Celebrating the Unpopular Arts

The Greg Hatcher Legacy Files #60: ‘Have a Happy — No, Wait — Have a Tolerable Sucksgiving’

[This post is from 22 November 2015, and it shows up on the Wayback Machine, which is fun because I figured the comments would be interesting, and they are pretty good. Enjoy!]

Because, traditionally, this holiday SUCKS.

Why celebrate it then? Because it was created right here at CBR, by my old friends Jim MacQuarrie and Tim Morrison, and because I’m cranky today. For many reasons. Here’s one that somehow showed up on a T-shirt …

New to Sucksgiving? Here is the skinny on the world’s most depressing holiday —

The date of Sucksgiving, November 22, was chosen not only because of its proximity to Thanksgiving, but because of how much that date exemplifies the principles of Sucksgiving. On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed by an assassin’s bullet in Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas. With its popular, young President stolen from it in what remains the most public of all American assassinations, the United States suffered a severe blow to its sense of safety and security.

In short, it sucked.

Meanwhile, over 4600 miles away in Oxford, England, another great man left this mortal coil. C.S. Lewis, theologian and author of such works as Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, and, perhaps most famously, The Chronicles of Narnia series, passed away in his bedroom in Oxford, England, just a week shy of his 65th birthday.

This also sucked.

Whereas normally the passing of a man of Lewis’s stature and renown would have garnered a fair degree of public acknowledgment and reflection, his death was instead greatly overshadowed by the extensive media coverage of the assassination of the American President. Much of the public would not become aware of Lewis’s death until several days later.

That, too, sucked.

The patron saint of Sucksgiving is Rodney Dangerfield, born Jacob Cohen on November 22, 1921. An American actor and comedian, Dangerfield’s comedy act was often built upon the theme of how things in life sucked. In addition to his date of birth, he is the patron saint of this holiday because, as he so often said himself, he never got any respect.

And that sucked.

And so on. The full story, as well as the traditional Sucksgiving menu, is here.

This year, Sucksgiving is particularly sucky because … well, let’s see …

Batman ’66 came out this week and it was one of the best issues yet, with a Catwoman story that would have been brilliant on the original show. Robin and Batgirl are in danger and so Catwoman agrees to help out.

It’s a tremendously fun story and the art from Jonathan Case is stunning.

Writer Jeff Parker completely nails the tone of the show but gives us something new as well.

It’s the only Batman book I get and it’s wonderful and it’s friggin’ canceled. Right on the heels of Jeff Parker leaving the only OTHER DC book I get, Aquaman. Meanwhile, grimdark asshole Batman is about to get another shove into the limelight with a new miniseries called THE MASTER RACE that’s by Frank Miller — that’s the current, crazy, comics-fan-hating Miller, not tough crime-noir classic Miller — and it turns out he doesn’t even really have that much to do with it, the heavy lifting’s being done by Brian Azzarello, whose only other work I’ve read is a hideously awkward ill-conceived take on my favorite pulp heroes.

This strikes me as about as blatantly cash-grabby and lame an effort as Before Watchmen. But that sold and this Master Race thing probably will too. What’s more, it means that Asshole Batman has now lasted longer than any other version — whether you start counting from 1986 when everyone started trying to copy Miller’s Dark Knight, or Starlin’s bad photocopy of it a year or two later, circa The Cult and 1-800-KILL-ROBIN.

That all sucks.

What else? By all reports, Jessica Jones is AWESOME.

And so is the new James Bond film Spectre.

And I won’t get to see them until 2016, probably, because we ended up blowing most of our leisure budget on car repairs instead. Because we had to be adults.

Let’s be very clear about this. Adulthood SUCKS. Like John Fugelsang says …

I could go on, but I have to wrap this up and go work at my day job. On a Sunday. That sucks too.

See you next week. Hoping everything won’t still suck then.


  1. Jeff Nettleton

    Didn’t use to mind Thanksgiving, as my family was largely functional, but a lot of it is gone now, and the rest widely dispersed. However, I spent last Thanksgiving sitting in a hospital, holding my wife’s hand, as she was dying of COVID, apart from a couple of hours to have Thanksgiving dinner with my brother and sister-in-law. She passed away on November 30, after I made the decision to have the doctor’s take her off a bipap oxygen line. That sucked, especially after I had to basically defy her son (she gave me power of attorney), who wasn’t ready to let go, but she was dying and I felt she should die in peace, as it seemed like she was getting closer and closer to dying of cardiac arrest. he was afraid she would hang on and pass on her grandson’s birthday, a few days later; but, my conversations with the doctors suggested that she would pass within 24 hours, without the bipap. I was a naval officer and was trained that you have to make the hard decisions because that is your job, so I did and told him why I was doing it, relating my own father’s end of life, in similar circumstances and the decision made then. In the end, he agreed. It was still too painful for him to watch.

    So, now, Thanksgiving is associated with seeing a woman I spent 15 years with, hooked up to tubes, gasping for air and seeing a grown man unable to face his mother dying, after they had been estranged for a bit. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving isn’t going to cut it, this year.

    The sad irony in all of this is Greg’s own passing, of similar situations, after he had been doing the noble work of transporting COVID patients, without getting sick, only to have cancer and its treatment overwhelm his body. Barb had been segregated from public contact, all through the pandemic, but her mental health issues led to physical problems and hospitalization, then recovery at a nursing home, where she contracted COVID. It was only then that we discovered how damaged her lungs were from several years of having to lay on one side, to relieve back pain, from degenerated discs.

    Adult life does suck, sometimes, especially as you head into the latter stages, and say goodbye to a lot of fine people, including those you never met, but meant something to you, like Greg.

  2. “his death was instead greatly overshadowed by the extensive media coverage of the assassination of the American President. ” Groucho Marx died the same week IIRC as Elvis Presley. Groucho did not get the coverage he deserved.
    I’m not sure First Wave was ill-conceived — I liked the concepts — but execution was forgettable. I recently finished the First Wave: Doc Savage series on the app and it was less than good (https://frasersherman.com/2023/07/25/the-other-doc-savage-the-first-wave-again/)

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