A message to you, Rudy.

§ December 27th, 2005 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on A message to you, Rudy.

Tom mentioned the short-lived William Overgard comic strip Rudy in response to my comic strip post from yesterday. Though I haven’t read the strip since its run twenty years ago, I still have fond memories of the witty dialogue and the fine line art. Oh, what was the strip about? It was about a talking chimpanzee, a former star of vaudeville, trying to make a comeback in Hollywood. The gimmick was that the chimp (the titular Rudy) was patterned after George Burns, down to the dialogue and the trademark cigar. Here’s a sample strip, featuring images from an auction on the eBay a few months ago:

Okay, maybe not the best example gagwise, but the art is impeccable. You can find a couple more examples on this page.

There was a collection of this strip released long ago, and is of course out of print, leaving me to haunt the eBay looking for a copy…at least until I decide to break down and buy it from an online used book seller. Apparently the Sunday strips aren’t included in the collection, which is a drag, and makes me want a definitive and complete collection all the more.

More discussion of Rudy may be found at this fine comic strip weblog.

Chris mentioned the dreaded “Peeing Calvin” stickers that arose out of the rush to produce Calvin & Hobbes merchandise that wasn’t coming from any official source. As I said to Chris, “nature abhors a merchandising vacuum,” and since Bill Watterson wasn’t going to allow any licensed products based on his characters, “bootlegs ahoy” was pretty much the result.

A former coworker of mine once told me about going to store in the Los Angeles area and spotting a rack full of Calvin & Hobbes shirts. Knowing full well that such a thing was unauthorized, she confronted the proprietor about them. “What’s with the ‘Calvin & Hobbes’ shirts?” she asked. The store owner’s response? “Those aren’t ‘Calvin & Hobbes’ shirts, those are ‘boy and tiger’ shirts.” Yeah, that guy was a real criminal mastermind.

Jim Hill Media has more information on the topic of Calvin & Hobbes merchandise, noting some of the actual real products based on the property that have been released. Not mentioned in the article was a limited run of a “collectible glass,” done, I believe, as a one-time special deal with Pepsi (referenced on this page at #500…”Hobbes” is misspelled). Supposedly this glass was authorized, but I can’t find any online support one way or the other. Perhaps an actual glass collector out there can give me more details about it.

If you want to see some real C&H bootleg items, dig this page, man. The Pez dispensers are fantastic…the 9-11 tribute, somewhat less so.

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