28 August 2011

“Bressler’s breathing into his mouth”

The last weekly Robin was all about the Dynamic Duo demonstrating the Heimlich maneuver on national television, and how that cartoon might have saved a Minnesota child’s life.

This week shows an example of an early Batman comic showing how not to resuscitate a child.

The artists have obviously worked hard to hide the sight of Officer Bressler giving “the breath of life” to the injured kid. First they positioned one of several Gothamites-with-hats in the way, and then they moved in the Boy Wonder. DC Comics must not have wanted to show mouth-to-mouth contact between males, even in an emergency.

The “Pulmotors” mentioned in the first panel would have solved that problem. Sold to American emergency services by the Dräger company starting in 1907, they were high-tech devices to aid respiration.
Pulmotors had a crank and everything. But somehow that photo lacks drama.

As this essay appears, I’m starting a trip that will eventually take me to London. The next weekly Robin will be a report on Batman Live, unless I still need resuscitating.


icon_uk said...

Pulmotors showed up in 1942's Batman #11, when the Joker tries to kill Robin by choking him with burning sulphur.



And was addressed again (in less detail) in an All Star Squadron flashback


J. L. Bell said...

Thanks for the links!