Comic Strips From the Underground

Here is one of only two (deservedly) lost epic comic strips now rescued from my underground press days, "The Magician's Daughter". What was I thinking when I did this one? I haven't a clue. Quite obviously, I was heavily influenced by old movies. You'll notice the faces of Wallace Beery, Robert Montgomery, Constance Bennett, Eric Blore, both Barrymore brothers, etc etc. Hedy Lamarr doubled for Lilli. Plotwise, what a mess, eh? I think I stole the plot from some old French short story, De Maupassant, maybe. Or Balzac, whom I had earlier used for "Lily of the Pavements" (up soon, poor dears). But that mess is nothing compared to the graphics, which were jumbled together in an ungeometric flow which I imagined mimicked the motion of film. As for the bright idea of painting the dialogue directly into each scene, rather than using traditional balloons, the less said the better. This is from 1973, I think. Read it--or try to read it, anyway--and weep:

Just today I watched a film called "Midnight" (1939) set in Paris and starring Claudette Colbert and John Barrymore (along with many others, including the ineffable Monty Woolley), who both appeared above. Nowadays, using DVR capture and the computer, it would take me only a few days to create something like this from a film like that--back then it took many months. I used hundreds of magazines and library books--there was no such thing as a home VCR until the late '70s. My favorite source was the Jerome Zerbe book "Happy Times", which I still love flipping through--if you've ever seen it, you may recognize a few of the photo-references from it here. As well as Dudley Moore and Peter Cook from the film "Bedazzled".