Happy Valentines Day from your pals in Lattaland.
Man, what can I say about Crumb that hasn’t been said before?
I first discovered Crumb around the time the documentary hit theaters. Well, I was familiar with his name and his work, but come on. No comic shops here in the greater Atlanta area had his comics on the shelves or anything.
Crumb was such a revelation to me as a teenager in the politically correct 90’s. Here’s a guy admitting to some pretty dark stuff about himself in form of a comic. I was outwardly repelled, but inwardly, I was hooked. Through the power of Crumb, I came to terms with the strangeness in me and my taste in women.
Don’t get the wrong idea, though. Crumb isn’t all about spilling his guts and pushing buttons. He can draw. He can draw like no one else. I would go as far as to say he’s the greatest living draftsman. Beat that, super hero hacks. Not only can Crumb draw shapely women and cartoony dudes, he can draw lamps, iceboxes, telephone wires and bodily fluids with the same vigor.
But, like I previously mentioned, this has all been said before. I love you, Monsieur Crumb.
Thwak! Braghk! Gukguk! Ga-shklurtz! That’s the sound of Don Martin at work!
Don Martin was my gateway drug into the world of subversive comedy. I mean, like, when I fist saw MAD Magazine, I didn’t know what to make of it. MAD made fun of things I liked! How am I supposed to read stuff like that? I didn’t come here to be insulted! At any rate, MAD felt lurid and dirty compared to the “funnies” I had been reading up to that point. In other words, I was hooked, but that was all thanks to Don Martin.
Y’see, the thing is, Mort Drucker, Jack Davis, y’know, all those guys can draw well. In fact, they all draw superhumanly good. I couldn’t draw like that as a kid, and I sure as shit can’t draw like that now. Don Martin, on the other hand, had a bulbous cartoony slapsticky style that I was able to replicate in the back of my trapper keeper during class. In fact, I used to draw his comics and pass them off as my own. I dunno if anyone beleived the gags were mine, but still, I can’t think of a better cartooning training ground for a youngster. In fact, thank you Mr. Martin, thank you for the corruption of my youth and others. I hope to see you in Hell.
I pretty much learned everything I know from Vaughn Bode. From drawing shapely broads to checking out of this mortal coil early with my trousers down around my ankles, Bode has been the most obvious forefather to me. In fact, it’s so obvious that the Bode estate writes me off on their taxes as a dependent.
While I am no visionary talent like Bode, I will do okay, just so long as I steal from the best. The best being Bode, of course.
Suicide is funny. In fact, everything is funny. Thank you Sergio Argones and, in turn, Mad Magazine, for teaching me this golden rule at the tender age of 10.
Argones can come up with a gag or 10 on any subject imaginable. I should know. I saw him do a presentation in Athens, GA, a few years back and he drew gag cartoons on the audience’s dumb suggestions of topics. It was the most incredible feat of cartooning prowess I’ve ever witnessed.
Hear that? That’s right. You don’t. Sergio doesn’t use words. This man, nay, GOD doesn’t need words. He can make you guffaw with the power of funny drawings. Funny drawings and tons of suicide gags, that is.
Haha! What a great comic!
Before Johnny Hart went all Churchy LeFemme on us, ‘BC’ was without a doubt one of the most bitterly cynical strips to appear along side ‘Marmaduke.’ Hart’s drawing style is economical and always pretty funny.
These days, ‘BC’ limps on with the help of Hart’s son and some other hack. For the love of Gawd, please let my comics die with me.
Valentine’s Day is before us, less we forget that women like stupid things such as flowers and love.
This day may come and go, but the conversation hearts I ate will remain in my intestines forever.
Happy Valentine’s Day.