On the Wings of a Duck
or: Have Yourselves a Grumpy Little Christmas
This weeks grab bag, Bizarre Adventures #34, special "Hate-The-Holidays" issue (Dear Santa, please note thats the cover blurb, not my personal position. We cool?) Including, among others, a spoof of It's a Wonderful Life, "Howard the Duck's Christmas," by Steven Grant and myself, starring Howard the Duck as George Bailey and Harlan Ellison as Clarence the Angel.
Howard's had all he can stands and he can't stands no more but, unlike Popeye, rather than drown his sorrows in spinach and pummeling Bluto, Howard decides to take a header off the Golden Gate Bridge! Enter Harlan… err, Clarence, who saves Howard and attempts to show him the negative effect his suicide would have on those around him. Let's just say things don't pan out as Clarence expects.
This is one of those stories I'd like to have back. One, it's a far better story than I was capable of at the time and, two, at age 29, I was spoofing a movie I'd not yet seen. Oddly, for a confirmed brush man, It's almost all pen. The only reason I can think of is I felt I needed to improve my pen work. The lettering is mine as well. Possibly for the same reason as the pen work but, more likely a matter of vanity. I wanted all visuals to be mine. I remember entertaining the idea of coloring it as well but, after a day figuring the color scheme of the two leads (one an angel all in white) I came to my senses and decided to leave that for the pros.
Apropos of nothing other than I found it in the same envelope as the Howard story, I include a page from the unpublished Bizarre Adventures #35, Strange Pets issue starring "America's Favorite Trucker" (I know this because it says so right at the top of the page) Ceci Ryder. Ceci first appeared in a Howard book (also with Steven) where Howard fights the Gopher. Inks, at my request, by Vince Colletta because as inkers go, nobody did a prettier girl than Vinnie.
Detour through the Twilight Zone. Ceci was, apparently, the girl of my dreams. Shortly after drawing the Gopher book, I actually met "Ceci" in real life at the local launder-mat. I'm telling you, the only thing missing was the bibbed shirt. Same hair, same hooked nose, dimpled chin, cowboy hat, fringed boots… I ran home, grabbed the book, ran back. I approached her and said, "You're not going to believe this but, I think you may be the girl of my dreams. I've actually drawn you in a comic book." I showed her the book, a few of the other patrons, intrigued by the conversation, came over to look and they all agreed it was her. "Ceci" shot us a look like we were all ax murderers. Retrieving the book, I raised my hands and backed away, "Sorry Ma'am, won't bother you anymore." Ah, what a sandpaper tongued devil was I. :(
Also included is a Howard Commission for one Malcolm Bourne, Howard the Barbarian because, why not?
Ladies and germs, Howard the Duck!