The Un-Iverse (PG-13)

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Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Joined
Jan 19, 2004
Messages
30,638
Location
Framingham, MA
I finished the final issue of Gilda And Meek (Gilda And Meek #33 "Dark Child: Part Two: The Pilot, Un-Iverse #47). I had been planning it for 30 years, and it ended exactly the way it did in my fifteen-year-old head. I wondered what kind of Sketch I should draw to celebrate this milestone, that I frankly NEVER expected to ever reach.

I thought it would be neat if I posted a very early drawing of Gilda, made when I was seven-years-old, to sort of show how far I and the character have come. Unfortunately, I don't have any old drawings of Gilda (or Love as she was originally known) in my apartment. So what I decided to do instead was think about how I used to draw her. And even though I have drawn over 30 comic book issues with my grown up version of her in them (even more if you count The UnComix Saga's earlier iterations) I almost certainly drew the character herself as a seven-year-old more often and consistently than I do now. I drew that character EVERYWHERE. ALL the time. All day, every day. And I never shut it off. While the other kids were doodling the Smurfs and Pac-Man, I was all about Love, and later on Meek. But I drew the character so often that I thought to myself today, it's probably the exact same thing as riding a bike in that I probably possess the muscle memory of how to draw the earliest version of the character 38 years later.

So I sat down with a pen, recollected how I used to do it, and this is what I came up with on my first try. It's scary how accurate it is, and yet it's also far more even and polished that I used to be able to do with my shaky kid hands. But, dang, it's a bit scary how I can wind up not drawing this specific picture for around 36 years, and be able to nail it from memory with no mistakes on the first try.

The Un-Iverse Sketches 90 .jpg


I added color here for effect, but I didn't always use color as a kid. I drew her all around my schoolwork in pencil, so that would have been impractical. Love also didn't initially used to wear clothes. Her legs were based on a tiger stuffed animal I owned. Her eyes were oval, with Cats' Eye slits, and frankly, creepy as hell. I made them a glowing yellow. Occasionally, I would put a pink bow on Gilda's head or tail to match her pink stomach. As the character evolved, she stopped being the kind of cat you see in Tom and Jerry, and became the kind of cat you see in funny animal Disney cartoons and I added clothes (initially a cheerleader outfit).

Her iconic head shape and red fur were there from the very beginning. Gilda is a great cartoon character design in that you can tell exactly which cartoon character it is by the shape of the silhouette of their head. Not a ton of characters you can do that for, but Mickey Mouse, SpongeBob, and The Simpsons all have memorable and iconic designs because you can do that, and I think the same thing is true for Gilda.

This picture is nowhere NEAR precise because it's even, and doesn't look like it was drawn by a guy in the back of a moving pick-up truck (as Peter Griffin commented the Bob's Burger's characters look like). But seeing the design is like seeing an old friend, and drawing it is exactly as easy, and I did it with zero mistakes the first try, after 36 years of not having done it. That is how often I drew the character. Everywhere, every chance I got. And it's not something I ever forgot how to do. It was that ingrained and deeply important to me. And it's pretty much how I got to this point to begin with.
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Joined
Jan 19, 2004
Messages
30,638
Location
Framingham, MA
Scripted F.I.S.H. #3 "Devil's Smoo" (Un-Iverse #52)! F.I.S.H. coming along a little easier than I expected. Here's a color sketch of The Humans to celebrate.

The Un-Iverse Sketches 95.jpg
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Joined
Jan 19, 2004
Messages
30,638
Location
Framingham, MA
Completed the script to Lace Doilies #3 "Silent, But Deadly" (Un-Iverse #53). Here are some Sketches of the Warlocks Council to celebrate!

The Un-Iverse Sketches 96.jpg

The Un-Iverse Sketches 97.jpg

The Un-Iverse Sketches 98.jpg

The Un-Iverse Sketches 99.jpg

The Un-Iverse Sketches 100.jpg

The Un-Iverse Sketches 101.jpg
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Joined
Jan 19, 2004
Messages
30,638
Location
Framingham, MA
Here's a treat. I've decided to post a Meek's Chiller Theater story that has no ties to anything else in the upcoming arc. It can also be found on my blog:


Here it is, the never before seen

Meek's Chiller Theater "Green Golf Balls"

(Excerpted from UnComix Tales: Howler #3 "Cureds" [Un-Iverse #40])


Rating: PG-13. Bloody violence and gore.
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Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Joined
Jan 19, 2004
Messages
30,638
Location
Framingham, MA
2021 Postscript for Gilda And Meek "Fight Or Flight"


I am not Stephen King and Gilda And Meek "Fight Or Flight" is not Rose Madder.

Rose Madder was a novel Stephen King wrote in the 1990's. I personally like it, but that's neither here nor there. The point is Stephen King hates it. It was unfulfilling for him as a writer and narratively unsatisfying for him and he believed it "tried too hard". Here's the thing: Even if he thinks that, he cannot dismiss the number of women who have told him that that book was the thing that gave them the courage to leave their abusive husbands. That's WAY more important than whatever dissatisfaction King felt in hindsight. Take the compliment, Uncle Stevie. I don't need to constantly hear you talk smack about the book that probably saved the lives of a great many of its readers.

