Faithful readers will recall that for my last appearance in The Comics
Journal its Table of Contents credited my interview of legendary underground
cartoonist S. Clay Wilson to someone else entirely. Now, in TCJs latest war
against celebrity journalists, the final tweakings of its spectacular splash
page of my newest article, "How Michel Choquette (Almost) Assembled the Most
Stupendous Comic Book in the World" have disappeared my by-line.
I would not expect my name alone to cause many of you to lay out $11.99 for
the issue in question (#299), assuming your city or, for that matter, state
even stocks the Journal. But should you encounter a copy, it is worth a
"(Almost)" recounts the story of The Someday Funnies, one of the
great, unfinished works in comics history. The generally recollected facts, as
passed down over the generations, were these. In 1971, Michel Choquette, an
editor at The National Lampoon, set out to compile a history of the 1960s
in comic form. By the time he abandoned the project and dropped from sight a
decade later, he was rumored to have traveled the world, signed a sheaf of
contracts with a rats nest of publishers, burned through their advances, and
collected hundreds of pages of original art from cartoonists, fine artists,
writers, political and cultural figures, film directors, and musicians, rumored
to include William Burroughs, Robert Crumb, Salvador Dali, Federico Fellini,
Alfred Hitchcock, Timothy Leary, John Lennon, Jean-Paul Sartre, Tom Wolfe, and
Frank Zappa, which he carried, chained to his wrist in a velvet and leather
case, none of which had been seen since. No more than 40 percent of this, it
turns out, was true.
The article 20,000 words reproduces about 30 pages of this art, which may
make it worth buying after all. Dont forget, its written by... Geez, I know
that as well as I know my own name.
(For further information (and a sample), see: http://www.tcj.com/
Causes Bob Levin Supports
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, ACLU, PEN, Berkeley Emergency Food & Housing Project.