(Continued from Part 3)
I spent quite a few months in the early part of 1976 working on an IRON MAN
story, for which I finally decided to use a vertical format, instead of
the horizontal one I'd been using since 1966. I used better paper, and
a black ballpoint pen, instead of pencil, or a blue ballpoint, as
nearly every GUN! story had been done in. After I got 12
very-detailed pages done, I kinda lost steam and never finished the
thing. Instead, I got inspired to do a 4th WIERDLINGS story, on the same paper, in the same format.
After 2 episodes of Willard siccing his team of monsters on poor, helpless
criminals, I figured it was time to finally up the odds and introduce
another mystical menace. But once again my inspiration came from an
unexpected source, as the main villain in this story was based on my
favorite member of a certain English comedy troupe, and in particular,
on several characters he'd played in both their TV series (airing at the
time on PBS), and a spin-off feature film. If I mention MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL, I'm sure it'll all make perfect sense to most people.
Incidentally, the underground passageway that the attempted mugging
takes place in this story is based on a real location, 5th & Market Streets in Camden, which was notorious for
such things happening, and has been closed for many years. People have
to cross the intersection at street level nowadays. After all, you
never know who might have been hiding behind a turn in the hallway.
A certain Steve Ditko character has a cameo in this one... but as he is not mentioned by name, I hope nobody minds. Meanwhile, don't miss the tributes to Jim Steranko-- and Paul Gulacy! (think "kung fu")
After writing and writing and writing virtually non-stop for a number of years by this point, THIS was the first story I ever felt really satisfied with. Whatta ya know? Practice and hard work does get you somewhere.
"THE MAGICIAN AND THE MONSTERS!" Enjoy!
Redone version of the cover (1981).
(Continued in Part 5)
Story & Art Copyright (C) Henry R. Kujawa
All prominent characters are Trademarks of Henry R. Kujawa