globe , October 22, 2006. Retrieved April 1, 2007. 
  2. Comics Aliance, The Rutland Halloween Parade: Where Marvel and DC First Collided, October 30, 2010. Retrieved October 23, 2014
  3. a b c d Shutt, Craig. "Ask Mr. Silver Age: Tom Fagan" , Comics Buyer's Guide (November 5, 2008). The plot of issue # 237 of Batman (December 1971) already references the event.
  4. ^ Website of the Antique Mansion Bed & Breakfast
  5. a b c d e Thomas, Roy (Ed.) Alter Ego: The Comic Book Artist Collection (TwoMorrows Publishing, March 2001), pages 78-80
  6. ^ Curtis, Brent. “Force behind city's Halloween parade, Tom Fagan, dies,” Rutland Herald (October 23, 2008).
  7. "Rutland scares up pride with 50-year Halloween Parade," ( Memento from 29 October 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Rutland Herald (Oct. 24, 2009).
  8. Eric Larnick: The Rutland Halloween Parade: Where Marvel and DC First Collided . ComicsAlliance . October 30, 2010. Archived from the original on December 6, 2011. Retrieved on December 5, 2011.
  9. Brian Cronin: Comic Book Legends Revealed # 280 . Comic Book Resources . October 1, 2010. Archived from the original on December 6, 2011. Retrieved on December 5, 2011.
  10. Jump up ↑ Amazing Adventures # 16 (January 1973) , Justice League of America # 103 (December 1972), and Thor # 207 (January 1973) on the Grand Comics Database
  11. Gruenwald, Mark. "The Watcher Knows," What If? # 22 (Marvel, August 1980).

Web links