Slightly Bent Comics: Mall Cop, Dude-Guy, Danger Dad & More

Slightly Bent #1 and #2 are black-and-white anthology comics written by Walt Jaschek, starring creator-owned characters. Top St. Louis comic artists supplied visuals.

This 2-issue series, self-published as “Slightly Bent Entertainment,” was distributed by Diamond Comic Distributors to comic books stores across the United States in 1998. Walt Jaschek designed the Slightly Bent logo and the covers, and hired his talented friends to draw scripts for his creator-owned characters. Don Secrease served as art director on both books.

The comics feature the second and third print appearances of the original Mall Cop, Mel Cop, with art by Secrease. They also showcase the first appearances of Dude-Guy, with art by Craig Skaggs; Danger Dad, with art by Jaschek and Darren Goodheart; Corp Rut™ and Smirk Du Jour, with art by Tony Patti; Attorneys in Space, with art by Paul Daly; and Those Dang Gnats, a comic strip by Jaschek, who also wrote humorous editorials for both issues.

Reviews of these issues are on Steve’s Reads and on Flooby.

Buy Slightly Bent Comics on Walt Now Comics

Says Walt: “The series was a fun experiment, a deep-dive immersion into self-publishing during the black-and-white comics boom, and a launch for characters and concepts bouncing around in my brain. It was also a nice, creative distraction from my day job writing funny radio commercials.

Approximately 800 copies of Slightly Bent Comics #1 were ordered by comic book stories, according to statistics from Diamond. Approximately 400 copies of issue #2 were ordered. These are the only copies of these two issues in circulation. Some issues are often spotted on eBay and other “back issue” platforms.

Here are select pages from the two issues. The characters and pages are © copyright 1997-2022 Walt Jaschek and the respective artists.

Slightly Bent Comics 1 cover
Slightly Bent Comics 1 inside front cover
Slightly Bent Comics #1 | contents page
Slightly Bent 1 Dude-Guy

Read more about Dude-Guy.

Slightly Bent Comics #1 | Mel Cool: Mall Cop

Read more about Mel Cool: Mall Cop.

Slightly Bent #1 | Smirk Du Jour

See more Smirk Du Jour comics.

Slightly Bent #1 | Attorneys in Space

More information on Attorneys in Space.

Slightly Bent #1 back cover
Slightly Bent Comics #2 cover
Slightly Bent #2 contents page
Slightly Bent #2 | Due-Guy recap
Slightly Bent #2 | Danger Dad™

Here’s more information about Danger Dad.™

Slightly Bent #2 | Corp Rut

Here’s more of Corp Rut™.

Slightly Bent Comics 2 back cover

Buy Slightly Bent Comics on Walt Now Comics

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Walt Jaschek “calls in” to St. Louis Media Hall of Fame

The St. Louis Media History Foundation asked writer Walt Jaschek to add some comedy to its 2021 Hall of Fame video. This “Zoom call” is the result. Congratulations to the new honorees in the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame, which due to The Current Situation is a video celebration only, archived on YouTube.Ken Ohlemeyer … Continue reading Walt Jaschek “calls in” to St. Louis Media Hall of Fame

How to Kill a Pitch: Ad Biz Satire, Walt Jaschek Script

Oh, creatives! Don’t fall on that sword over your favorite idea. Certainly don’t pull pistols! “How to Kill a Pitch” is a cautionary comedy video Walt Jaschek wrote on this subject, directed by Angie Lawling, shot by Chris Lawling, produced by Mercury Films. All in good fun: it’s movie blood. Client not loving your latest idea? There’s … Continue reading How to Kill a Pitch: Ad Biz Satire, Walt Jaschek Script

22-Minute Writing Sprint

Overcome procrastination and writers’ block! In a new “timed writing” video, writer Walt Jaschek prompts you to join him as he writes uninterrupted for 22 minutes. (It works!) Is there something you need to write? Are you in avoidance mode? Would a timed, 22-minute deep dive move something along? And would watching Walt write at … Continue reading 22-Minute Writing Sprint

Recycled Man:™ The Character, the Comic

Recyled Man: What Goes Around is a new digital comic book on Kindle from Walt Now Studios. In the his introduction, writer Walt Jaschek explains the character’s “acceleration of Karma.”

Recycled Man™ was created by Walt Jaschek and Paul Daly. The star of dark drama first appeared as a preview in Slightly Bent Comics #2, published in 1998. His most recent appearance is in a full-color, one-shot comic for mature readers available now on Amazon Kindle.

When Endings Begin: An Introduction

By Walt Jaschek

What goes around, comes around.”

A somewhat world-weary, cigarette-smoking art director I worked with back in my ad agency days used to say that a lot. 

He was right a lot.

