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This is not a new Underworld comic. For some reason this comic didn’t load the first time so it’s been posted here now for you to enjoy. This strip is my sad reflection on making cartoons as a commercial business. And how often artistic integrity is rewarded by a small cult following or obscurity. An obscurity that turns out to be admired not only by true fans — but also by the commercially successful.
Underworld Bullpen: Some comic strips are cobbled together by random thoughts and sketches. For this week’s comic strip I flipped through old notebooks and got inspired by a few things I had written and drawn and assembled them into an interview format. Butchering meat is probably one of the dumbest hobbies I can think of. The idea being not to eat, sell, or give away the meat. Just enjoy cutting it. I think I overheard the Creep Rat quote in panel 2 but I now forget its source. The idea in panel three was inspired by Gary Panter. A few years ago while visiting his Brooklyn studio I noticed a stack of mens magazines. As I flipped through them I was surprised to see that Gary had drawn over all the nudes with a magic marker turning them all into cave women (wild hair, tattoos, loin cloths, with stone-tool weapons). I thought that was funny. Then I wondered what would Creep Rat draw on the girls that was actually negate their sexuality for that “huh?” moment and I thought of beards. Dumb but funny. The last panel is dark. I’ve been watching a lot of Louie C.K. Also in this strip I introduce a new easy-to-draw character: Wormadette. That’s it for this week. Leave me a comment. ‘Nuff said.
This is a good example of a silly Ernie Bushmiller Nancy-style gag transposed into an Underworld setting. Of course a tough guy like Underworld’s Sam Snuff throwing away the contents of a stolen purse only to proudly wear the stylish purse prancing down a sidewalk makes no sense — but it made me laugh so I did it. This could add depth to the character for future comic strips. Maybe Sam Snuff has a hidden and shameful love of fashion that can only be satisfied through crime. In this strip Snuff snatches the purse from Mother Maw, a character that has played his mother in past comics strips. This adds a whole new dimension to the act (i.e. did he always covet the purse?, is he doing a parody of his mom in the last panel?). Note that Creep Rat does a puff-of-smoke springing-in-the-air Mutt and Jeff reaction shot in the last panel.
Panel 1. Boody Rogers’ character, Babe, from the story “Mrs. Gooseflesh” (from BABE #4, 1949). The reason why Babe’s neck looks like this is because she had her neck broken in a wrestling match with the murderous female neck breaker, Two-Ton Gooseflesh. I love Boody Rogers’ drawings and characters. They’re reminiscent of Al Capp’s Li’l Abner, but Boody adds wacky surrealism to his stories and designs. Panel 2. Bob Wood, along with Charles Biro, created the true-crime comic book series, Crime Does Not Pay. Ironically, in 1958 Bob Wood would learn for himself that crime does not pay as he was sentenced to three years in prison for killing a woman in a NYC hotel room during a drunken argument. A year after his release, he was murdered by a former prison acquaintance over unpaid loans. This is a drawing taken from the title page of a Daredevil comic titled “The GHOST Meets the Claw’s Uncle.” Under the title in a circle is the disclaimer: “This is not a true story.” Panel 3. Milt Gross. What can I say? Gross is the creator of Count Screwloose of Tooloose and one of the most prolifically wacky cartoonists to ever walk the earth. This waiter character was taken from the comic book story, “Patsy Pancake” (Milt Gross Funnies No. 2 1947). At first glance Gross’ work is loose and sloppy, but a closer examination shows a master cartoonist in full grasp of gesture and design who’s goofy characters live in an equally goofy universe. Panel 4. This is a drawing of Hanna-Barbera’s con artist character Hokey Wolf (Daws Butler voiced him with a Phil Silvers impersonation). Designed by Ed Benedict? I don’t have any special love for Hokey Wolf – I just wanted to draw a Hanna-Barbera character. I loved the Hanna-Barbera …
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