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I’m a writer of various and sundry material, but mostly I love writing comic books and graphic novels. I’ve written for publishers such as DC Comics, Image, Dark Horse, and IDW Publishing, but my latest work which is my most personal and ambitious is the Persia Blues trilogy of graphic novels, published through NBM. Please visit that sister site for a free preview of the book, reviews, print and digital purchasing options, and much more.

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Spoof Comics: 90s dreck at its best (worst)

Recently, while looking for comic covers to post as part of the Indie Cover Spotlight feature, I ran across several books from a publisher called Spoof Comics. You may remember them from their oh-so-clever Wolverbroad vs. Hobo book, or Spider-femme vs. Denim.

swolverbroad_vs_hobo

sspider-femme_vs_denim1

I’m just kidding. Nobody remembers Spoof Comics.

Well, I’m here to tell you that judging by the covers of their other books, it’s a testament to the strength (and insanity) of the 90s era speculative market that they lasted as long as they did. Again, I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t read a single one of these comics, but honestly, I can’t imagine any of them actually being funny. For example, we’ve got O-X: Cow O’ War:

sox

Because nothing’s funnier than recasting Valiant’s successful X-O: Man O’ War as a cow. Cow’s have udders, which are funny, right? Ugh.

Or how about The Punish-her Score Journal:

Punish-her

First of all, the character’s name doesn’t even make sense, other than it’s the best they could come up with that would somewhat rhyme with Punisher. I don’t even want to know how they wove in the theme of dating and sex and “punishment,” because I have a feeling it’s a bunch of frat house juvenile humor. But hey, check out the early Dave Johnson cover. At least he went on to bigger and better things.

And speaking of great cover artists, the folks at Spoof Comics were at least smart enough to know they’d have a better chance of selling their books if they put some recognizable talent on the covers. My guess is the interiors of these comics were drawn by hungry, naive young artists with way more enthusiasm to “break in” than actual talent. You know, the Bluewater model. So if you can get some nice looking covers, you may at least trick some unsuspecting souls into buying your crap comics.

Case in point, Swamp Thang:

SwampThang

Oh, Kelley Jones, you must have had a car payment to cover that month. But at least it’s a really good cover.

And then there’s Spider-femme:

Spider-femme

That’s right, despite the normal looking (and sized) breasts, that’s pinup artist extraordinaire, Adam Hughes. Incidentally, the above cover is from their anthology series Spoof Comics Presents, which, get this, lasted 19 issues! And in that year and a half of publication, they gave us such gems as Daredame:

Daredame

…Vertigo parodies like Dame Patrol:

Dame_Patrol

…and the super-innuendo of Green Lanterns:

green_lanterns

(by the way, I’m pretty sure that’s a Cully Hamner cover on GL)

…and so many other comedy classics, from Justice Broads to Wet Shirts. I’m telling you, Spoof Comics was a veritable (un)funny factory, churning out not just comic book spoofs, but also those of celebrity rock bands. Behold, Kisses:

Kisses

But even in the early stages of their careers, guys like Adam Hughes and Kelley Jones probably charged too much for a cover (and by too much, I mean “not free,” which seems to have been Spoof Comics’ payment standard), so their other books looked more like this:

Youngspud

That’s right, Youngspud. What’s funnier than a parody of Rob Liefeld’s Youngblood book, than a bunch of potato superheroes? God, I can just imagine all the funny lines in that book: the heroes drink a lot to get “mashed,” or maybe they fight a French supervillain team called Les Frites?

Well, I’m afraid that’s about as much as I can stand to write on this topic. But before I go, I’ll leave you with the best of the bunch. Behold teh funny of Soul Trek:

Soultrek

I don’t even want to know.

(A version of this post originally appeared on my Ferret Press blog, April, 2011)

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