He wasn’t talking metaphysically. More transactionally. If the flu is going around, you’re going to get the flu. (That was before the the shot. I am pro-shot.) If a client pays late, the agency is going to pay late. If somebody buys lunch with a counterfeit dollar, you’re going to get it as change.

He also used lean back, blow a smoke ring, and say, “Life’s a bitch and then you die.” My younger self had to actively shrug that off. My carefully crafted optimism had to be shielded. 

But he was right about that, too, in his way. We’re here for a blink, the challenges never stop, and if you don’t hone optimism and resilience, life will seem, as per Thomas Hobbes, “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”  

“Life’s a bitch and then you die” is snappier, I think.

All those quotes were on my mind when the notion of Recycled Man was born a few years ago, in a notebook, late at night.

My concept of Karma – as in, creating your ultimate fate through the arc of your daily behavior – was continuing to evolve. I kept seeing both good and bad behavior manifest fate indirectly, and over time. Thieves don’t necessarily get robbed in return, but check out prematurely. Robbed of time. The corrupt are called out, at least by history. The poor winner loses it all.

Eventually. But often the pace of Karmic repercussions can be glacial, as in glaciers, which we used to have.

My impulse for Recycled Man was that he could accelerate Karma. He could cut to the chase. See the nasty out the door.

This introductory story, in which he does just that, hints – not subtly – at a backstory I worked out in the very same notebook.

It is, I hope you’ll understand, a deliberate change-up for me: a toe-tip into (what I hope is) pulpy drama. That’s new for a writer whose work is typically more light-hearted. Or was.

Recycled Man page 02

But as Don Secrease started adding seer-your-retina color to Paul Daly’s evocative art, I knew we had to get a print and digital edition out there – partially to gauge reaction, partially to give our new publishing company, Comicmood, a jump-start. (Will the story continue? Oh yes, if engagement and sales warrant. Let us know what you think in the comments below.)

Filling out the issue: a new story I guest-wrote for Terranauts: 2020, an incarnation of the long-running team created by Paul and Don, and on loan for this appearance. “The Call of Cold, Dark Places” matches the book’s tone, I thought. 

More characters are in development — get ready, here they come —and I think they all have a certain Karma of their own. The unworthy will vanish quietly. (Or maybe not-so quietly. I’m a comics fan, too. I know how we are.) The worthy?

They’ll come around.  •

Recycled Man: What Goes Around is available as a digital download on Amazon Kindle. Recycled Man is trademark and © 2021 Walt Now Studios.

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Christopher McKarton: 1974 comic strip debut

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Is Paul Blart: Mall Cop Based on Mel Cool: Map Cop?

The short answer: not as far as we know or can legally prove. In fact, bless that Paul Blart. Somebody had to be “the” Mall Cop in pop culture. He won. But here’s a longer Q&A with Walt Jaschek about that, originally published in 2009, when the movie was coming out but more than a decade … Continue reading Is Paul Blart: Mall Cop Based on Mel Cool: Map Cop?

St. Louis Comic Creators Invade St. Louis Bread Company


A crazy, creative, collaborative crew. I am blessed to have incredibly talented artists as co-creators and friends here in St. Louis. Tonight wife Randy and I joined some of them for brainstorming, project development, catching up, and eating. Of course, eating! It was a Bread Company, after all.

Going around the table, counter-clockwise:

Kimberly Austin Daly, artist of the charming and delicate and delightful, and wife of Paul Daly (we’ll get to him.)

Rick Burchett, Eisner-winning artist of Batman Adventures; co-artist of The Death of Superman; and artist on the I-hope-gets-completed (some day) true “Help” story.

Randy Rosenbaum, artist with food; my wife; and fellow adventure-seeker on my blog, Walt A Life.

Walt Jaschek, writer of all this stuff, and then some.

Jeff Weigel, current artist on the Sunday Phantom comic strip; creator of the Dragon Girl graphic novel and The Sphinx; and many more amazing comics-related wonders.

Sam Maronie, long-time pop culture journalist and author of Tripping Through Pop-Culture!: (Mis) Adventures of an Entertainment Writer. Sam is leaving St. Louis for life in Columbus, Ohio! We miss you already, Sam.

Don Secrease, co-creator (with me) of Mel Cool: Mall Cop®: Comics, the Herobots Coloring & Games Book and newly-launched Terranauts 2020; artist on our Brett Hull comicbook series; and owner of the eBay store Pop’s Culture.

Lorenzo Lizana, creator of Scarab; comic convention sketch artist extraordinaire; and collaborator with me on a project so secret, he doesn’t even know what it is yet.

Paul Daly, artist of Julie Walker is The Phantom; pencil artist of the splash page of Terranauts 2020; artist of Recycled Man (both written by me); and fan-favorite artist on his own amazing properties, which you’ll experience soon.

