'Hollywood is a great place if you're an orange.' - Fred Allen

Men from Mars (1985)
My heavy metal band Rat Du: 'If Their Music's Too Loud, You Have Eardrums'. They are being interviewed by my character Garvey, a pleasing synchronicity as I am now a huge fan of Elbow.

Living in Lost Angeles in one of my previous lives (here on Earth: wannabe actress & cartoonist) back in the mists of time (1985), I worked at this surreal burger bar run by a couple of former actors involved in what was once referred to as a 'lavender marriage', i.e. a gay man and a gay woman marrying for societal approval, or in this instance, to troll for tasty young tricks (look it up) hired as waiting staff.


One of the waitresses, a big gorgeous gal named Caroline, used the term 'men are from Mars' long before John Wotsit wrote the self-help book for men and women. This gave me the idea for a cartoon strip about two women living in L.A.: Donna was a sort of Penny from The Big Bang Theory, though of course that hadn't been created yet; and Garvey was a fast-talking smartarse New Yorker (is there any other kind?) in the vein of Fran Leibowitz, transplanted to the other Big Shitty. 


MfM was meant to be a sort of discourse of people's perceptions of the differences between the East Coast (intellectual, arrogant, seasons) and West Coast (slimy, shallow, dumb as soup, great Mexican food); being an artist but having to do something you hate to pay the bills; and, of course, talking turkey about men and women and sex. Though considering my love life at the time, it was more a case of turkeys talking.  But onward.


I sent the strip everywhere without any luck - found out about Hi-de-Ho, a very famous and hallowed comic store, whose most generous owner gave me sound advice (I still couldn't get published but I got a great rejection letter in the form of an A4 rant from the art editor of Esquire).  I even had a correspondence and a phone call with a pre-Simpsons Matt Groening regarding how the hell to get published and syndicated into a newspaper (at the time, inking and writing a column for The L.A. Weekly, he wasn't sure either, but I suspect it was something along the lines of, Hank Ketchum had to die first).


In the end five strips (from a book of one hundred, now lost) were published in the now defunct The Music Connection in return for free advertising from which, directed as it was at musicians in L.A. (who were so tight-fisted they married nurses so they could get free drugs), I got diddly-squat custom. Oh well, beat working for a living... only I had to work for a living as well. OK, it beat sitting around with a Mexican waiter (whom I hadn't yet met) eating chicken taco salad and burritos and watching American football.


I will post a few more as I find readable scans.  Thanks for looking.


PS.  You might want to check this really cool thang out at Roz Morris's blog, click here:

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Spiky old beech near Bonn, Germany
Spiky old beech near Bonn, Germany
Member WtD Dream Team
Member WtD Dream Team