"Why A Duck?" @ marx-brothers.org
Thanks to Allison Sabo & Irene Bacchi for helping with the scans.
It's seldom I get so enthusiastic about something as to plug it with such...er...enthusiasm. But Gary Sassaman's "nice little comic" has managed to turn me back into the comics junkie I was as a child. And what a comic it is! Of course the fact that Innocent Bystander #3 is entirely devoted to The Marx Brothers may have influenced me a bit. In it Gary has given us a wonderful view of the Marxes and the influence they've had on his own life. And for those of you who've been hounding me for a Marx Brothers FAQ, I can't think of a better place to start. The comic includes a nifty little timeline on the Marxes' lives and careers, as well as wonderful bios of each of the boys and their parents. It's beautifully illustrated, and features numerous illos of the brothers from their childhood on up. And as a bonus, Gary has included his own abbreviated Marx Bros. story, A Night At The Movies. Of course to dedicated fans of the Marxes, there isn't much in the way of new information in this comic. But it's presented in such a unique way that it should not be missed.
After devouring Innocent Bystander #3 I demanded more. And I got it in no time...
Innocent Bystander #1 set the tone for the series so far. Gary Sassaman gives us a slice of life by showing us what entertains him. You see his nostalgia doesn't begin and end with The Marxes. IB #1 covers the Stooges, and also features some interesting treatments of the Christmas holiday. And here we are introduced to Gary's strange obsession with hair in Hollywood Hair Story. But I think my favorite piece in #1 is Greetings From Atlantic City, N.J., where Gary takes us on a trip to the Atlantic City of the early 1960's, when it was still a place that provided entertainment for children of all ages. Got me all wistful for my own trips there as a child.
In Innocent Bystander #2, Gary Sassaman's hair thing is repeated in Political Hair Story. We are also given an unusual treatment of Joan Osborne's hit, One Of Us, which I think would make a great video. And the nostalgia department is still alive and well, as suggested by #2's title, I don't want to grow up! Gary's Munsters lunchbox and "playing army" are covered here, and this issue features a great piece about Buster Keaton. And we really get a "cat's eye" view in two (count 'em) pieces featuring Gary's own cats.
I know I've gone on a bit here, but this is the first time I've been really excited about a comic since The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers and Mr. Natural saw reissue in the 1980's. I think any fan of the Marxes is de facto a nostalgia nut. And Innocent Bystander is any nostalgia nut's dream. Try some tomorrow!
For information on getting copies of these comics, contact Gary Sassaman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
©1995-2006, Frank M. Bland
The pages under www.marx-brothers.org/whyaduck were originally created by Frank Bland for his site www.whyaduck.com. Frank did kindly give me permission to use the contents of his site.
If you find text referring to "I" or "me" on pages under www.marx-brothers.org/whyaduck, this will usually refer to Frank.