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Sometimes you just want to see what something looks like. I’ve had this comic strip in my sketchbook for a while in a different form (originally I had Creep Rat sliding on butter down a sidewalk with a sharp knife). But the butter knife made me laugh and then the gag came to me.
So I had a smoke alarm that would go off in the middle of the night. 1am, 3am, 5am. I’d have to go on a ladder to shut it off. Nothing wrong with the new battery – nothing I could find. I eventually pulled it off of the ceiling in sleepy frustration. Then I felt unsafe so I installed a new one. But it happened all over again. The house I live in in Hollywood was built in 1921 so I fantasized that a silent film clown ghost was fucking with me. That mad weirdly happy. That was the inspiration for this comic strip. Maybe Harry Langdon or Musty Suffer is taking a smoke alarm dump in my house in the night.
Jokes like this have been made about blood sucking before. Sergio Aragones in Mad had a great strip back in the 70’s about a vampire sucking a hippy’s blood and tripping. And the FX TV show version of What We Do in the Shadows did this idea three weeks ago. My version is more deadly as Creep Rat drinks bug poison. Yes, this is a reprint. I’m off to the East Coast Comic Con this weekend so I need time to pack.
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).