Tom, Zan, & Joanne

January 1, 1997

Post #628 – 19970101

Joanne keeps asking me, “Are you going to answer Daniel Pinkwater?” I didn’t know he asked a question I reply. “It was Smokey Stover, question mark. Not Popeye, question mark. Whence comes my mental image, etc., question mark. I’d say he asked you about four of them in all,” says she.

Well, the whence comes my mental image one I’ll leave to doctors Jung and Brill, reply I. He does undermine my confidence in my recollection by questioning thus. Not Popeye, no never, no resemblance between the hitchhiker and George G. Geezil in the beard department, and G. G is the standard by which I measure. Mush Stebbins crosses my mind . . . could it be? No. No, that was “dern such weather ” and “blow.” And those were definitely background characters. Nov schmoz was a foreground personality.

Smokey Stover. No question about it.

I worked with Bob Crumb before he discovered LSD and headed for the coast. He never talked about his sources of inspiration for his comic characters — other than his father and the broken collarbone he gave Bob for christmas one year. Whiteman is drawn from life. And, ’tis true that Bob was enamored of young women of size. Last time I saw him he was sitting on the floor of a hotel room in Chicago and telling me how he was still working on his line. A true artist.

Daniel replies:

I once took a ride in a open-topped Volkswagen with R. Crumb, H. Kurtzman, and T. Gilliam. Interestingly, it wasn't much fun. However, had we all been creamed by an 18-wheeler the landscape of humor might have been slightly different. (It might conceivably have been fun if Kurtzman hadn't been present--or maybe if I hadn't).