May 31 - I tried. I really did. I dutifully attempted to post an entry for "May 31" before retiring for the evening, but my hosting site was undergoing maintenance. Sorry! Now, at nearly 8:00PM on June 1st, I am trying to make amends (even though my tardiness was not, I repeat, not my fault) with what I would have posted hours and hours ago. As you know, it has been Star Wars Comic Book Month here in the WOMP-Blog, and I think that I've done a decent job discussing the topic. I haven't had enough exposure to SW comics to give you anything definitive, but I am pretty happy with the general information and personal recollections that I've posted...but. But...well, there is one aspect of the subject of Star Wars comic books that I've been neglecting, and I'm not even sure just why. It may be from a sense of embarrassment, because I haven't written about my own hand-drawn childhood comics! Yes, back in the day, before I'd ever even heard of the phrase "copyright infringement," characters in my doodled comics stories regularly crossed over into the SW continuity, and vice versa. That, of course, included Monkey! While I have always been a "saver," my Mom used to be a "thrower." Eventually she gave up under the sheer enormity of the task, but, back in the Seventies, she was still regularly tossing away as much accumulated clutter from my room as she could get her hands upon. Unfortunately, that also included things I'd drawn...including several pages of a world-shattering crossover between The World of Monkey and the Star Wars Galaxy. Several...but not all! Yes, here, right in front of me, are five loose pages from that immortal work, saved because they were at school with me when the inevitable bedroom-purge came. They were drawn on the blank backs of oversized 1978 desktop weekly calendar pages. They were at school because I wanted to show kids what I'd done over the Summer, and these particular pages quickly encapsulated the entire story. The story features Monkey, Conscience ("Conscience #1," as I've called him recently, was a powerful, shapeshifting mentor-type character), and the cast of the original film. So, without further ado, I will review for you here the now-abbreviated tale of...
May The Force (and Monkey) Be With You!
Page One - Shortly after being whisked away from their own universe by mysterious alien abductors, we see Conscience and Monkey being forcefully expelled from a bizarre spacecraft over the dusty Tatooine village of Mos Eisley. The spectacle is witnessed by a handful of disinterested aliens and a Strormtrooper. Dazed and lost, the heroes have no idea where they are, nor why they are there. All they can do is try to remain inconspicuous as they look for a way home.
Page Two - While Tatooine may be alien to them, our heroes know trouble when they see it, no matter the form. When Monkey sees a monstrous, pointy-headed would-be mugger jump from the shadows to attack an unsuspecting old man in a hooded robe, he flies in at superspeed and quietly prevents the crime. The old man continues walking, unaware of the near-disaster, saying to his companions "Mos Eisley spaceport. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious." While they must try to remain hidden, Conscience and Monkey overhear that the old man is on a mission to save a princess, so he's looking for a pilot and spacecraft. They decide to follow the small party into a bar.
Page Three - Still attempting to remain hidden, Conscience reduces himself in size so that he can sneak along beneath tables and chairs, looking for that pilot. He comes across a man wearing a black vest in a confrontation with a green, fish-lipped alien. Having already heard that the alien planned to kill the man for a bounty, Conscience has to act fast when he sees that the man's blaster-cell is on empty, and the alien has drawn a weapon! Still at miniscule-size, Conscience pierces the table just in front of the man's raised blaster, shifts to the form of a raygun, and fires as the man pulls the trigger.
Page Four - Saved from the green bounty hunter, the pilot, with his hairy co-pilot, agrees to smuggle the old man's party, including a young man and two robots, off the planet. As they are boarding his spaceship, Stormtroopers begin to attack, firing laser rifles. Monkey, again "invisible" at superspeed, deflects many rifle blasts which would have otherwise been deadly. In the meanwhile, Conscience transforms himself into a lifepod and attaches to the hull of the ship.
Page Five - As the ship hurtles through hyperspace, a squadron of TIE fighters has set a trap for it. Monkey and Conscience leave the hidden safety of the spaceship so that the old man's party might get away to save the princess. As heroes, the two realize that the old man's mission is more important than their own return home. As they destroy wave after wave of TIE fighters, a rift in space opens, through which Monkey and Conscience fall.
And that's all there is. The rest is lost to history (what a loss!). I can't recall exactly what happened after that space rift opens, but I think it ended with Monkey and Conscience back on Earth, watching the film Star Wars. They look at each other with astonishment as they realize what they were a party to. As stories go, it's weak, but I still get a kick out of the idea that my characters secretly saved the Star Wars Galaxy! Speaking of which, I should probably wrap this up with your last Star Wars Comic Book Character of The Day - Darth Vader!
May 30 - You know that I'm cheap, right? It's not so much the thought of spending money that bothers me...it's the lack of money in the first place that bothers me. If I had it, I'd spend it! I've always said, and I truly believe it to be true, that I could turn a million dollars into ten million dollars within a couple of years. Then, of course, I'd probably just turn around and spend it all. Even so, I've often felt that a sudden windfall of cash would actually result in a dramatic increase in my workload, rather than the expected decrease. Much of what I do, day in and day out, is plod reluctantly through the tedium and hopelessness of my "real" life while imagining what I would do if I could do whatever I wanted. Let me tell you, I'd be a busy little bee. Depending on the windfall...and let's just say that it is a million bucks...I'd ramp up my Fallfire contest into a real charitable organization, I'd set up a publishing house that closely resembled Devil's Due (if not merge with or outright purchase DDP), I'd make sure that my immediate family was getting any medical treatment that they needed, I'd grant and loan funds to the local museum, library, and downtown revitalization project, I'd set up scholarships, I'd start a small-scale comics school or class at a nearby college, and I would hire the best freakin' artists and writers I could afford to continue The Adventures of Monkey. Oh, I might indulge myself with...oh, I don't know...probably a sensible second car (a refurbished WOMPmobile?) and some much needed liposuction and plastic surgery, but, for the most part, my money and I would go to work. But...well, I don't have a million. Heck, after paying the bills each week, I'm happy to have enough to buy a gallon of gas (or a human lung, whichever is cheaper at the time). So, instead of doing any of that stuff, I sit here in my not-yet-air-conditioned-because-I-want-t
o-keep-the-electricity-bill-low-for-at-l east-one-more-month house, literally sweating over a steaming hot WOMPuter as I type musings about my squalor. For example, as in vain I attempt to wipe perspiration from my furrowed brow, it occurs to me that money is very much like air-conditioning. Yes, there are plenty of times when you don't need it to enjoy your life. There may even be times when you'd prefer not to use it...but having the ability to access it on a moment's whim is an immeasurable ease to the mind, and enjoying the luxury it can afford you is both exhilarating and inspirational. Who wants to work when it's hot and sticky? Not me, that's for sure. That's why I started working late at night in the first place. It's the coolest time of the day, which, for me, is also the most enjoyable and creative time of the day. Tonight though...well, it's not in any way "cool." I think I'm melting, physically and mentally. So, I give up. I'm done for the evening. Until the temperature inside drops to at least 78 degrees, I don't think I can sit here one more minute. Before I dash off to take a refreshingly cold shower, I'll post your second to last Star Wars Comic Book Character of The Day - Wicket W. Warrick!