Saturday, 10 August 2019

"Designed by a 77 year-old closeted transvestite.” "Manly" Matt Dow's SECOND glamourpuss pitch

Hi, Everybody

Your ol' Interim Editor "Manly" Matt Dow here. With the NEXT chapter in The Making of glamourpuss #25/ Zootananpuss #4, page 9*:

As you remember from last time, Dave had asked me to pitch a five page story for glamourpuss.

Pitch one was the one at the link. And now,

Here’s the reference I sent Dave for Pitch one:
Ted Kennedy’s 1967 Oldsmobile 

Ted Kennedy’s car as a weapon comes from a bumper sticker my dad has, “Nuclear energy is safer than Ted Kennedy’s car.”  Which is true.  In the US Ted’s car killed more people than Nuclear Energy.

Jodie Foster. (Admit it, you wanna see Dave’s version of this picture.)
The Tardis from Doctor Who one of the best known Time Machines in the world.

Yeah, the last panel on page 5.  glamourpuss’ bit about the offer being a hoax?  The idea on page 1 was that -- even though it contradicts the copy -- this story is a dream, a hoax, and an imaginary story.   But I got to the end of page 5 and realized I had forgotten to introduce the date offer which would turn out to be a hoax. So that’s why that word balloon looks so funny.

 Every time I read Iguana’s balloon in panel two I hear Arlo Guthrie’s voice in my head. “You got a lot of damn gall” is a line from Arlo’s song “Alice’s Restaurant.”

I also love that a page ago, Iguana and Beer were mortal enemies and now they’re best pals.

I have no idea what the deleted bits from glamourpuss’ bit in the last panel are. I just figure that all the truly personal details of her life get edited out of her magazine.

It’s a good pitch. A fine pitch. I felt this one was the ONE.  But I also had a few other ideas. As listed in my notebook:
                1: gp VS I VS B
                2: glamour babies
                3: glamourpuss’ Confidential “A-list” Celebrity boyfriend
                4: glamourpuss Reader’s In Crisis
                5: Nixon Reagan thing

Numbers two and three never got to the paper stage, they’re only in my head.
Number four was struck out as it turned into number 5. Which turned into Pitch #2…

Pitch #2:

This idea is closer (I think) to what Dave was looking for, at least in terms of execution.  My uncle had a box of files on various subjects that I inherited after he died.  In the box was a file full of AP photos of Nixon.  One of them, on the second page of pitch 2, was of Nixon writing at a desk.  I was gonna use it in “glamourpuss Readers In Crisis” but couldn’t get a decent hook. Then I found another photo and it all came together.

I needed to introduce the idea, so page one is my rip-off of Peabody's Improbable History.  With everybody’s favorite skeletal dog, Boner the Runt Dog, as Peabody, and my nephew Brenton as Sherman. 
I do love jokey copyright notices...

Here are the photos of Brenton I had taken:

Panel 1
Panel 2
Panel 3
Panel 5
Panel 6
The background for panel 5
For all his hard work, I paid Brenton five bucks.
Anybody who feels I underpaid the little twerp should note that the kid is fifteen now and twelve foot four.
Also, he's "smiting" me with Thor's hammer in this picture.

Frankly, I'm amazed he's still alive...
glamourpuss pitch #2, page 2:
Click to see Tricky Dick in all his glory.
Text: As 37th President Richard Milhous Nixon ends his first term in office, he begins planning his re-election bid. Facing poor approval ratings due to the war in Vietnam and domestic unrest at home, Nixon looks into a WWII era project he first learned about as Vice-President under Eisenhower.
Code named “Rebirth”, the project was considered a failure due to the death of its lead scientist in 1941.
Page 3:
Image: Kirby style Captain America punching out a hippie, but Cap has Nixon’s head
Caption Nixon: 23 Skidoo Hippie!
Text: New research by government scientists was proving promising, leading Nixon to briefly plan on using the new formula on himself.
Unfortunately at 58 Nixon was too old for the formula to be successful. A search for a 98-pound weakling to transform into a new patriotic super-soldier was begun.

Yeah, that’s the origin of Captain America I’m talking about on page two.  Why?  We’ll get there.

Oh I almost forgot, back on page one of the second pitch, the reason Boner says, “…be whisked back to San Clemente, California…” is that Nixon had what was known as “The Western White House” in California for when he would go home on vacation and stuff. Little factoid for you.  Hope it helps if you’re ever on Jeopardy.

Ah yes, “23 Skidoo Hippie!”  That came about because, one day, my wife and I were at my mom’s, and in the course of our conversation, the fact that my mom was eighteen during the “Summer of Love” and -- was sort of a hippie and used to use all those old hippie sayings like “Peace” and “Love” and “23 Skidoo” -- came up.  And my mom got REAL belligerent about how “23 Skidoo” wasn’t a hippie phrase.  And the more belligerent she got the funnier it was. So I had to use that somewhere. And having Nixon say it was just icing on my metaphorical cake.

glamourpuss pitch #2, page 4:
Click for the Gipper

Text: A novel suggestion was made to Nixon by then California governor Ronald Reagan.
Since the formula would turn a 98-pound weakling into an American Fighting Machine, was there any reason the 98-pound weakling couldn’t be a woman?
It was a brilliant political move that could boost Nixon’s numbers with the burgeoning feminist movement in the upcoming election.

Page 5:
Image: A montage of girls. More girls than you can shake a stick at. I mean “Fruitcake Park” numbers of girls.
Text: So a quick change was made to the search criteria, and the hunt began.

Back in the day, famed X-Men writer Chris Claremont used to say when creating new characters, “Is there any reason this couldn’t be a woman?”  Dave then used that logic when creating Madame duFort in Cerebus.  I liked the idea of giving that line to Ronald Reagan.

