Monday, 28 October 2013

Russ Heath: Cowgirls At War

Cowgirls At War (National Lampoon Encyclopedia of Humor, 1973)
Art by Russ Heath
(from Cerebus Guide To Self-Publishing, 1997)
...I did an interview with Russ Heath back in the mid-70s for a fanzine and had several chances to talk with him over the course of a month or two. One story stuck with me a long time and contributed a great deal to my attitude toward doing comics. Reader's Digest version: Russ Heath's comics strip was the last thing needed for a National Lampoon project that was going to press on Tuesday, and he had barely gotten into it by the previous Friday. So they locked him up in P.J. O'Rourke's apartment over the weekend, and they weren't going to let him out until the story was done. Now, if you know Russ Heath's work at all, you know that it is meticulous and painstaking - from the Hal Foster school where you don't "fake" anything: you work at it until it looks and is right. Well, he worked all weekend, and he got the job done; compared to his preferred method of working, it was an impossibly rushed job. I asked him what the job was (figuring I'd go look up this atrocity in my spare time). He told me it was Cowgirls At War. That confused me. "I thought that was really good," I said. "It was," he said. "One of the best jobs I've ever done. I was really happy with it." That confused me. "Would you ever do something like that again?" I asked. "Never in a million years," And that confused me.

If you can be that good going fast, why go slow?


Anonymous said...

Nice ass.

-Reginald P.

Keith said...

I know, right?