June 8th, 2008

The Zombie

And, of COURSE I Named Him "Greenpatch"

June 8 -  Like I said yesterday, I have a long-time fascination with scarred characters, starting when I was about twelve.  That's when I created my first such character, Greenpatch.  

GREENPATCH by Dennis Jensen

Well, "created" may be too strong a word.  Basically, he began "life" as an eight-inch action figure of the Boris Karloff movie character, The Mummy.  I was ten years old, so I was (and am still) fascinated by classic horror films, so I collected every major monster, from Dracula to The Creature From The Black Lagoon.  All of these figures were wonderful, or even excellent, interpretations of their movieland inspirations...except for The Mummy.  Oh, the head sculpt was very nice, albeit with an inexplicably
green scar-closed eye, but the "costume" was a polyester full-body suit with a "1970's graphics" design of green and white bandages on it.  And it was closed with a baby snap-clasp!  Blasphemy!  I almost immediately removed the offending garment (and threw it away...sorry, collectors), replacing it with a handmade series of dingy white ribbons of torn dishcloth, punctuated with occasional splotches of red modeling clay "blood stains."  In this manner, The Mummy became a fixture on my bedroom bookshelves for a year or two.  After a while, though, the fledgling movie purist in me began to fixate on that non-canon eye.  It non-stared at me, quietly saying "By accepting me, people will believe that you think this is what The Mummy looks like," and I couldn't have that, now, could I?  So, I disassembled my redo, leaving a strangely fresh and muscular naked figure topped with that "off," withered yellow head.  Almost immediately, I seized upon the idea of using The Mummy for spare parts.  I replaced some figure's broken arms with The Mummy's good ones, and did the same with one of the legs.  The remaining torso was tossed into a box of spare parts, but that head was just too cool to ignore.  Sure, it wasn't "correct," but it was highly detailed and quite interesting...but, UGH; that weird closed eye.  Hmm.  In a fit of kidhood creativity, I fashioned an oily, semi-formed body from brown modeling clay.  Onto that, I plopped the head, using some green clay to cover the evil eye with an elaborate eyepatch.  I added a tinfoil belted sash around the waist and two pointy little horns on the top of the head, and - voila - Greenpatch was born!  Within moments, his entire backstory had developed (short version: champions of two warring planets battle to near death on "neutral" Earth, and the resulting jumble of body pieces are "saved" by being surgically grafted together, forming a self-hating, dual-personality monster bent on revenge).  Today, thirty years later, he is one of my favorite WOMP characters (although only seen, so far, in the very first Monkey mini-comic, the super-rare Chicago Comicon Special #1, printed in 1992).  Little did I know that he'd become the first in a long series of scarred characters that I would create.  More tomorrow.  Here's your Scarred Comic Book Character of The Day for - Baron Zemo!