The “Fruitcake Park”- style parade of girls was mostly put in there to make up to Dave that Nixon wasn’t a hot chick.

[editor’s(?) note: I send this supplement to Dave to see if he had any notes, and he responded:
(actually, I’ve always been completely at peace with the fact that Richard Nixon wasn’t a hot chick.  Even back in my womanizing days – Dave the Proofreader)
Laugh?  I thought I’d die.  Matt]

glamourpuss pitch #2, page 6
You don't have to click on this one to make it bigger, the FBI already knows what they need to...

Text: During a meeting about criminal background checks with J. Edgar Hoover, an offer was made by the veteran FBI director to help design a uniform for the new super-hero.
Image: blurry photo of Hoover in drag, similar to the blurry film
used by Rich Koslowski in Three Fingers, basically a blurry mess that could be anything.
Text: (Rumors that the director had a spare costume made in a size 44 have never been properly substantiated.)

Come on… you would’ve made a “Hoover was a transvestite” joke too…

Yes, you would have.

Whatever…denial ain’t just a river in Egypt…

Anyway, the blurry photo bit seemed like a good idea at the time.

glamourpuss pitch #2, page 7
Click all you want, she doesn't get any bigger...
Text: Finally a candidate was chosen, and on September 19th, 1972 Ms. America made her debut. (A military rank was  deemed too unpopular in light of increasing anti-war sentiment.)
She was a complete failure.
Vogue editor Grace Mirabella criticized the costume saying it: “looked like it was designed by a 77 year-old closeted transvestite.”
Ms. America was soon overshadowed by the Watergate scandal, and was quickly forgotten by the public.
She settled in Ontario where she got married and gave birth to twin girls: glamourpuss and Skanko.

And here we have the photo I came across which brought this whole pitch together.  It’s from Entertainment Weekly’s San Diego Comicon coverage.

When I saw it, I knew I had to use it in a glamourpuss pitch.  I mean, I already had the Nixon photos.

The line: “looked like it was designed by a 77-year-old closeted transvestite” was something I was a little unsure of.  I thought I might be going a bit too far, but hey, it made me laugh.
I was actually surprised at how much research a seven-page strip required.

I had to look up what kind of car Kennedy had; I had to look up when Hoover died (which was less than a year after that picture with Nixon was taken) I had to look up who the editor of Vogue was in 1973. 

But I think it was worth it.

So I had two really good pitches, now all I needed was a cover sheet  and to print out all the photo reference and mail it out to Dave.  Which I did in September 2011.

And I didn’t hear anything back for a month.  So I called Dave to make sure he got the package.


So anyway, no response from Dave until sometime in late October I got home from work to find the following in my mailbox:

“Not funny enough.”

Not. Funny. Enough.

Each word a stab into my heart.

Agony. Despair. Sadness.

As the following days turned into weeks turned into months, those words would haunt me.

“Not funny enough.” I mean, looking back, Dave was right. The pitches are clever, but they don’t make you almost piss yourself laughing. No one was gonna be quoting lines from them for years to come (“wuffa wuffa wuffa” being an example of the kind of joke that has legs.)

Was I discouraged?

Does the Pope wish I hadn’t made that pedophile crack earlier?

You bet I was discouraged.

But did I quit? (Obviously not, you’ve read glamourpuss #25 right?)

And this week's auction is at $101 (US) to Jeff Seiler.

Next Time: More glamourpuss?

*Advance praise for glamourpuss archive:

"Up until an hour ago, I would have stated for a fact that [Jeff] Seiler's CEREBUS READERS IN CRISIS was the most uncalled-for example of Dave Sim Ephemera to hit the market, but I think you have him beat with this one."
Dave Sim
Creator- Cerebus, glamourpuss, Judenhass, The Strange Death of Alex Raymond, Cerebus in Hell?


Eddie said...

BAHAHAHA! Wel, as a "Manly Matt" comic, *I* found it AND the post laugh out loud funny ( I can't stop laughing at "My uncle had a box of files on various subjects that I inherited after he died. In the box was a file full of AP photos of Nixon.") ("Dear Matt, when the time comes, you will know what to do with these..." "Matt, this is what I've been training you for all these years..." "So I used them as the basis of a 6 page comic story..")

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...


This is what I get for just repurposing an old unpublished article.

My uncle Bill died six or seven years before I was born. When we were cleaning out my grandma's house, this box of his files turned up. Bill worked at a newspaper as a pasteup guy. So any photos he liked he'd make a second copy of for himself. I got another file full of photos from NASA of the moon landing.

I still want a Jack Kirby style drawing of Nixon as Captain America punching a hippie.

Manly Matt

Birdsong said...

This reminds me of something I keep forgetting to bring up. I have a digital version of glamourpuss. It’s a bootleg that someone created a few years ago. I added the covers and I sent it to Matt last year for use on AMOC. Would anyone buy it in the same “bootlegging the bootleggers” way as it is done on I keep forgetting to ask Dave about it, but mentioning it here will make that happen. I’d like to tell him there’s vocal interest if possible.

Jeff said...

Well, *I* think it's funny, Matt.

As an aside, an 18-year-old Jodie Foster in a cowboy hat giving a come hither look to us (when we all know now that she would become (if she wasn't already) a flaming liberal lesbian, is still pretty effing HOT.

Just sayin'.

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Apparently Jack Kirby hated Richard Nixon. Also, despite the lump in the Republican Party's trousers, Ronald Reagan wasn't a hot chick either.

-- Damian

Tony Dunlop said...

"Jack Kirby hated Richard Nixon."

I'd rather have a King than a president any day.

"despite the lump in the Republican Party's trousers..."

And they have an even bigger lump now. No accountin' for taste.