Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Jack the Ripper Jr.

The following pages comprise the existing legacy of my earliest dabbling in the milieu of the underground comic. Created in 1978, these mostly artless, crude attempts at satisfying the adolescent desires of my fellow junior high art class students, feature Jack the Ripper Jr., an almost-cute update on the infamous London serial killer. A pot-bellied man-imp wielding a scimitar, who constantly delighted in chopping to bits a huge-breasted foil named Dolly (whose relationship to Dolly Parton was never in doubt), Jack Jr. eventually became more of a tough-talking doofus, a character I imagined would help make me the next Robert Crumb. Acting on this ambition, I bewilderingly included him in a package of “fan art” I submitted to The Comics Reader, an early fanzine mostly concerned with mainstream super hero comics. What they made of Jack I’ll never know, for they never replied, not surprisingly. For the full, shameful origin of this dastardly little terror, read I Was a Teenage Porn King.

I believe the above three pages were Jack’s first appearance, wherein he meets his buxom nemesis/eternal victim, Dolly – on the beach, no less, towel-to-towel. Yes, they met “cute”.

In these two, Jack does his best to explain that’s he’s really just “regular folks” after all. Nice try, Jack.

Here Jack gets his very first (and I believe only) ink treatment, a fine dressing up intended for publication in the 70s fanzine, The Comics Reader.

And finally, here’s Jack’s next appearance, nearly thirty years(!) later, as a one-shot update cartoon in Seattle’s The Stranger. He finally acquired some semblance to actual “cuteness”. Clearly, I’m getting soft in my old age.