Comic smile of the week, at least for me: I accidentally learned Marvel Comic reprinted the X-Men parody I wrote – and Jim Lee drew! – in GenNext (an X-Men anthology book) #8. It originally appeared in What Th–? #5, a Marvel humor book from a decade earlier. Great to know! I was using the Google machine last week, and saw that I was listed as a writer on that book. “Ha! That’s a mistake,” I said. “I think I would know if I had anything in that issue.” But I ordered it, and what do you know: there we are, with better paper and better printing this time. Love it. You hang in there, writers, and the world offers up little gifts like this. I’m grateful.
Walt Jaschek looks back on his story in What The–? #5, Marvel’s self-parody comic, originally published in 1989. Walt recalls:
“Just as my freelance writing business was heating up, my friend and superstar comic artist invited me to do a short piece in Marvel’s humor anthology” His idea was teaming up characters who really didn’t belong together. I called it ‘Ill-Conceived Character Couplings.’ As I look back now, I see it was really a bunch of inside jokes for those reading comic at the time. But it was such a privilege to work with Jim and get that first check from Marvel. Even now I think back and say, ‘Did that really happen?’ In other words: ‘What The–?'”
Here is the Hilary Barta’s cover to the issue, followed by the story itself. Credits below.
“Ill-Conceived Character Couplings: Team-Ups That Just Wouldn’t Work”
Comic for Marvel’s parody anthology What The–?! The Marvel Mag of Mirth and Mayhem (Issue #5, 1989.) Script: Walt Jaschek. Plot and Pencils: Jim Lee. Inks: Al Milgrom. Letters: Jim Parker. Cover: Hilary Barta.
Golden Adventures of Brett Hull #1: “Slap Shot to Destiny.” Publisher: The Patrick Company. Agency: Hinkle & Company. Writer: Walt Jaschek and Brock Hanke. Artists: Don Secrease, Bill Lux, Rick Burchett, Bill Vann. (Full credits and backstory here.) Below are the interior spreads! Enjoy this journey back to St. Louis, 1994. “Hold on to your seats, Blues fans,” the story begins. “We’ve got some kind of hockey game here at the Kiel Center tonight…”
“Golden Adventures of Brett Hull” Issue #2: “Power Play: 2094” | Continued from Issue #1 | Publisher: The Patrick Company. Agency: Hinkle & Company. Writers: Walt Jaschek and Brock Hanke. Artists: Don Secrease, Rick Burchett, Bill Lux and Bill Vann.
Read the series backstory and full credits
To be continued in Issue #3: “Sudden Death Overtime!”
Issue #3: “Sudden Death Overtime!” | Continued from Issue #1
Published by the Patrick Company. Art Agency: Hinkle & Company. Writer: Walt Jaschek. Artists: Don Secrease, Rick Burchett, Bill Lux, Bill Vann. Read series backstory and full credits
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Can a Simpsons™ character handle full-frontal nudity? Even in the name of art? This 6-page “Ned and the Nude” comic by Walt Jaschek, Don Secrease and Bill Lux was created as an audition for a gig at Bongo, publisher of the Simpsons comicbook. It’s a tale about nudity in art and America’s queasiness about that. It’s also a silly Ned Flanders solo story. Simpsons are © 20th Century Fox. Created by Matt Groening. (Props 4ever, Matt.)
You can also read Walt’s naked script for this comic below — if you want to see how his brain works (and/or you’d like to hire him to write a comic.)
“NED AND THE NUDE”
Writer: Walt Jaschek
Full-page splash. In the foreground is a cute, female ART MODEL, her back to us, her head turned so we can see her face. She is very, very NUDE. One long arm thrusts out and bends back to her hip. Framed in the space between her arm and body is our hero, NED FLANDERS. He is sweating. With one hand, he tugs at his pink collar. With the other, he hold a paint brush up to an canvas on an easel. But the paint is dripping and smearing: he just can’t focus!
CUTE MODEL: What’s WRONG, Mr. Flanders?
CUTE MODEL 2: Why won’t you…
CUTE MODEL 3: PAINT me?
FLANDERS 1: Well, I… [GULP!]
FLANDERS (thought 1:) Great gobs of GIDDY-GOO, man!
FLANDERS (thought 2:) Get a ho-ho-HOLD of yourself!
STORY TITLE: NED AND THE NUDE
END PAGE 1
1 – A classroom. From behind Ned. Across the room, the silhouette of the model, her hands on her hips. Ned is turning to look up — there’s a hand on Ned’s shoulder. And a cigarette burning from the hand!
Voice (from off): YES, Ned. You do seem a little… “UPTIGHT.”
2 – Reveal: Marge’s sister Selma. She is chain smoking, pontificating like a self-important teacher. Because in this class — she is!
Selma: STUDENTS! Did I not LECTURE this class on the need for a true NUDE FIGURE ARTIST to let GO!…
Selma 2: GO!…
Selma 3: [[cough!]]
Selma 4: GO?
3 – A three-shot. Ned, at his easel. On the left, a little behind: Marge, also painting at an easel. On the right, also a little behind: Barney.
Ned: Oh GOSH, Selma! You’re the best darn ADULT EDUCATION ART TEACHER here at EAST-LOWER SPRINGFIELD JUNIOR HIGH!
Ned: It’s JUST that…WELL…
4 – CU of Selma, scowling.
Selma: WHAT, Ned? WHAT?
5 – A shot past the model as Ned leaps up from the easel — he uses one hand to cover his eyes. With his other, he points to the model. He can contain himself no longer.
Ned (yelling): The HUMAN BODY is OBSCENE!
NED (yelling 2): And LOOKING at it is a mortal SIN so SEVERE it’ll yank your SPLEEN out!!!!
