Joe Matt reveals the Secret Origins of the You’re Short, Bald and Ugly Charlie Brown parody

Posted by on August 25th, 2010 at 10:22 PM

 


From the parody minicomic You’re Short, Bald and Ugly Charlie Brown.

Joe Matt responded to TCJ.com’s Facebook link to Garrity’s post “The Strangest Pictures I Have Seen #8,” about a a mini he, Chester Brown and Seth created. He granted TCJ.com permission to repost it in its entirety on our website.

 

While it’s true that I have the dubious distinction of being the originator of these strips, it’s equally true that Chester’s “Billiards” is easily the highlight of this mini.

There was a night, maybe sometime around 1993, when I was working on an issue of my comic book, “Peepshow” and I was using some xeroxes of PEANUTS strips from the collection, “You Can Do It, Charlie Brown” as blotter-paper. (Blotter-paper meaning: any clean paper that was handy and could be folded in half and used to rest my hand on while inking in order to protect the original art underneath.)

Anyway, there came a moment when I was using white-out and to remove some excess white-out from my brush, I wiped it on the blotter paper beneath my hand. And that’s how I came to idly white-out the words balloons on a few PEANUTS strips.

Once I saw the balloons whited-out and forgot what they originally said, I began filling them with the first, perverted thing my brain thought they might say.

It was so much fun and I was so happy with the results that I brought the pages out to show to Seth and Chester the next day.

Seth was eager to try it and immediately suggested we each go home and produce a set number of pages for a mini comic.

Less than a week later, Chester brought out his original take on the concept and put Seth and I to shame.

Chester had violated what Seth and I had assumed was a “rule”–in that one had to stick with original 4 panel PEANUTS strips, in the original form.

Chester, instead, went the extra distance and grabbed panels from all over and reassembled them to serve a longer, very odd narrative.

“Billiards” almost made Seth and I not want to print up this mini comic, but we did anyway–vowing instead to surpass ourselves on our next “re-imaginging” of another well-loved comic, LITTLE LULU.

Sadly, we never did our LITTLE LULU parody. Maybe it was because, try as Seth and I might, we never felt we capable of topping “Billiards”–certainly not in originality.

And there you have it.

Oh, and for the record–I would’ve reprinted the SHIT out of this mini, but both Seth and Chester were adamantly against it and forbad me to do so. The idea of illegally profiting from Schulz’s work was morally reprehensible to them. I, of course, thought Schulz had enough money and had no problem with exploiting his characters.

So, as it was, we did 2 or 3 very small printings of it and that was it. Maybe 300 copies total.

Thank you and goodbye!

(P.S.: Jeannie Schulz–PLEASE DON’T SUE ME!! I haven’t got a pot to piss in anyway.)

 

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7 Responses to “Joe Matt reveals the Secret Origins of the You’re Short, Bald and Ugly Charlie Brown parody”

  1. R. Fiore says:

    Well if I’m betting my own money, I figure Schulz wouldn’t have approved of a comic featuring his prepubescent characters involved in homosexuality and incest. One of those hunches, you know.

    • R. Fiore says:

      “No, Mr. Schulz, we’re really tremendous admirers of your work! Please put down that shotgun!”

  2. Mike Hunter says:

    ——————
    Joe Matt:
    (P.S.: Jeannie Schulz–PLEASE DON’T SUE ME!! I haven’t got a pot to piss in anyway.)
    ——————

    What a sneaky move! As everyone knows, you use a JAR to piss in…

    With the triumvirate of co-creators revealed, I would’ve thought the brilliantly arch dialogue of “Billiards” would be Seth’s work rather than Chester’s. …Live and learn!

  3. what a bunch of guys
    wow

  4. […] Item: Joe Matt on the background behind his 1991 minicomic collaboration with Seth and Chester Brown, &#82… […]

  5. salgood says:

    Haha! The word is out! he he, don’t have to hint at who Casey, Finnegan and Mr. Dressup are anymore. Almost too bad Joe spilled, it was a good mystery. I love that Seth has gone from that to being the designer for the collections.
    Picked up my copy of this zine at a zine fest from a very proud and winky Chester back in the day, 93 sounds about right. Got a wicked lung infection too at that event, was coughing up gulf balls of flem while i read it, helped make it extra memorable. Was the inspiration for Dream Life – http://www.dl.txcomics.com . Awesome fun, had no idea it was so rare. Someone should make a torrent.

  6. salgood says:

    Hunter, if you care to check it out you could always tell who did what part by the lettering.