When ‘Comeback’ Was a Dirty Word


'COMEBACK' page 2  crop

Artwork: “When ‘Comeback’ Was A Dirty Word” (panel excerpt, as featured in AQC: SATIRICAL BLUNDERS, Jim Lopez editor) ©2013 Rick Grimes.  

GRIMES: “The conflation of Lenny Bruce with Larry Flynt: Jim’s idea, again. Don’t know why I keep taking these things on. Like seeing if I can pull it off, I guess.

Not too happy with my rendering of Lenny ‘Bruise’, but he is a corpse, and all the ensuing years might’ve rendered him just as poorly as I did. The only time I feel I about nailed him is in the opening panel when they’re setting up his body, on the screen behind him, using as reference a photo from when he very likely was high on heroin.

Lenny 5

Lenny Bruce ~ Photo copyright unknown. Fair Use claimed.

“The rest of the time he looks too much like a generic guy I used to draw, (also too much), sort of by default as a teenager still struggling with human distinctiveness, as in giving them any. Clearly, I still am struggling. Just couldn’t seem to shake that wrong look. Some guys turn out to be harder to depict than you expect. And you can only erase paper so much.

The jokes were not Lenny’s. I figured it didn’t matter all that much hunting down whatever real routines of his I might have found online. And with a great likelihood of their being not only on some completely different tangent & potentially irrelevant to my story, especially Lenny being Lenny. But, also, it’d all be his material, not mine.

I don’t own any of his recordings, and with the limited space as well as the ‘thus’ of Lenny’s being literally rotten anyhow, I thought he (I) could grab whatever jokes I could find in the general joke pool. Being dead, he’d want more topical subject matter. And if they’re mistaken for mine, no problem really. In some instances, I did alter them to suit me. In any case they’re presumably public domain.

Plus his act doesn’t really even have to be good. He was certainly accused in his latter days of not only dropping the ball in certain performances, but of losing the ball/s entirely (while hanging on to a lot of his own). His hecklers here don’t like him anyhow.

“For them I settled on the naturals of The Bromomaniaks, perhaps previously seen here, said (by Dave Mitchell) to be my Pere & Mere Ubu. I enjoyed their randy presence, yet again. But they are visitors to this Earth-like reality of the near future. Probably, they can be taken for mummers such as one used to see on Let’s Make a Deal or the like. And it is most certainly not where they were before, nor where they hail from. This story is not the sequel to their previous strip, which I still have yet to do.

“I’m very happy with my back cover featuring them both. But it’s related only to the issue’s theme and not particularly to this story. It’s in yet some other space.”  –RG 4/1,2 ‘015


“My only real awareness of Larry Flynt, of any significance, was that he was shot when I was in a hospital in 1978 percolating beyond Left Field from too much substance. (I stopped doing such things afterwards). I was at the time in a form of fictive combat (we used to ruthlessly play mill fairly often) with my friend Larry Loc when the news headlines came on the communal TV that Larry Flynt had been virtually assassinated, knocking him into a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Apart from the real sense I still had that such a thing was horrible for anyone, my overbudded ego chose to see it as a ‘defeat’ for Larry (Loc) and a ‘win’ for me. Then moved on to the next faux struggle. Anyone who’s ‘been there’ will know what I mean.

Such THC-induced mythomania aside, the above story has no relation to any such nonsense. I really don’t know enough about Flynt or his personal opinions to be against him one way or other. I was never a buyer of his magazine. But I have nothing against his right to publish it. He is not the particular target of my story. He was part of Jim’s suggestion so I went with it. It was fun to write and to draw him.

I’m certainly on no crusade against him, and such a tale as mine would be a pretty lame way to go about it if I was. He can make a lot of sense. Here’s a good, brief interview with him about the death penalty…

“There’s no particular target in the story much at all i suppose. I just thought it would be funny to have a corpse tell jokes. He died before he ‘dies’.

The ‘futuristic’ venue–not set too far ahead–seems plausible to me. What with the popularity of The Walking Dead (its search clogging ‘Rick Grimes’ notwithstanding); and the silly, adolescent fixation around these days that such an aberrated doom could actually befall us.

If they could animate dead celebrities, they would eventually try to film or televise some scrap of it. Tho, as with a TV movie about televising an execution I recalled vaguely while doing my story, we’d all have to suffer a lot of the usual hypocritical moralizing even as they did it.

Besides, there’s larger, more bona fide conspiracies to worry about. I’ll leave you to discover your own.” –RG 1/2/’016

{The above three page story may be viewed for free at http://www.antiquechildren.com/satirical_blunders.html –scroll down a bit. You should also purchase a copy there, it’s always an excellent book. But be advised it prints a mite small. I use a magnifyin’ glass to draw the art, tho’, so whaddo I know?}.  –rg 2/1/’016

<Stories (Pub’d ‘013-…)

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