Archive for May, 2011
First appeared in The Comic Reader #177, February 1980
Jim Engel: Dick Duck himself doesn’t appear in this installment, but he’s there in spirit as Lackluster Lizard, Bungalow Bill, and Pigs Benedict, filling in at the office for our hospitalized hero, recreate the very first Dick Duck strip. As mentioned last week, these three were all characters I’d played around with prior to Dick Duck… “Bungalow Bill” Bunny appeared in a few one-pagers, and was done in the George Herriman/KRAZY KAT style, which I really enjoyed doing. The example below was printed in NATIONAL COMICS WEEKLY, a great ill-fated color funny animal comic weekly (with really great artists–Neal Sternecky, Mark Martin, Wm Van Horn to name a few)…from 1994
First appeared in The Comic Reader #176, January 1980
Jim Engel: The DICK DUCK cast grew by three with this installment, as we are introduced to three of Dick’s old friends: Lackluster Lizard, “Bungalow Bill” Bunny, and “Pigs” Benedict (P. Benedict Pig–the “P” stands for “Pig”–hence “Pigs”). Actually, they were MY old friends, and all pre-dated Dick Duck. Lackluster Lizard was the oldest. I started drawing him in the early ’70s, and did a few one-pagers of him for Chuck Fiala’s fanzine “FVP”. Bungalow Bill (named after the Beatles song) appeared in a couple one-pagers (with Vernon Lion and Fleming the Lemming) that were done as an homage to Krazy Kat, drawn in the George Herriman style. They appeared in BUMBAZINE (a fanzine Chuck & I did with Alan Jim Hanley—”J. Hanley Horse” in panel 4) and Pacific Comics’ WILD ANIMALS (I think)… Pigs Benedict appeared only once, in a Lackluster page, also in BUMBAZINE. The trio would later be revealed as the Bombay Rhythm Boys–America’s favorite Goodtime Band.
Jim’s earliest published character—LACKLUSTER (The Licentious) LIZARD, from FVP #5, 1972 (Jim was 15). The joke was a commentary on Ray Miller, columnist for the legendary fanzine RBCC, who was then running a “contest” asking readers to send in drawings of famous comic book heroines naked.
First appeared in The Comic Reader #175, December 1979
Jim Engel: This strip marked the only “physical” cross-over between the two COMIC READER funny animal strips, DICK DUCK, DUCK DICK, and BULLET CROW- FOWL OF FORTUNE (by Chuck Fiala). Dick was referred to in BULLET CROW, but never appeared in the strip itself. Physically, when they appeared in TCR, they were side by side, with DD,DD on the left and BC on the right.
Bullet Crow’s appearance here was essentially the punchline, because Chuck’s hero and strip were less “realistic” (if that makes sense)…more slapstick-y than DD, and Dick had to be rescued by Bullet Crow, who was completely inept…
While Dick Duck & Bullet Crow didn’t appear together in their strips (save this once), they were linked in people’s minds by their TCR affiliation, the friendship of their creators, and this ultra-rare T-SHIRT sold by STREET ENTERPRISES during their original publication run.
First appeared in The Comic Reader #174, November 1979
Jim Engel: Hmmm…. not a LOT to say about this one… I DO remember by this time trying with every page to throw in an interesting “camera angle” or two… I was as influenced by the “realistic” artists who drew all my favorite super-heroes & adventure strips (Eisner, John Buscema, Kirby, Romita, etc.) as I was by Walt Kelly and the great funny animal cartoonists, so I was trying (however primitively) to employ storytelling that was more like The Spirit or The Avengers than the basic standard funny animal comic. I remember enjoying doing the last three panels of mob violence, and I was really starting to enjoy doing the coloring when I got to that part of the process… THIS “pals” was sort of continued from the LAST “pals”…
From 1976, one of Jim’s earliest greeting cards for Mark I features pre-DICK DUCK cameos of PAVLOV (hugging Jim’s future wife Charis as the Statue of Liberty), “PALS” (with the boy in a blue striped shirt, and the dog with a black nose), and Elton John–one of Jim’s musical obsessions at the time. (The funky look to the outlines is the scanner picking up the embossing of the characters on the card).