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This page has way too many war stories than it has a right to.

First it was based on a real event, probably from the Spring of 1983, right before I dropped out of ISU for the second time. I bought a copy of Kurt Wilcken’s Brisbane the Barbarian in a tiny comic shop that was on the second floor of an office complex. I’m guessing that it was because that either Kurt wasn’t around that day to sell me his comic in person or that this was my token attempt to support another Small Presser. Anyway, there was a group of three teen regulars there that snickered at me for buying a Small Press Comic instead of a real comic.

This somewhat symbolized some of the narrow-mindedness and cliquishness of too-much of local and regional fandom of that era. In AmeSFA, I was a red-headed stepchild to Kurt being their favorite son. An eve of his career Pat Moriarity slipped away because that bunch was closed and cliquish instead out-reaching and inclusive.

This was an attempt to draw a Fanboy comic in my idea at the time of what the Joan Miro style looked like. Although his style progressed a lot over the years, think of it circa “Harlequin’s Carnival”. I don’t know why I draw it this way, except the whim bit me, and sometimes I liked to experiment in these Fanboy comics.

A few years later, at the Chicago Comics Con, probably the ’86 one, I was doing that repetitive, stand in line to show your Small Press Comics to a Pro or Publisher only to be insulted shuffle. A break from the regularly scheduled tedium came when Bob Burden took a liking to this only one single page and showed it to others sitting at the same table and the next one over. And that was about it. Yes, this is one of those anecdotes that doesn’t go anywhere.

I also almost had a fantasy come true when a Pro took a liking to my comics and tried to get his publisher interested in them. Grass Green liked the Fanboy strips enough that him and me went to the McDonalds across from the hotel compiled a pile of art to show to his publisher. It was front-loaded with the Fanboy pages, since Mr. Green thought that they were the most appealing, with the Captain Saucer material bringing up the rear. We then crossed the street and he then led a pitch to his publisher and I mostly stood there. Note hair split between the fantasy almost came true and the fantasy coming true was that publisher showed absolutely no interest in my stuff. Despite this, Mr. Green got a gooey acknowledgement  and thank you on the inside cover.

Then there was the too typical older Boomer on younger Boomer bigotry that tarnished that era. A pony-tailed publisher thought that art like this was too “unmellow” and“New Wave”. See doing your own thing only counts if it’s the same as their own thing. I explained to him that it was actually based on Joan Miro. He gets in a huff “Who’s she? Some New Wave singer?”

Attitudes like this are contributing factors of why neither Ponytail nor I are working in Comics today. He’s in some his cubicle with his big-shot Indie company is now all but forgotten bargain bin fodder. somewhere. That’s if he beat out flipping burgers and tacos. Meanwhile, I went on to be an electronics technician fixing $800000-plus machines for the USPS.

Later I tried make the lemon aid of humor after being handed this lemon, I created a female character called Joan Miro for the last gasp versions of Fanboy and the stillborn revivals.

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Doug Holverson ||   

An '80s Small Press cartoonist is back for some more. ... full profile