Monday, March 29, 2010


This is a big, happy post for the Big Blog. This is the post in which I unveil my new banner done by cartoonist, Jim Engel! I am very grateful to Jim. I have always thought his work wonderful and am proud to have his original art as the banner for this blog. It’s just so darn perfect! Thank you, Jim.

Let’s call this Jim Engel Day! The following is a Dick Duck, Duck Dick story that originally ran in EB’NN No. 6, January 1987. But the pages that follow are not taken from the comic – not by a long shot! These are the page stats with the original zip-a-toning (the grey tones) from which the comic was printed. Jim scanned them in and sent them to me for this post.

This is the cover for the issue of EB’NN that Jim’s story appeared. Jim wasn’t entirely happy with it, but I’ll let him tell you about that . .

When discussion the posting of the Dick Duck, Duck Dick (jeez, that is so clever) story, Jim and I exchanged emails. What follows is an email I received from Jim explaining the history of the story and its publication and is posted here with Jim’s permission. It is posted here verbatim save my bold highlights:

"Hi, Mykal---

Since our earlier email exchange, I was thinking about that Dick Duck "No Sweat" story, and trying to recall why I did it in the first place... it wasn't INTENDED for Now Comics in the first place.

While "Dick Duck, Duck Dick" was running in THE COMIC READER, I was contacted by a guy (who I later met at the Chicago Con), who was interested in a long (well, longer than the 1-page TCR installments) self-contained DD story for a very slick 'zine he was putting out... I'd be in good company---I can't remember who all he said he'd lined up, but I know Alex Toth was to be in it, and that alone made me say yes (interestingly, when TCR started Dick Duck & Chuck Fiala's "Bullet Crow--Fowl of Fortune", Alex Toth was the guy who wrote in saying he enjoyed our strips after a disgruntled reader suggested we be dumped in favor of more pages of Superman newspaper strip reprints)...

In an effort to get it done in a reasonable time, I turned to DC inker Dennis Jensen. I have never been inked by anybody else (besides myself) and been happy with the results, but Dennis was doing phenomenal things with my late friend Alan Jim Hanley, so I asked, & he said yes. I wasn't thrilled with the results, not because Dennis isn't a GREAT inker (he is), but just because I've come to realize nobody else is YOU...

Anyway, that original book never came out, so I offered the story to Dean Mullaney at Eclipse (Who declined. "Too convoluted.", he said. I hadda look that up. It WAS, and "convoluted" is now a regular part of my vocabulary). Next up was Denis Kitchen, who slated it for an issue of SNARF that also never came out. Eventually, friend Chris Ecker asked if he could re-print the TCR duck pages (in B&W---they were color originally). I said yes, and when he found out there was a longer story, he asked about that & I said okay.

The cover drawing on that book wasn't intended as a cover... it was just s'posed to be used as a B&W inside cover spot illo. Dick Duck was originally saying "Jump back, Mark Eden--I got a return engagement here!". "Mark Eden" was a reference to the Mark Eden Bust Development ads (for women) that appeared in old magazines (and me mocking Ebb'n's gargantuan pecs). Unbeknownst to me, the drawing was (badly & incorrectly--DD is white) colored, and re-lettered to NOT make fun of Eb'nn (or anything ELSE, cuz now there was no JOKE), and turned into a very lame looking cover. If I'd been asked to do a cover, I'd have done a proportionately sized action scene, and colored it myself.

I know there are some "inside jokes" & references in the story, but I haven't looked at it in a long time...a couple I DO recall (without looking) are establishing the police chief in Dick's world as "Michael O'Mouse". Hence, as an Irish cop, he'd be MICKEY O'Mouse. Also, my older brother Rick was a cop back then, so "Officer Rick Eagle" was a reference to him. Most obscure, but highly amusing to ME, was the sort-of pun in the villain's name--"The Ghoulish Archie Pelican", which I came up with while running the title of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's "THE GULAG ARCHIPELAGO" through my head... I'd never used the character before, but wanted to suggest Dick Duck had encountered him BEFORE, and make him DD's Red Skull or Moriarty.

At that late point in time, I was just somewhat happy the story was seeing print at all... I've always held full-time illustration and/or design jobs, and my comics output (miniscule as it is) was always more a hobby than anything, but when I finally DID do something, I hated to see the effort wasted...

Best, jim"

Again. Thanks, Jim. – Mykal Banta


  1. A miracle 'Dick Duck, Duck Dick' etc. ever made print at all~! Engel's work is gorgeous, and your new mast-head AWE-INSPIRING~! It is the bestest, most perfectly appropriate banner in all of comic-blogdom~!

  2. Lysdexicuss: Thanks! I agree, gorgeous is the word for his stuff. Thanks for letting me know what you think of the new banner! - Mykal

  3. Great banner, and a great post and letter from Engel!

  4. You lucky so & so. Fantastic logo by a fantastic artist!

  5. I'm new to Engel's work and to Dick Duck. Great stuff!

    Beautiful banner!

  6. Just amazing!!
    The best banner for the best comic blog! It's just so!

  7. Jeff, Booksteve, Michael, Gabriel - Thanks, gentlemen, one and all. - (and Booksteve - Lucky is the word!) -- Mykal

  8. Terrific new logo for the site. Jim Engel is one of the best inthe long line of "big-foot" cartoonists (well I don't know if his "feet" are big, but that's none of my business). Have always enjoyed Jim's work. You hit a home run with this one.

  9. Gary: Jim would have been right at home among all those cartoonists from the 40s and 50s we love so much. I am still basking in my good luck. -- Mykal

  10. I haven't had a chance to read the comic yet, but I wanted to add that I also love the new banner. I don't think it could be any better! A perfect fit.

  11. Doug: I love looking at it! -- Mykal

  12. I've been going nuts trying to find a Dick Duck, Duck Dick story I recalled reading way back when I was in college. I've been looking online for it since there was an online.
    If the story here is the only multi-page Dick Duck story, then I guess my quest is over! Perhaps Mr Engel could be persuaded to, if not make all the DD ouvre available, provide us with a collector's checklist? Thanks from wyrwolf

  13. LOVE the new Jim Engelized logo AND
    the DICK DUCK, DUCK DICK strip which
    I've never read before!

    Sam Kujava

  14. Sam: Thanks, Sir! I love the logo myself, and the DDDD story. Jim's the best. Please stop by again! -- Mykal

  15. BEAUTIFUL LOGO. But I expected as much from Jim Engel!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...