Poodles from Uranus

POODLES FROM URANUS (1994)

#23a POODLES   cover b&w

#23b POODLES   cover color guide

#23c POODLES  back cover  color

And no one did notice! Never used cover, back cover & color guides. Artwork © 2010, Rick Grimes.

GRIMES: “I suppose I didn’t write anything here back in late ’08, for the first website, because there were a lot more such posts to do about stories that had, and still have, more hoped for significance than this one does.

But, also because Poodles… had a mite of a blighted plight, and it’s like looking at a sore thumb for me. I like my thumb, (either one), but I don’t like having to see it through a sore spot.

“Here we have what was my second completed comic, that, again, went nowhere. So, I have a stack of pages I’ve still no idea what to do with, and yet another clutch of self diagnosing thoughts to drag around every time I see it.

It is a completed comic, tho with four panel pages, which is a good size for me, but shorter in image area than my Rare Bit Fiends stories.

I was dedicated with it, doing each of the 24 plus pages one after the other, but all to no avail.

“It was sent out by me (complete, in xeroxes) three times, a lot for me. A small press company and two big ones kept me waiting far too long to find out very little.

The small press guy, basically lost it or tossed it. Then gave me an eensy lecture on not sending things without a return envelope when I never wanted it back in the first place.

Kitchen Sink had me waiting the longest, ’til a ‘followup enquiry’ (ie begging) got me little more than imagining them all around a conference table, Nero thumbs suspended in the air. My first of such there. {See Lost Artwork}.

The best I got out of it all was a very brief compliment on the art and a ‘try something else’ from Fantagraphics, but I didn’t. Or haven’t yet.

“I’m not the sort like some writers you hear who sent the same manuscript a hundred or more times. (For one thing, there probably weren’t a hundred companies back then). Eventually, I just move on to something else. ‘Submission’, at least the perpetual sort, isn’t my thing.

You think if you try your best people will automatically see that; see the merits of the art at least, and that a project has possibilities. That a publisher, of outre’ material mind you, might want new possibles. Or throw some interest one’s way. Hell, I’d settle for an actual written word or two.

Some people have no time for such niceties. Cordiality died out with the clubbing to death of the last dodo bird.

“To be fair and ‘objective’–why not? it’s been twenty years, now–I knew at the time the comic has a lot of flaws. I knew why they weren’t ‘getting on board’ the Grimeytrain.

“Taboo was running down around then, and I was experimenting with a LOT of small things, the idea being I could perhaps do those, more of them regularly, faster. But, what happens is, if you find yourself enjoying it at all, you begin putting in more and more detail ’til you’re basically where you’re at with more complicated, six to nine panel pages. Tho’ it can be somewhat easier.

Or if you stick with limited backgrounds, you wind up with a sort of ‘What IS a comic?’ look to it all, like you’re trying to pretend you’re the first artist that ever did an ‘abstract’ comic page. And popular they are not. Little stories, in little formats, aren’t much in demand either, it seems to me. There are some. Nicer than mine, usually.

“Also, the observant reader of my comics may find from time to time I actually may include, shock of shocks, something inherently unfunny in a panel or three. To me it’s part of life, and why shouldn’t I put whatever I want to in my own stuff?

We won’t here beg the question, ‘When is he trying to be funny and when isn’t he?’. If you laugh, great.

What I’m speaking of is the inclusion of flat moments. We all have ’em. Boring, flat, ahumorous instants of human tediousness, rather than a quip in every space. Maybe there is no punch line. Or a character is only trying to be funny, and, trust me, I do know it’s corny.

Granted, it’s not advisable to do a lot of it. And it’s not that it has more verite’ than anything else. But, not everything in a comic has to be about hyper extremes.

Poodles… has some weak places like that. It starts off in rather ordinary prosaics, some humor. Mostly it’s an introductory chapter of what could have been a longer story. {Each chapter to bear a logo highlighting a name of one of the principal, or then relevant characters. Number one’s full run of pages is dubbed FOOFEMS after the cover girl}.

Eventually, there’s a brief (and mostly non-gorey) torture scene, an electric shock that’s really not all that hard to look at, as such things go. Hardly on the filmic level.

But the coup de gross is likely, to put it bluntly, the cum joke at the end. In the last panels of the last interior page. Yes, that could be ‘it’. A trail, really, ‘twixt protagonist ‘Oofred’ and his amorous neighbor, (the mutant ‘bitch’ above), from his wee doggie digit. A bit of second thoughts in the midst of the act.

”So, I can’t blame anyone much for not ‘grabbing this one and having at it’. If I don’t simply white out the offending areas, probably no one will ever tackle it. What happens to one’s edginess creds when one gives in on something like that?

“I’m actually not under any delusion that’s the only reason the comic didn’t make the cut (yet). It has a lot of odd ups and downs. In the action, too, which also isn’t especially dynamic.

I’m still pleased with some of the pages –those where I was getting into the detail, as mentioned above; but the early ones are a bit weak.

And, tho’ in their world, different yet again from other worlds in my work overall, it’s ‘at last’ okay to let all the bodily stuff hang out (note the powdered turds on the cover, or even just the toilet), it may be that for me it should all go back to being out of sight. ‘Hold it all in’. Non-existent, if that works best.

Porky and Petunia Pig had no such problems or ‘issues’. Cicero’s questionable origins excepted.

“Maybe I should have ‘gone surreal’ on the whole thing. One offs. They’re over, and you do another. No crew of characters or plot to maintain. Like one I still want to do, in the same style, of two bipedal ponies at a fence eating peanut butter. Four panels. The end.

If I ever return to this doggie ‘tail’, I should probably do what’s left of it in vignettes. If not, I doubt I’ll ever do the rest at all. Seeing them every day would bug me too much.

The gal dog was ‘upposed ta blow up and have puppies. Too ‘real’ to be a Grimes comic? Possibly. Best for my likes not to breed, even fictively, in this world. So far, so good.

“A note on the color guides. They were done on printouts, in color pencils. The nipple-like vest buttons are in fact nipples and not buttons. I should have made them pinker. Barely any highlights. Guess I thot she put pancake makeup on ’em. Tramp.”  –Rick Grimes (3/26/’015)

POODLES excerpts Oofred via pg 5POODLES excerpts Snarlton via pg 17

POODLES excerpts Bluedle  via pg 8

Oofred; Snarlton; and Bluedle from pages 5, 17, & 8. (I forget the Dalmatian’s name).

Artwork © 2015, Rick Grimes.

<Unpub’d/’90s                                    Sample page>

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