If you read comic books in the early-to-mid 1970's, you no doubt remember this full-page ad, which was seemingly in every Marvel comic published back then (not sure about DC titles, I was more of a Marvel guy):
Ah yes...Count Dante. A man so deadly that he glowed hot pink. And check out that classy-but-deadly script his name is rendered in. Plus, he flat-out says that he's the deadliest man alive. I never sent away for his free booklet of fighting secrets, probably because I was 7 years old and things never got so serious on the playground that I had to consider plucking out another kids eyeball.
As it turns out, there is a story behind this ad, and it's a good one. Count Dante was a rather notorious fellow, and aside from knocking on Muhammad Ali's door and challenging him to a fight, storming rival dojo's and walking around Chicago's lakefront with a lion on a leash, he was also suspected of being involved in a $4 million heist. Plus, he also ran a beauty salon, where he styled the hair of Playboy playmates! All this before dying in 1975 at the tender age of 36. Well, as Dr. Eldon Tyrell told Roy Batty, "The star that burns twice as bright burns half as long."
"By cutting her hair in long layers, I have given this dreary
housewife a more contemporary look. Now, I will snap her neck like a twig."
Now that I've got you salivating for more info, here's a link to a very interesting and much more in-depth look at the life of Count Dante, courtesy of the Chicago Reader.
Also, the story mentions a filmmaker who is currently working on documentary of the Count (something I would gladly pay to see), and he's selling cool t-shirts as a fund-raising tool. You can get those here. I went with the military green.
You know - there are times I look around at this world we've wrought and I weep for all that's gone awry. And then there are times like this, when by following a few links I discover that I can buy a t-shirt with Count Dante on it, and I think that somehow, everything's going to be OK.