Lost Rock Opera Pages

Here's an "alternate universe" Rock Opera that ran for several months in the old Unicorn Times. I have nothing up to this after the end of the Quintana Roo storyline (which ended very differently in the UT--I'll post that later); my memory is that the Golliwog is in New York City as part of a Punk Rock band, and that the woman is a British Warhol Factory groupie. At the end they are flying to London, and I even drew two episodes set in London. But one of my editors balked and said "keep it local". So I changed the final two balloons to refer to California. However, this was the end of the Golliwog in the UT. My art editor decided LA wasn't local, either, so I switched over to a topical satire format in the next issue.

This was drawn in color. For years I kept the originals, which were the first examples of my softer, more painterly style.

Here's another. In Heavy Metal, Quintana Roo, my most popular character ever, ended by being turned into first a mannequin, then a robot, then an instant media star. In the Unicorn Times, she originally enjoyed a more leisurely career as a Hollywood starlet. Several times, people stopped me on the street and said, "Roo, Roo"...

Well, we didn't have the Internet then.

In January or so of 1979, I decided to end "Rock Opera". This decision was partly from pique, partly from pressure from my then-art director. He wanted something "topical". He also wanted me to do a strip that wouldn't require a half-tone screen. At the time, my wife and I were working at an animation studio, so I used some Letraset screens I found there on my next strip. This was not a huge success, as you can see for yourself. From March 1979, "Modern Love Comics":

And its sequel, "Modern Marriage Comics". This strip was widely disliked locally; too late I realized I was taking the piss with my average reader (what made it even worse was that this was based on an entirely true story). I used all 4 of these characters later for a short-lived strip in the Washington Post that ran as a summer replacement (for Doonesbury, of all things).