P.S. Some of the comics and books mentioned above are on Amazon. Like these:


See you all again soon, artist friends! Typing… scripts… fast… as I… can…

Walt Jaschek

Terranauts: “The Call of Cold, Dark Places.” Page 1 art — and Walt’s script

Happy to report I’m writing adventure comics again! Just completed a script (scroll to see it) for a deep-diving tale of The Terranauts, the team created by Paul Daly and Don Secrease. Splash page complete. What new menace taunts the ‘nauts? We’ll find out — in a cold, dark place.


Credits on this page: Pencils by Paul Daly. A great composition meticulously realized. Coloring by Don Secrease. Masterful. Look at that water. Copy and inks by me. (Yeah, inks, too. “Walt Jaschek inking” is not something you usually see in any reasonable reality. But I wanted to try it. Let me tell you, inking Paul’s beautiful pencils is daunting. Fun, but daunting. Also, now my carpel tunnel has carpet tunnel.)

Here’s the fully inked page, just before I sent it to Don to do his amazing color stuff.


Bonus! Here is the 


Script by Walt Jaschek

++++++ SPLASH ++++++

CAPTION: In the middle of the Aegean, we locate the anomaly.

CAPTION: We are warned it will sense us.

CAPTION: And will not be friendly.

CAPTION: But we are…


CAPTION: So we dive.

++++++ PAGE 2 ++++++


A hero shot. Under the surface as Adam and Maria complete the dive, each arcing upward to stabilize, a trail of bubbles indicating their trajectory.


ADAM: Read me, Connie?

MARIA: Si, Adam. It’s as if we’re in the same ocean.

ADAM: Very funny, Terranaut.

ADAM: Propulsion mode.


Having stabilized after the jump, Adam and Maria have activated the propulsion packs: they are jetting swiftly through the water in a downward diagonal,

ADAM: How ‘bout the ship? You with us, Harry?

HARRY (from off): With you and remind you…


Back in the ship, Harry is standing with his walker, but is surrounded by sensors and screens and sonar, some of which are hologram projections.

HARRY: The sentient is self-replicating.

HARRY: It doubles in size every 6 hours…

HARRY: …along the top of a seamount ridge…


Close on Maria as, through her mask, her eyes go big. She sees something.

HARRY (through transmitter): …close to surface.

Maria: Madre de Dios!


In the foreground, a jagged “arm” of ice, coming from bottom right corner of panel and seeming to reach out like a warning finger to our oncoming divers in the distance.

And in alien letters and/or alien balloon, the word: S T O P

++++ PAGE 2 ++++


And there is the creature in full, as seen by our divers in foreground. They are about a mile away. The creature is a huge, octopus-shaped alien crystal. It sits atop a mountain in a mid-ocean ridge. Gigantic tentacles are growing down the side of the rigge and into the surrounding ocean. It’s half holding on. And half spreading out.

Near the the top of this icy mass a “face” has formed, chunks forming brow and dark holes in the ice forming “eyes.” At the moment, the face is glowering..

Alien balloon: G O A W A Y


ADAM: Getting this, Harry?

HARRY: Threat projections.

HARRY: Translated by your partner’s telepathy.


Adam turns to look Maria in the eye, through his goggles and hers.

ADAM: You heard him, Connie. You’re our conduit.

ADAM: Can you get in there

ADMA: And read its “mind”?


Maria is “floating” in an all-white panel with no background, to suggest she is in some other place, some netherworld of telepathy. She has her hand to her temple, reading incoming signals.

MARIA: Memory synapsis evasive…

MARIA: Like static…

MARIA: Wait… I have something…


Outer space. Earth a blue ball in background. A huge comet is hurling in blackness, rocky, irregular, minerals in catching distant sunlight. But attached to the bottom is of the comet much, much smaller version of our creature, an irregular mass of icy lichen on a rock. A piece of it, though, is tugging away.

MARIA (from off): It was using a comet…

MARIA: (from off): As habitat.

MARIA: (from off): On a near-Earth pass…

MARIA: (from off): It tore itself off.

++++ PAGE 4 ++++


Long shot as the creature crashes hard into the ocean, speed lines indicating its trajectory, a circle of waves where it hits.

MARIA (from off): After eons inert, all it needed was…


Back in the ship, Harry has taken off his glasses and is holding the bridge of his nose with his fingers. A realization is sinking in.

HARRY: Something to drink.


As close as we’ve been on the creature yet. We can see its whole “face.” And its “scrowl” is deep.






Maria and Adam are jetting through a “cave” – AKA a hole — at the edge of a tentacle. Maria is shining a light into the foreground, where we see floating dead fish and brown, limp sea plants, and a murk of grey gasses.

MARIA: Not good, Adam.

