Friday Funnies Presents: Jim Engel’s Dick Duck, Duck Dick > Part 2
Jim Engel: Bear in mind, that prior to agreeing to do DICK DUCK, I’d drawn maybe 10 pages (if that) of actual comics in my life, all 1-page gags for fanzines, so I was definitely “finding my way”… DICK DUCK was essentially one-pagers too, but this was my first really “on-going” character…
The gag here was another based on dueling dialogue, and I have to admit I still find it funny. I was then (and still am) a huge fan of comedians Bob & Ray, and this has a bit of their absurdity to me.
I mentioned in installment #1 that I was working as a greeting card artist at this time, and I regularly hid references or visuals about/of friends & relatives in my cards (and snuck in pop culture figures & characters as well). With this strip, I began doing that in DICK DUCK, and would continue to do so for the rest of the run.
“F. Shaw Scottie” (sounding a bit like “F. Scott Fitzgerald”) was a canine incarnation of cartoonist Scott Shaw!, who Chuck & I had first met at the ’75 San Diego Con. At a reading by author George Clayton Johnson, artists were welcomed up to draw on several pads on easels set up at the front of the hall, ostensibly “inspired” by the quirky Johnson’s words. Chuck & I grabbed one of the pads, and amused ourselves by making fun of it all. The guy at the next easel kept looking over at our drawings, and afterwards introduced himself as Scott Shaw (!), and complimented our work (he would also declare us “pretty funny for guys from the Midwest”). We hit it off, and to this day, almost 40 yrs later, Scott remains one of my best friends (in spite of geography). Note the “!” button on Scottie’s lapel.
Cartoonist Conga Line, San Diego 1977–(L to R:) Chuck Fiala, Scott Shaw!, Alan Jim Hanley, Jim Engel
“Dixon W. Chuck” was a wood-chucky inversion of Chuck Dixon (and a shout out to him). Prior to his rise as one of the most prolific & respected writers in comics, Chuck was a fellow contributor (writing and DRAWING) of strips to two of Chicago’s best fanzines: George Breo’s “CHRONICLE”, and Chuck Fiala’s “FVP”. Dixon was in Philadelphia, but we wrote regularly & occasionally talked via the phone as well. Later we’d collaborate on his (hilarious) RADIO BOY for Eclipse Comics.
Comics Creator Chuck Dixon
I should also mention here that TCR publisher Jerry Sinkovec would meticulously hand-cut the color separations from my hand-colored color guides. It was a ton of work, and a ton of listening to me complain if anything was ever mis-colored. I was already starting to enjoy coloring these things, and would get more adventurous eventually…
ComiCrazys: Thank you so much, Jim.