When I wrote and drew Fight Or Flight, my perspective was that it was the worst Gilda And Meek issue, period. Simply because out of all of the issues, it's the one I felt spun its wheels, and never really went anywhere. And that's despite the fact that I blow up Raggleworth Labs in the middle of it! Literally the middle! It's not even a cliffhanger! And my gripe was always that nothing important happens during it!

Rereading it in 2021 after I have finished the entire Gilda And Meek saga makes me notice something about the issue that I didn't intend at the time, but it gives me pause in talking smack about it now. It is the most overtly feminist issue in the entire Un-Iverse. It was not designed to be, but most of Gilda and Bernadette's later and unending kickassery was never portrayed as gender-based. The trials and humiliations Angela endures due to her gutless white, male, liberal producer are unique in not just casting Vic as a monster for his perviness and lechery. I'm suggesting the well-meaning white dude who refuses to speak up is as equally complicit in the behavior as Vic is. That is a very unique and uniquely feminist message that I did not intend to either be unique or particularly feminist when I was writing it. But it resonates like hell to me in hindsight.

I also always smiled at the idea that Ruth Bader Ginsburg existed in The Un-Iverse, and that Gilda was an admirer of hers. But now it gives me a lump in my throat. That makes the issue far more powerful than I intended after RBG died.

And Gilda and Bernadette throwing shade at Julius' unasked for lustiness is a great moment of solidarity and woman power between the two of them, especially because Gilda manages to do the dap of righteousness without ever once looking up from her book. It's a no-brainer for her and a thing of beauty.

The Puzzle Nurse describing herself as a fearless Amazon Warrior Goddess for doing her puzzles in ink is also cool.

Plus the cover is totally kickass. I shouldn't ever call an issue with a cover that cool the worst issue. It couldn't be by definition.

In hindsight, knowing how little direct feminist messages I gave Gilda and Bernadette (at least so far) I am going to shut the hell up and stop talking smack about the issue. Whether it satisfied me as a writer is actually the least important thing to me in hindsight. Its message is surprisingly poignant and timeless years later. I cannot argue with that.

If you ever need proof that I am not a feminist, it's the fact that I didn't realize how important and unusual the issue is until nearly three years later that proves it. I need to do better. That's on me.
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Joined
Jan 19, 2004
Messages
30,638
Location
Framingham, MA
I promised @RandomMe to do a sketch of my Mermaid character and here she is.

The Un-Iverse Sketches 106.jpg


The Un-Iverse Sketches 107.jpg


I think I'll do a brief essay about this very unusual character and about the place and role of merpeople in The Un-Iverse.

The Mysterious Woman's name is never given. Unlike the Secretary and the Piranha, whose names I DO know, I don't even want to pin down this character that much in my own head. We never meet another Mermaid or Merman. We don't know if all Merpeople are half-Human / half-fish like she is, or if other Un-Iverse species like Dogs and Cats can take Merperson form as well. I am of the opinion that like Piranhas, Mermaids are a very musical species. I have also decided that Merpeople have similar godlike beauty to the Sirens of Greek Myths. The Mysterious Woman is an outcast from her species because she has a body like Lena Dunham and a voice like William Hung.

The fact that the Mysterious Woman is chubby may be a hang-up for other Merpeople, but in the story itself she is alternately portrayed / treated as a totally violently hardcore badass, or a sexually wonderous Amazon Goddess. She is nothing less than stunningly beautiful despite being overweight and having coke bottle glasses.

Merpeople in The Un-Iverse do not struggle with wanting to become Human, because they possess the (probably magical) ability to have their fins instantly turn into legs when they dry off on land. The Mysterious Woman is very good as passing for Human when need be, so there IS a possibility we've seen other undercover Merpeople and just not recognized them for that. In fact, in the Mysterious Woman's first appearance she is "passing" as a Human and her true species is not revealed until the very end of the story.

The Mysterious Woman is probably one of the deadliest fighters in The Un-Iverse along with Gilda Thurman and Donna Demented. Unlike Gilda, she is not averse to taking lives in the least. Fortunately, unlike Donna, she's not a psychopath, and normally only winds up taking out vicious killers (in an admittedly cold-blooded fashion.)

Merpeople in The Un-Iverse possess the ability to converse with animals. The fact that the Mysterious Woman can understand him is the first clue to Crusty the Crab that she's not actually human.

The Mysterious Woman possesses an unknown connection to the little-seen Piranhas (the species) and seems to have lived with a colony of them at one point. How she befriended another musical fish species without being remotely musical herself remains an open question.

Spoiler alert!
The Mysterious Woman was an instrumental warrior during the Gragnock Invasion of 2017.

In 2017, at the beginning of The Terran Wars, at the start of their invasion of Earth, the alien race the Crisinians took out a hit on the Mysterious Woman and many other heroes on a dark day in Un-Iverse History known as The World Savior Massacre. The Mysterious Woman is the only other World Savior besides Gilda Thurman herself who was not taken unaware and actually fought back. While it strikes me as a bad idea to reveal her ultimate fate during this pivotal battle, I will say she gave as good as she got and I'm thinking that by the end of the day, the Crisinians probably very much regretted trying to assassinate her to begin with.
 
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