Sunday 7 September 2008

i just finished taping a radio spot with Dan Best, my co-writer on Monsieur Leotard. It'll only be five minutes and it's on tomorrow at five o'clock in the morning, so it can't possibly do any damage. The interviewer had never read a 'graphic novel' before (not even this one as his place holder was at page 10), as he insisted on calling it even though I took great care to avoid the use of the term anywhere on the book. The interviewer asked me to explain what one is. He didn't like my version and asked for Dan's instead. I grinned and watched Dan squirm around on that one. When an interviewer asks me why he should read graphic novels, my standard response now is to say 'good lord, not you, you're far too stuffy.' But I've been in a good mood this morning as Anne got back from a week away last night. This interviewer hadn't done any reading up for this brief breakfast spot and I'm thinking he thought we were a couple of cheery characters who had just produced this novelty thing for a laff. I'm hoping he went into a slight panic when I mentioned From Hell and Johnny Depp, because attention swiftly switched to Dan.

The above is a panel from Al Capp's Li'l Abner. Capp was once a very funny cartoonist, famous for the Li'l Abner strip cartoon that ran from 1934 to 1977. I have just found the following video clip via Tom Spurgeon's link, which takes place some time after Capp lost his ability to be funny (humour requires a degree of humility), and in which he takes on John Lennon. It's a famous moment in, not just the history of the baloney that interests me, but the history of people.

This commentary on the Wikipedia page for Capp amuses me: "The cartoonist visited John Lennon and Yoko Ono at their Bed-In for Peace, and their testy exchange later appeared in the documentary film Imagine. Introducing himself with the words "I'm a dreadful Neanderthal fascist. How do you do?", Capp sardonically congratulated Lennon and Ono on their Two Virgins nude album cover: "I think that everybody owes it to the world to prove they have pubic hair. You've done it, and I tell you that I applaud you for it." Lennon sang an impromptu version of his The Ballad of John and Yoko song with a slightly revised, but nonetheless prophetic lyric: "Christ, you know it ain't easy / You know how hard it can be / The way things are going / They're gonna crucify Capp! "
According to an apocryphal tale from this era, in a televised face-off, either Capp (on the Dick Cavett Show) or (more commonly) conservative talk show host Joe Pyne (on his own show) is supposed to have taunted iconoclastic musician Frank Zappa about his long hair, asking Zappa if he thought he was a girl. Zappa is said to have replied, "You have a wooden leg; does that make you a table?" (Both Capp and Pyne had wooden legs). The story is considered an urban legend."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Edward, I'm afraid you're a hopeless romantic! I found it so darling that your wife's arrival home put you into a good mood! I agree with you, it's not great battles that makes history so damn interesting but the people who are effected by and play in the great battles of the world that makes history so interesting to read. I currently reading War & Peace for the fourth time along with Allen Moore's graphic novel "The Watchman". peace & blessings! Geri - Yoga Gal

7 September 2008 at 22:54:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Andrew Phillip Smith said...

Eddie, I'm about to publish a tri-annual journal, The Gnostic, concerned with Gnosticism and western esotericism. It will include a 12,000 word interview with Alan and a lengthy excerpt from Angel Passage, the first to be published in print. Would it be possible to include your sketch of Alan in this issue? You can contact me at andrew (aat) .



8 September 2008 at 11:46:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

I responded to your enquiry of 3 sept. Did you get that?

8 September 2008 at 14:59:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Nino said...

Hi, Eddie!

This is Nino, I don't like John Lennon speaking... well writing... I mean, well Trying to ask you a favour.
Would you mind if I place a link to your blog in my humble blogito?

It would be a useful weapon to seduce chicks.
You know how it works. I tell them about my being a decadent no creator.
Then they browse your texts.
They think I'm really a dark soul (You are the man who brought "El destripador" to life)
They take me to their realms, begging for the salvation of my soul after the sacrifice of their flesh.

Come on, pal. Can I improve my sexual life thanks to your art?

Di que sí, amigo


8 September 2008 at 16:17:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Predabot said...

Mr Campbell, thank you dearly for bringing this video of Lennon and Capp to my attention. It brought quite a few smiles and grins to my face. XD

Never did know that Capp was such a right-wing conservative, quite a surprise for me.

20 September 2008 at 19:59:00 GMT-5  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home