FF1992: Doofer: Pathway to McEarth

Doofer: Pathway to McEarth by Paul Ollswang, Taft Chatham and James Carpenter.

This magazine reprints a few of the Ollswang pieces from Graphic Story Monthly and Prime Cuts, the two earliest “general” Fantagraphics anthologies. In addition, there’s a framing story of sorts…

… because this magazine was meant as an introduction to a graphic novel to be published later, called “McEarth”. To the best of my knowledge it was never published, which is a shame, because there’s so much here to enjoy.

The humour is rather gentle and relies on very silly word play a lot of the time, like here with The Statue of Limitations. (We later learn of an alien who is “The Flying Saucier: Gastro-Gnome”.) If things like that make you groan in feigned pain, this might not be the book for you.

I just think there’s something rather irresistible about this kinda hippyish, laid-back humour coupled with the 1920-ish cartooning. It rather reminds me of Krazy Kat in many ways: The slight vagueness and the way things flow instead of happen.

If only we’d heeded this warning! Google!

Sadly, Ollswang died in 1996. Somebody should get their act together and publish a retrospective.

This post is part of the Fantagraphics Floppies series.

2 thoughts on “FF1992: Doofer: Pathway to McEarth”

  1. Hi Lars. Thanks for your kind words about the Doofer stuff. Paul and I worked together for about ten years before his death in ’96. We had a lot of fun with Doofer, and though I never much liked the title (preferring Tales of McEarth, Fast Food Planet), I wrote most of the story while Paul did most of the drawing, along with Jim Carpenter. That Paul didn’t live long enough to do much with McEarth was a terrible thing, since we had worked out much more of a story than the Doofer stuff suggests. Paul was really a great artist, and very prolific. My friend Greg Bryant says he has thousands of pieces of Paul’s work, a small sample of which is on Paul’s FB page. Anyway, thanks again.–Taft Chatham

    1. Ollswang’s artwork is so wonderful and the stories are so delightful that it’s a shame that no publisher has done an Ollswang collection…

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