MARIA: Whatever alien chemical stew it’s excreting…

MARIA: …is killing sea life for kilometers.

ADAM: Roger that. “Sentient bad.”


Adam presses down one of the buttons that make up a grid of rectangles on his high-tech band on his wrist. The button he’s pushing is green.

ADAM: But as I’m sure Harry would agree:

ADAM: “Sentient” does not equal “smart.”




In the ship, Harry is looking at a looking at a screen. It shows a large panel opening at the bottom of the ship. Emerging from the panel are five, high-tech harpoons, pointed down, ready to be launched.

HARRY: It does not.

PANEL 1-A, small inset panel. Closer on the screenshot of the harpoons. Words appear over picture: HARPOONS BOOTING


Wider shot as Maria and Adam make a loop around a tentacles and shoot off in the opposite direction, away from the creature.

ADAM: Yo, cranky alien! Ever heard of the internet?

You should have used it to search… 

“Where Not to Breed Underwater.”


The creature squints, trying to understand.

 ADAM (from off): Top answer:

ADAM (from off): “Above a Geothermic Vent.”


Adam and Maria are booking out of there, full propulsion speed, diagonally up and away.

CAPTION: They’re all over the ocean floor.

CAPTION: Temps up to 3000 degrees Celcius.



Looking up at bottom of the ship. The panel is fully open and the harpoons have been fired. They’re raining down on us.

CAPTION: The vents it’s sitting on have been clogged for a while.


The high-tech harpoons shoot through the surface of the ocean.

CAPTION: We’re the plumbers.


Harpoons penetrate the surface of the ocean



Alien: M I S S E D


Unclogged, the geothermic vents turn into geysers of super-hot water. All around the geysers, the tentacles of the creature are instantly melting and dissolving.

ADAM (from off) Didn’t. 



The face of the creature as it knows it is doomed. Already the ice of its face is melting and dissolving into streams shooting upward with the hot water.







Now back outside: long shot of the ocean as seen from the ship. A mile or so away, globules of dissolving creature are sending up wide showers of steam. A piece of the ship in foreground suggests scale and distance.

No copy


Inside the ship, Harry is looking very closely at a censor and tapping on it as he does so.

HARRY: 99.9% decrease in sentience.

ADAM (communicator balloon): Not 100?

HARRY: 1% margin of error.

SFX (as Harry taps on censor screen) TAP TAP TAP

ADAM (communicator balloon): Well, I’ll round up and call that…



The surface of the ocean. The large raft we saw hanging from the ship is now floating on the surface, waiting, stocked with containers for food and dry supplies. On either side, rope ladders. A dripping wet Adam and Maria are climbing the ladders and climbing into the raft. The sun is low in the sky.

ADAM: …“mission accomplished.”

MARIA (a disappointed grunt): Hurmph.


Maria pulls off her hood and goggles: we are seeing her face full for the first time. She is looking at Harry pointedly.

MARIA: Shortest. Mission. Ever.


Reverse angle looking at Adam as he removes hood and goggles, too. Also, in the background, the silhouette of the hovering ship against the late afternoon sun. (A silhouette to save you from drawing those details.) Its presence subtly underscores what Adam is saying.

ADAM: Be thankful, Terranaut.

ADAM: They get longer.


Maria hugs herself, shoulders hunched, cold. Her wetsuit is now slighting zipped open at the neck, revealing a small crucifix necklace. Adam is reaching out to her, handing her the cup from atop a Terranauts-branded thermos. It steams with a hot beverage.

MARIA: And I’m still cold.

ADAM: Warm your core, Maria Consuela Santos…


Deep down below. A tiny chunk of the creature, sinking even farther into the crevices of the ocean. A stream of bubbles follows it down. It is breathing.

ADAM: “They also get colder.”

End of script

 Update: Read the finished, full-color comic now!

Walt Jaschek likes spending time in warm, bright places. 

Avengers T-Shirts Assemble: Walt Jaschek, Paul Daly Wear Different Avengers


July 4, 2015. A backyard barbecue. Me (left) with comics artist Paul Daly. We both decided to wear Avengers t-shirts. We just had different Avengers at heart. Literally.

Happy Comic New Year from Don Secrease, Sam Maronie and me


That’s me, left, with two great, St. Louis comic friends and collaborators from Auld Lang Syne: Don Secrease, co-creator and artist of The Herobots™, Ned and the NudeMel Cool: Mall Cop™, and many more comics with me; and Sam Maronie, long-time comics and pop-culture journalist and author of Tripping Through Pop Culture. This was New Year’s Eve, 2015, at the home our mutual friend and ace comic creator, Paul Daly.  Ever been to Paul’s place? It’s like stepping into a movie set. Anyway, my point is: Happy New Year!