I would say this is a "can't-miss" idea but I have learned from cruel experience that sometimes the world is not ready for Rudy's ideas. Take my comic strip, Waiting for Slugot, written by yours truly and illustrated by the great (RISD grad) Janet Watt. This was an attempt to merge the work of two artists I admire greatly: the Irish playwright Samuel Beckett and the American comic strip artist (and author of Nancy) Ernie Bushmiller.
Janet and I produced this strip for the short-lived Free Advice magazine published by Gene Jacobson in Providence in the early '80s. What, you never heard of Free Advice? Perhaps the fact that only about 200 copies of the three issues we created were printed up doomed our little publication to obscurity.
Waiting for Slugot was a winner, though. Using the characters in the Nancy comic (Nancy, Aunt Fritzi, and the commented-on but never seen Slugot), I crafted a storyline lifted from Joris Huysman's 1884 novel, Against the Grain, a fab story about a guy named Jean Des Esseintes who likes nothing better than to take a lot of drugs and laze about his tasteful villa gazing at a giant tortoise with jewels encrusted on its carapace creep around on an expensive rug. This guy made '60s and '70s rock bands who trashed motel rooms look like the sodden cretins they really were.
Despite the classy pedigree of my comic strip, it went nowhere. The last I heard of Janet, she was living on a farm near Worcester. She deserves better than that. Meanwhile, I'm still dreaming up "can't-miss" creative ideas.
I received this letter as an email last week:
I've been a huge fan for years. I was bummed (when) you lost your talk radio gig, for crissakes. We go way back. And of course, I always run for Cool World on Thursdays. But then the Dr. Lovemonkey issue popped up. So I've been trying to work past that, and then last week you use precious ink in celebration of Cianci losing weight! I am stunned. The guy is amazingly obnoxious and petty, not to mention mean-spirited and a hypocrite. I could go on and on. Point is, there are millions of things you could have riffed on besides that BS. It just makes me wonder that because of the Phoenix linkage with 'PRO, that you're seeking some leverage with that fraud. C'mon Rudy, you're better than that.
I appreciate the feedback, but I write about a broad variety of topics and, as I wrote in the July 22 column about Buddy Cianci's weight loss, "Anyone, especially a public figure, making the effort to take care of their health is an inspiration so, good for you, Buddy." I meant every word I said. I think that any public figure (and he is a public figure, like it or not) who loses weight and gets healthy will have a positive impact on people and encourage them to take better care of themselves. To me, that is a good thing. That said, I do appreciate the feedback as I do not take offense at people who do not agree with me or may be disappointed by what I do. Basically, I write about what interests and amuses me and that is my sole criteria.