Archive for April, 2011

Friday Funnies Presents: Dick Duck, Duck Dick #8> Jim Engel

Posted in Friday Funnies, Jim Engel with tags , , on April 29, 2011 by ComiCrazys

First appeared in The Comic Reader #173, October 1979

Jim Engel: With DD,DD #8, I began to recognize that a loose continuity was something I wanted to maintain (and a little later would be more important), so I added the little “summary” box up by the logo.

I liked Sam Ram (from last time), and kept using him. I also used him to share with the reader that Pavlov had an irresistible cuteness— “almost supernatural”…

“SERGIO’S WATERING HOLE” was introduced to give the gumshoes an apropos hangout, and to give me an opportunity to pay tribute to a real cartoonist’s cartoonist, MAD’s Sergio Aragonés (AKA ” SERGIO ANTELOPE”…AN-tell-O-pay ). Like all cartoonists, I loved his work, and had met HIM on several occasions in San Diego , L.A., and Chicago, initially through our mutual friend, Scott Shaw!…
Jim and “Sergio Antelopés” inspiration, Sergio Aragonés (1994)

The punchline for this one comes from the popularity at the time, of Barry Manilow (“Barry Armadillo”), who was one of those “love ‘im or hate ‘im” performers. Dick hated him.

“pals” this time? Surprise!

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Smokey Stover and Spooky: Dell Super Comics #118, 1948 > Bill Holman

Posted in Bill Holman with tags , , on April 25, 2011 by ComiCrazys

Friday Funnies Presents: Dick Duck, Duck Dick #7> Jim Engel

Posted in Friday Funnies, Jim Engel with tags , , on April 22, 2011 by ComiCrazys

First appeared in The Comic Reader #172, September 1979

Jim Engel: With DD,DD #7, I was starting to flesh out Dick Duck’s “back story a bit more, specifically introducing some of his colleagues at a “Private Dick Convention”… The idea of a convention of guys all identically dressed in trench-coats and grey fedoras amused me, as did the Holiday Inn sign (in those pre-internet-easy-access-to-reference days, I actually stood outside a Holiday Inn and sketched the sign). Sam (ala Sam Spade) Ram debuted, demonstrating my love of names and revealing that Dick had been part of a team (ala Spade & Archer)–”Duck & Ram”.

Dashiell Hamster (a play on Detective fiction great Dashiell Hammett) also appears for the first time. The name “Dashiell Hamster”was actually made up by my cartooning partner-in-crime, Chuck Fiala. We had “traded” each other character names. Earlier, I had given Chuck the name “Joe Crow” and the strip name “Joke Row starring Joe Crow” for a character he was developing for his “FVP” fanzine. I’d had a Joe Crow character in High School, kind of an old-time song & dance guy (star of “The Joe Crow Show”). Chuck reciprocated by giving me Dashiell to add to my detective strip.

A hand-made button (from Jim’s High School days) featuring “Joe Crow”.

Also referenced was Dashiell’s “old enemy”, “The Ghoulish Archie Pelican” (a very esoteric pun on the book “The Gulag Archipeligo”). Pelican would actually appear in the one longer form Dick Duck story I ever did, “NO SWEAT” — recently reprinted at Mykal Banta’s, THE BIG BLOG OF KIDS’ COMICS, and available HERE for your perusal.

“The Ghoulish Archie Pelican” from “Dick Duck, Duck Dick in: NO SWEAT!”

The dialogue of the background detectives (Snoopy cameo) in panel 2 was my responding to mail THE COMIC READER had been receiving about the new strips (DICK DUCK, BULLET CROW, and the fumetti I did with Chuck—FANDOM CONFIDENTIAL) it had been running. “Bruning Bear” was Richard Bruning, who’d written something nice (Bruning would have a distinguished art/design/writing career with Capitol & DC Comics), “John Durning III” was somebody by that name (Gee—I didn’t even anthropomorphize him!) who’d dissed us, and “M. Stroud Stork” was an “M. Stroud” who’d also praised us. I (we) certainly appreciated the supportive letters to TCR (the highlight there being Alex Toth writing in to say he ENJOYED our strips, in direct response to a guy who’d requested we be dumped in favor of more pages of SUPERMAN dailies), and I got similar compliments from people at cons (notably Dave “Cerebus” Sim, and Frank Miller), which imbued me with enthusiasm to keep it up…

That’s it for now… “Pals” are nice again, and oh yeah—that’s me in panel 7 in the round glasses.

Friday Funnies Presents: Dick Duck, Duck Dick #6> Jim Engel

Posted in Friday Funnies, Jim Engel with tags , , on April 15, 2011 by ComiCrazys


Jim Engel: Boy–this one needs annotation if only to explain that once attendants pumped your gas for you, and that once “regular” and “no-lead” were your two basic types of gas…
I was starting to enjoy playing around with camera angles and panel breakdowns, and looking at this page now, I remember thinking that the last panel Pavlov was my cutest yet.

