I recently received the following correspondence from cartoonist David Mazzucchelli, re: my old article on his “Big Man” and its similarities with Bill DuBay and Alex Toth’s “Daddy and the Pie” (above):
I came across your essay, “The Child and the Giant,” several years ago, and would like to thank you for your flattering words (about me). Since I’ve noticed that it is still posted at your site (and rather prominently), I would also like to suggest one correction. Hard as it may be to believe, I had never seen “Daddy and the Pie” until about ten years AFTER I made “Big Man.” (Although Toth did have an influence on my work â€” especially at certain periods â€” it was based on a very limited acquaintance with his work.) Imagine my own surprise at seeing the similarities you discuss â€” down to certain panel compositions! Chalk it up to lack of originality on my part, I guess.
Sorry if this pulls one of the legs out from under your argument.
As I answered, to the contrary: I’m very happy to receive such a corrective. When I first saw “Daddy and the Pie”, it immediately struck me that it must have served as inspiration for “Big Man”, not the least because Mazzucchelli had channeled the older master so beautifully in Batman: Year One. I figured it couldn’t be a coincidence, but of course it could.