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This week’s comic strip is pretty silly. Basically the first two panels are from a longer abandoned comic story about a completely different character who was a car thief going through a personal crisis. I had three penciled pages sitting in my flat files for years and always liked the drawings. So with a light box I simply put Creep Rat in the car and worked out a silly joke and had myself an Underworld comic. The rats in the garage were proto Creep Rats years before I created Creep Rat. Just goes to show you – there are many ways to hit your deadline.
A couple of elements came together for this comic strip. I was thinking about Lord of the Flies and the pig head on a stick in that story. I was also thinking about how some native cultures ask their hunted prey for forgiveness for killing them. Then I thought about the modern white asshole’s mantra of “don’t judge me, dude” and the religious person’s “only God can judge” saying. There’s a joke that I heard a while ago that I really liked that went: Guy 1: I’m just as good as the other guy. Guy 2: Yeah, but the other guy’s an asshole.
Though I read superhero comics as a young teen I quickly dropped them when I discovered underground comics in the early 70’s. But even as a teen I enjoyed reprints of the Golden Age superhero comics much more than the contemporary comics because they had an open-ended, beginning-of-a-new-art-form feeling (even if they were more blunt and dumb). Anyway, it’s hard for me to take any superhero character seriously and they seem downright perverted is why I drew this comic. And that goes for religion too!
Sometimes the burden of abstract facts can landslide into philosophies of ideas that conclude into statements of futility. Isn’t that a riot? Here are some random quotes from my sketchbooks starring this weary fellow named Dead Sea Dave. Unfortunately, I don’t have sources for the first three panels. They were quickly scribbled from books or taped lectures. I won’t take credit for them (only credit for arranging the quotes and designing the comic strip). If anyone out there knows the source of the third panel quote please feel free to leave me a comment. The last panel is Kierkegaard – hence the “no shit.”
Order “The Underworld: From Hoboken to Hollywood” the omnibus collection of the very best of the strip’s 23-year run, with annotations, photos, and other surprises from the author (along with a foreword by Mutts creator Patrick McDonnell).