But I want to digress. The appendix to the fifth part focuses on old time artist Joe Orlando, involving him in the story in an oblique but cheeky way with all that stuff about the pirate comic books. Joe even drew a special page for the piece. I was reminded, and I'll tell you why in a minute, of my fictional cartoonist Bunny Wilson. This person was an invention I tried to pass off as real between 1996 and 2001. I painted over an old photo of a British train robber and showed it with some badly reproduced photos of other cartoonists such as Alan Moore and myself and Dave Sim, and Pete Mullins, with the intention of convincing the reader of its veracity:
Another thing that I decided was necessary to make this hoax work was to find a well known image from the 1960s which no artist had signed or ever laid claim to. I fastened upon the sea monkeys ad, a picture that everybody must have seen in their lifetime:
I can no longer recall, but I believe I did state it in print at least once that Bunny Wilson was the artist behind this well known and widely reproduced image. My ingenious hoax fell apart on two fronts, though I can't remember the order of them. the first was that Seth came out and admitted the cartoonist Kalo, the subject of his novel It's a good life if you don't weaken was a hoax, and he'd gone to a lot of trouble creating the relevant cartoon artefacts and passing them off with sleight of hand. It completely took the wind out of my sails. The second was when at the funeral of Joe Orlando in 1998 (Bob Morales told me over the phone) somebody told the anecdote about how Joe drew those damn sea-monkeys. If it was known before that, the knowledge certainly wasn't common. Not to be outdone I decided that Bunny should have a funeral too. All my pals cheerily put on their best suits on a Sunday afternoon and we posed at the cemetery for a mock newspaper spread in a late issue of Bacchus:
And that was the end of that. Except it always bugged me that nobody ever cared or said anything on the subject. As Bunny always said (hey, he's as real to me as any other drawn character, like Rorschach, or Dan Dreiberg) 'Aw, What's the Use?"
So finally I put him in one of my more obviously autobiographical stories:
which bugged at least Craig Fischer in his lovely review of my work-"I remain fascinated--and, admittedly, a bit annoyed--that this gag leaked into Campbell's... more "serious" autobiographical work. He exaggerates, he lies, he contradicts himself, and he tries to fool us: should we trust any of his stories?"