6 – 2-shot. Ned is artificially calm now, grinning sheepishly at Selma and making a circular gesture with his hand just above the surface of his canvas.
NED: Plus, I’d feel better with more time for the “UNDER-DRAWING.”
END PAGE 2
1- Exterior shot of East-Lower Springfield Junior High.
SELMA (from within): Are you GETTING this, class?
SELMA (from within): Ned is EMBARASSED — by THIS!
2- In foreground, Selma gesturing to the tableau behind her. The beautiful, nude model. Holy cow! She looks like Britney Spears! With gigantic bosoms! And this is no normal pose: she’s holding a whip! While sucking on lollipop. Wearing (as it turns out) fishnets! About to get into a bathtub! While a fan blows her big hair. In other words, a bunch of obvious cheesecake cliches.
(Selma’s word balloons hide the model’s naughtier bits.)
SELMA: Merely by THIS:
SELMA 2: A completely NATURAL, NORMAL BODY…
SELMA 3: …in a completely NEUTRAL POSE!
3- Selma leans in to taunt Ned. He holds his head in his hands.
SELMA (whispering): Is it because she looks like BRATNEY SPHERES?
NED: SWEET LORD IN HEAVEN! YES!
4 – Selma tosses the nude model a robe.
SELMA: ACHTUNG, my so-called “ARTISTS!”
SELMA 2: When deconstructing the NUDE…
5 – Selma dramatically pulls the straps of her Moo-Moo from her shoulders.
SELMA: You must DIVORCE yourself from POP CULTURE CONTEXT!
6 – Floor level shot, past Selma’s disturbing, naked legs. The Moo-Moo is bundled at her feet. And in the background, our cast so far (Marge, Smithers, Barney) gasps in horror.
SELMA: (from above:) And THINK only…
SELMA 2: SEE only…
SELMA 3: (Yelling): MASS!!!
END OF PAGE 3
1- Same exterior shot as panel 1 on previous page. But now legions are running out the front door, still wearing paint smocks, paint hats, and wielding wet brushes. Who do we see here? How about… Chief Wiggums, Doctor Hibbard, and Apu…
GROUP SCREAM: AAAAAAAAAAAA!
2- Back inside. Ned and Selma. Ned is holding two thick paint brushes covering his eyes so he can’t see. Selma is putting her Moo-Moo back on.
SELMA: Yeah, this won’t work EITHER, Ned.
SELMA 2: We need a QUORUM to meet MODEL FFES.
3 – Cut to: another part of the room. WILLIE, the Scottish groundskeeper at Springfield Elementary, is… ripping off his shirt! He’s really buff — super-hero buff! And he’s coming right at us!
WILLIE: HOW about THIS, Flanders…
WILLIE 2: …ye wee bit o’ POOFY-BOY?
SELMA (from off): WILLIE!?
4- Willie has pulled his pants off one muscuar leg, and has the other muscular leg in the air, pulling the pants from it. Flanders and Selma look on, amazed.
5 – Willie, lying on his side now on the model platform. We’re looking past Selma now, and only her arm and lit cigarette hide his nether-regions.
WILLIE: If it’s a BODY divorced of CONTEXT ye be needin’, PANSY-painters…
WILLIE 2: Grab y’r tubes of YELLOW OOOOCHRA…and HAV’ AT!
6 – CLOSE-UP OF NED. He is holding two paintbrushes in the sign of the cross, as if stopping a vampire.
NED: No! NO! I won’t rendereth WILLIE, EITHER!
END PAGE 4
1- Ned points to his own booty as Selma his fellow artists look on.
NED: I can’t gaze upon ANY “BOO-TAY” that’s not in its God-given GARMENTS!
MARGE: But NED…
2 – Two-shot. Marge and Barney in front of their easels.
MARGE: THEN you won’t PASS the CLASS!
BARNEY: Yeah! And you’ll be doomed to REPEAT it FOR-EVER!
BARNEY 2: Like ME!
3- Ned consults a huge, 3-inch thick catalog, which he evidentally carries with him. On the cover: SPRINGFIELD ADULT EDUCATION / SPRING “SEMESTER”
NED: B… But I NEED to pass!
NED: It’s REQUIRED for admittance to ART 199:
NED: “The Art Of The FAMILY CIRCUS!”
4 – Ned is on his knees, burying his face in folds of Selma’s Moo-Moo.
NED: PLEASE, Selma — Is there ANYTHING I can DO to PASS…
NED: …that DOESN’T involve PAINTING the PANTSLESS?
5 – Selma puffs out a smoke ring and Flanders stares hopefully through it.
SELMA: WEEEELL — I can think of ONE “academic OUT.”
SELMA: It’s not really FAIR…
SELMA: …but it doesn’t break any COMMANDMENTS!
6 – Close-up of Ned, fists clenched, delighted.
NED: I’LL DO IT!
END PAGE 5
Full-page panel. Taking up most of this panel is the nude figure of … NED HIMSELF! He is standing on one foot. The other foot is cupped in one hand, and the leg is bent accordlingly. . The other hand is behind his neck. He is contorted… and content. He looks almost like a human ice swan. And he has a rose in his teeth!
NED (thinking 1): SAY…THIS isn’t so bad!
NED (thinking 2):I guess if I can’t MAKE art — I can BE art!
NED (thinking 3):I feel so…LIBERATED! So LOOSE! So…FREE! But then…
NED (thinking 4):That could just be the BREEZE!
And, looking past Ned, in a small horizontal group shot at the bottom of the panel, simultaneously reacting to this pose, is…
SELMA (pleased, framing him with her hands): FREEZE, you gorgeous MAN-CHILD!
SMITHERS (thinking): C’MAGNIFIQUE!
CAPTION: THE “END”
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