And speaking of “cute”, this is my all-time favorite “pals” strip. They’re SO happy, they’re happy even when they’re totally oblivious.

In my comments on DD,DD #3, I mentioned that some yrs. after DICK DUCK, I tried to sell a syndicated comic strip (“BUTTONS”) starring Pavlov (renamed “Buttons”) and Lackluster Duck (essentially Dick Duck in another get-up). The third character in that strip was a little chicken kid called “Egg”, who was in his own way as cute and naive as the “pals” boy & dog (in fact, the Tribune Syndicate, who was pretty interested in “BUTTONS” wanted me to reshape the strip into a kid strip centered around Egg)… Anyway, I re-used this “pals” gag as an Egg gag in my sample submission.

“MacIntosh Mouse” (mentioned in panel one) was another puppet on GARFIELD GOOSE & FRIENDS, as was last installment’s “Romberg Rabbit”…another little tribute, and a little extra for any Chicagoans reading TCR.

Doc Katz Supp: Giggle Comics #8 > Lynn Karp

Posted in Lynn Karp with tags , , on April 13, 2011 by ComiCrazys

Friday Funnies Presents: Dick Duck, Duck Dick #5> Jim Engel

Posted in Friday Funnies, Jim Engel with tags , , on April 8, 2011 by ComiCrazys


Jim Engel: The opening joke was based on the then-current HEINEKIN BEER jingle: “HEINEKIN tastes tremendous, no wonder it’s NUMBER ONE!”… I always heard it as “HEINEKIN tastes tremendous. No wonder—it’s NUMBER ONE!”.
“Number One” was a euphemism for urine when I was growing up, so if you read it THAT way, Dick’s reaction makes sense…

The “Romberg Rabbit” reference in panel 5 is to my favorite character on “GARFIELD GOOSE & FRIENDS”, a favorite Chicago puppet show of my youth.

This installment of “pals” was one of my favorites (the same idea was used in a ZIGGY Sunday. I’m pretty sure mine came first, but I dunno for certain). After it was published, comic book writer David Michelinie wrote asking to buy the original. Since (as I outlined last time) my originals were on tissue, I redrew it large and in color, and sent it to him. I was flattered, and it was one of the first indications I got that actual COMICS people were reading DICK DUCK.


Jim Engel with the ORIGINAL “Romberg Rabbit” puppet from WGN-TV’s “Garfield Goose & Friends” (In the picture Jim’s family refers to as his “Prom photo”).


In 1992, Jim was included in Eclipse’s “FAMOUS COMIC BOOK CREATORS” card series. The “representative” piece of art (chosen by Eclipse) on the back was from DICK DUCK episode #5 (much to Jim’s dismay, as he’d have picked something ELSE—and LATER)…

Friday Funnies Presents: Dick Duck, Duck Dick #4> Jim Engel

Posted in Friday Funnies, Jim Engel with tags , , on April 1, 2011 by ComiCrazys


Jim Engel: Well, after the initial outing of Pavlov as foil/sidekick for Dick Duck, he was “in”, and would stay ’til the end. I liked drawing him, I liked their interaction, and I liked a bit of ‘continuity’ from month to month. Installment #4 (above) was also the first one I felt rather proud of visually/art-wise (and Jerry’s improving skills at hand color separations was improving too, which helped a lot).

I think this was also the first page all drawn on the same surface. A bit of explanation about my unorthodox working methods during that time. At the time, I was a full-time greeting card artist. I would sketch out a card roughly on tissue paper (not even Vellum, just tissue). I’d slip that under the top sheet of my tissue pad, and trace a “tight” pencil drawing. I’d slip THAT under the top page of the tissue pad, and ink it. I’d then photostat the line art, and color the stat with Dr. Martin’s dyes to create the finished art.

I did DD,DD the same way (except for the color part). All the finished Dick Duck originals are on tissue paper. Not having mastered (or even attempted) inking with a brush at this time, I inked all my art with Rapidograph technical pens, using #00 up to #2, usually. I’d create “thick to thin” by building up the pen lines.

The really weird thing was that for the first few DDs, I was not convinced that if I tried doing the entire page in one go I wouldn’t end up ruining it, so to avoid being my own undoing, I inked only one panel at a time, on individual sheets, the statting them and creating my “finished” page by pasting up a bunch of individual panel stats on one sheet. After a couple, I felt confident enough to just ink the whole page, so even if my originals weren’t on a nice piece of board, they were all of a piece.

As seen last week, Pavlov attended Chicago Cons. Here he looks on as Engel & Fiala have a Bill Gaines photo op in The Buyer’s Guide. (Gaines’ “daughter” turned out to be his “lady”)