September 5th, 2007

The Zombie

Crusty Blunder

September 4 -  So, what was it like being one of The Crusty Bunkers?  Today, thirty years after the fact, opinions vary widely, from heavenly to hellish.  Reading some of these accounts on-line, I can't help but be reminded of my days at The Joe Kubert School.  I know that I seem to talk about being an "X-Kubie" all of the time, especially more recently, but between last month's Mystery Theme and my own sober examinations of the direction of my cartooning "career," the limitations of my brief professional education have been haunting me.  I have been looking to find something to help me get over this artistic hump, hoping to somehow get up to speed with today's comics and graphic arts scene.  Oh, how I wish that there were a Crusty Bunker Camp!  That's what I need (or, at least feel that I do).  Twenty-plus years ago, I squandered that opportunity when surrounded by fellow Kubert Schoolers.  Yes, we talked about such cross-pollination of talents, and, in fact, my "class" actually produced a preliminary stab at it by drawing a large, impromptu "jam" piece (which, I am proud to say, I have in my "collection").  Still, we never got together and really worked on a project as a group.  About as close as we came was contributing to classmate Steve Lipsky's Phantasy fanzine, one issue of which still features the only time any of my drawings was ever inked by anyone other than myself (a drawing inked, in fact, by the late, great Bill Oakley).  I mean, everyone chimed in on everyone else's stuff, and we certainly helped each other when possible, but we never worked together.  In years since, some of my classmates (most notably Bill Golliher and Dan Parent) went on to work together, but my lone post-Kubert School "collaboration" was to provide a funny, but horribly rendered, pin-up for George McClements' Radium and His Odd Squad #1 way back in 1985 or so.  Now, decades removed from all of that, I see that I really was oblivious to a golden opportunity, the likes of which has yet to come again.  Regrets and fuzzy recollection...sounds a bit like what I've learned about The Crusty Bunkers.  More tomorrow.  Here's your "Crusty Bunker" of The Day - Ralph Reese!