Friday, February 11, 2011

Mongombo!

Recently I got an email from an old Eye of Mongombo fan in the UK who bought a commission from me. I hadn't drawn the characters in so long I had to pull out some of the books to draw them correctly. But I was happy to learn that my inking isn't quite so rusty as I had feared.

I'm trying to work on the book again, but I have to revise and redraw the first six issues before I can complete the story. Here, in the meantime, are Jamie's commissions, the first new Mongombo art in years:









15 comments:

  1. AnonymousJune 13, 2011

    More "Eye of Mongombo" please! I've got the original 7 issues, heh ...

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  2. Thanks for the comment! I actually have finished a first draft of a complete story, but it needs a bit of polishing before I draw it. I expect to start the artwork sometime in the fall, though!

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  3. WOW!!! I remember the advertisement for "Eye..." in an old issue old DAK's Comics Interview (the Steve Rude one from '90, I think...coulda been a year either way, though!) and thinking "hm, that looks like a fun read" even though I was a 11-year-old Batman fanboy who was actually SCARED by the cover of Kim Deitch's "Hollywoodland" in the Fantagraphics double-page ad that ran in the same issue...fast forward about 23 years and I came across the first four issues for sale on that most wondrous of sites, E-bay--needless to say I bought 'em all! And, Mr. Gray, I can say with utmost confidence that the wait was WELL worth it!!! Wonderful stuff! Your character design, inking, your writing...man, I love it! Down to the James Bond and Peanuts parodies, everything about it is completely up my street! I didn't really get into "alternative" comics properly until the late nineties and there's so much good stuff I missed available in collected form...but not Mongombo! I gather from the above comment that it's unfinished? Where can I see some of your other comics (if there are any)?!?!?
    And the commission is wonderful, I'm having it as my new screen-saver, if you don't mind! Hope this message finds you well, thanks for all the great comics and all the best from another U.K fan!!!

    Cheers!

    Ant

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  4. Vollsticks:

    Thanks very much for the kind words! Yeah, Mongombo was never finished, originally...as I mentioned, I do have a complete draft that I am working on, and will eventually draw (time willing). I'll probably start posting about its progress in the new year.

    As for other comics, this blog is probably your best bet for that. I will try to put more stuff up when I can!

    Doug

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  5. Thanks so much for writing back, it's well appreciated! Hope my little "back story" didn't bore you too much! I was wondering how old you were when you started "Mongombo", early twenties or something?
    It's also great to see you working on all these licensed characters and I've been digging your "re-do's" on this blog loads. They should've gotten you to draw the fucking things in the first place, if you ask me....

    All the best!

    Ant

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  6. Hey Ant,

    No problem, I appreciate when people remember the thing or when new folks discover it. Hopefully the complete version will go over well...I'm trying not to "Lucas" the re-write...

    Yeah, I was probably about 24 or so when I did Mongombo originally; that's the only excuse I have for the uneven art and tin-eared dialogue in the "tender" scenes. New version will be much better, I think. (hope?)

    I never even got a tryout for drawing those darn Disney ducks! But it's harder than it looks, Huey Dewey and Louie have the same problem as drawing Charlie Brown...if you don't put the features in exactly the right spot on their stupid round heads, it looks completely amateurish. I could have drawn Mickey and Goofy, though! Ah, but why open old wounds??

    Take care!

    Doug

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  7. Dear Doug,

    I've collected comics for many years, sometimes having to thin out the collection when space required it, but your 'Eye of Mongombo' is one title that I've always kept. I think it's one of the most hilarious comics I ever read--I've never laughed outloud so much with a comic. The storyline, art, concept are all great. I have all 7 issues, getting them when they first came out all those years ago.

    Tonight my son was looking for something to read, and I was looking through my graphic novels when I pulled out 'Eye of Mongombo' for him. That got me googling the comic to see what you've been up to comic-wise, and that's how I found your blog. I'm very excited to read that you're working on a new complete version of 'Eye of Mongombo' and will definitely get it when it comes out--I've been waiting a long time to see how the story ends.

    Best wishes,
    Charles Lauder Jr

    PS I'm also writing from the UK, but I'm an ex-pat American that's been living over here for a few years.

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  8. Hi Charles,

    Thanks very much for the kind words! I'm especially happy to hear you are damaging your son's fragile, developing psyche by showing him my books! My comics have been clinically proven to do more damage to a child's brain than violent shaking. So if you see brain tissue seeping out of your child's ear, do not discard! Take a q-tip and gently...GENTLY!...push brains back into skull.

    I've admittedly been procrastinating on Mongombo for the last few years due to uneven levels of employment. But I'm getting into a very stable situation, and once I work out the story's kinks I will definitely start the artwork.

    I didn't change very much in the first two issues of Mongombo (a couple minor changes and a lot of redrawn panels), so I will probably put those two chapters on the blog for free when they are finished.

    Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to comment!

    Doug

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  9. Hi Doug -

    I recently (like, yesterday) dug Mongombo out of a box in the basement. I always wondered why it never got finished. I figured life got in the way, which sounds about right. If you do ever finish it, you will make this fan super happy ... no pressure or anything.

    I've already bought complete runs twice - first as it came out, again when I lent it out (it got returned like five years later) - so I'm totally up for a third purchase. It's a classic.

    Anyway, I hope you're well and happy.

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  10. Hi Demian,

    Thanks for writing! Yeah, there will eventually be a complete version available. I've been tormenting myself with rewrites for a few months, but I'm hoping to have a finished stack of pages sometime next year.

    I'm saying it here to make sure I follow through: summer 2013.

    Of course I have no idea where I will publish the darn thing. But I'm seriously thinking I will self-publish a limited HC run so all you old readers still out there can get their hands on a special version of the book. That's probably the safest bet anyway, in case I can't find a publisher for it.

    Many, many thanks for your continued support! There may only be a dozen or so people out there who care about this (not counting my family), but you guys deserve a finished story!

    Best,
    Doug

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  11. Oooh, hard cover Eye of Mongombo, count me in!

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  12. Howdy Doug,

    I hope that you are able to put out a finished story. Very few comics were able to make me laugh out loud, but Eye of Mongombo was certainly one of them.
    Every once in a while the Young Jesus one page trips across the memory and still makes me smile.
    Thanks for the work you've done and I'm looking forward to seeing more in the future.
    Jon

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  13. Thanks Jon! I appreciate the comment; hopefully the finished book won't let you down!

    best,
    Doug

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  14. Greatest comic ever! Is the new version still coming out?

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  15. Thanks for the comment! Yes, a new version will come out eventually. It keeps getting pushed back for one reason or another; but I'm hoping I'll be able to focus on it soon. I will post some pages (and possibly the whole original series) on this blog once I get started.

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