Monday, August 1, 2011

Trapped In a World He Never Made

Detail of Howard the Duck #8 (Art: Gene Colan, Steve Leialoha)

With all of the superhero movies filling the cinematic release schedule, you might think that they'd run out of characters to feature sometime soon. If so, you'd be thinking wrong. They may be working through the B-List of superheroes, but there probably are not enough letters to cover all the levels of obscure characters that populate the Marvel or DC comic book universes.

In fact, a Q-List character was featured with a cinematic release on this date twenty-five years ago, Howard the Duck. Oh, that was a bad movie! It had bad acting, bad effects, bad everything!!! It was a failure beyond my ability to express. I still can't understand how anybody thought that this movie would be anything more than a paradigm of awfulness.

Detail of Howard the Duck #12 (Art: Gene Colan, Steve Leialoha)

You see, the source material was some bad stuff. Either it was a goofy anthropomorphic bit of buffoonery or it was a not so interesting bit of pretentious existentialist tripe. In either case, it was unreadably awful, the worst comic in publication. And, if you remember some of the comics of the late seventies and early eighties, there were plenty of atrocious comics to contend for this title of disgrace.

If there was anything redeeming to the comic, it was the playfully inventive artwork. Howard somehow straddled the line between Disneyesque cartoonishness and Marvel's "Bronze Age" grittiness. Yeah, that's a weird combination but the artists pulled it off. And that's why it doesn't go into the Hall of Shame. But the interesting visuals did not make it into the movie. Observe!

Howard the Duck from the movie

A nightmarish combination of the uncanny and the absurd!

Here's a vid:

Why? Why?!!

Here's Howard the Duck's Wikipedia page.


No comments:

Post a Comment