Impressing The Boss (Part The Last)

laying.rick104Stick-Man® had a brief life as my first original comics character. Before he ceased to exist, he had established himself in the subconscious minds of my co-workers at Marvel by his daily presence on the doors of the editorial offices and even made a Cosplay appearance at the Marvel Halloween Party. He made a cameo appearance in King Conan comic book and battled a similar character named Stick-Boy® (created by the California Cartoonist Dennis Worden) in a couple of issues of a fanzine called REAL FUN.

Stick-Man® submitted himself for syndication at King Features Syndicate and was turned down by the late editor-in-chief, Jay Kennedy, who expressed his reservations about whether or not a character who was mute and had no face would gain much traction with the American public. He had a good point. Body language and a tendency toward violence will only take you so far. Even with the addition of supporting characters like Stinky The Clam®, Professor McNutt, Mr. Happy, and The Human Spot, Stick-Man’s days seemed numbered. When last we saw him, he was standing on the boardwalk at Coney Island watching helplessly as his nemesis, Stinky The Clam, was being carried aloft by an unsuspecting pelican.

Stick-Man® did have one thing going for him: Stick-Man® was easy to draw. In fact, some people who went on to distinguish themselves as editors took pen in hand to produce their own versions of the character–namely Stan Lee and Jim Salicrup.

But not everyone loved him. Harvey Kurtzman took one look at Stick-Man® and changed the subject. But Stick-Man wasn’t done yet. He reached his greatest moment of glory in The 1984 Stick-Man Calendar (spiral bound and produced in a limited edition of 100). Among the highlights of his various adventures graphically depicted in the calendar, was falling in love with a parking meter and being honored by having himself turned into a Stick-Man balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

After Stick-Man® came The Messengers and The Matchbook Drawings.

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