The top panel was based on a horror story that Terry Beatty related concerning an early ‘80s comics convention that was shared with a Doctor Who con during a triple digit heat wave. This was the era when many PBS affiliates kept the Tom Baker episodes reran in heavy rotation. Supposedly, by the end of the con, the consensus among the comics people was that they serious wanted to choke the Whovians.
The second panel was based on a Clay Gerdes tale from another early ‘80s comics convention about a certain big name Science Fiction author verbally abusing his sycophantic fans. Of course he was made into a generic and the situation was stretched broadly for comedy. Also an embellished shout-out to a fictitious (I think) movie mentioned in the often-reprinted William Gibson story, “The Gernsbach Continuum”.
The last panel is a bit of an embarrassment. I should have been more understanding and less redneck in those days.
Then again, the flamboyantly odd have their politically trendy apologists by the dog pile. But the merely odd (for instance: your A.V. geeks and science nerds, your gear-heads and wire-heads, your Alt Rockers and Small Pressers) are left to the wolves.
But so far, no sterile mutants or their defenders have stepped up to complain.
Phil Lord was somebody that I knew from the summer of ’82 who was idealistic and wanted to move to New York and be a comic book artist for Marvel, or the Distinguished Competition in a pinch. I saw him again around Thanksgiving of ’82 on a visit from New York, after doing some work for the Big Two made him a little jaded and cynical about the business but still hardily embracing it. My contact with him lapsed after that.
Somebody found their little themselves off the Special Thanks list because of the following war story. I met up with him in early ’83 as he liked my comics and shared an affection for New Wave. He also used and manipulated me because I was half naïve, painfully lonely, and desperate for a break or recognition for my comics. He was promising that if I drove him all over the place and did other endless favors, that at the end of the semester, he would write up an article about my comics and I for the Prairie Sun, an Alternate Weekly paper given out at the Coop Records franchise, which would be my break for fame. Surprise, the article never came. Next winter, he was back visiting the area and wanted a ride to Muscatine, Iowa to see then mutual acquaintance Terry Beatty, but for some silly reason of ego, I couldn’t see him too, just because. By this time, he didn’t get the ride.