Friday, June 25, 2004

Master of Industry

Note: The following column has been subcontracted to a world-beating captain of industry

Well now, what’s this here comic book blog I’ve been given to write today? Well, quite a propitious circumstance it is indeed. It looks to be time for an important announcement from me,

Lee Iacocca,
Master of Industry!!!

You see, I’ve made the decision to buy comics. Not just a few comics, or a few comic companies, but all of comics.

Why, you may be asking yourselves in tones of hushed wonder? Why is such an important, handsome and enigmatically charismatic living legend bothering with such a pissant little industry as comics?

Because it pleases me to do so.

After all, they said I couldn’t bring the American automobile industry back to the forefront of world business.

It was supposed to explode. Somehow the advertising people didn’t get that part across.

They said I couldn’t make a successful artificial butter spread with an old man flavor.

People love the old man flavor – they come up to me in shopping malls and at rodeos and tell me "Mr. Iacocca, Sir, this artificial butter canola spread tastes just like you!!!" It doesn’t even explode. When I see the joyous gleam in the eyes of a small child, there is no prouder moment possible for . . .

Lee Iacocca,
Master of Industry!!!

They said you couldn’t start a nationwide franchise of strip clubs with preteen boys as entertainment, and then they watched as my Lee Iacocca presents P.J. O’Cucumber’s chain rose to become the number one pre-teen sex-club franchise in the country.

So why comics? Simple – looks like an easy target. You got all these pissant companies vying for pieces of an ever-smaller pie – sounds like Detroit in the 70s, doesn’t it? Who else but . . .

Lee Iacocca,
Master of Industry!!!

. . . could possibly save this benighted industry?

Man, I love these gummy fish I got down at the Shaw’s. They were in the clearance basket for seventy-five cents a package, I think I’ll go back and grab the lot of them. After all, a penny saved is a penny earned. I may be diabetic, but I never turn down a gummy shark!

So, we’re going to see some changes around here. I don’t like this Spider-Man fellow having his name so big, so I’m going to change "The Amazing Spider-Man" to . . .

Just imagine yourself a child again, for a moment, in the beautiful world of childhood where everything is so grand and wonderful and optimistic. Say you’re flipping through the comic book rack with your greasy stubby peasant fingers looking for a comic book to waste your mind on . . . what will appeal to you? A picture of a fruit-loop in tights or a picture of me,

Lee Iacocca,
Master of Industry!!!

The choice is clear.

And that’s not all!

Tokyopop is unfortunately going to be put out of business, and all the employees pink-slipped. There’s a very simple reason for this: Courtney Love ran over my dog.

There I was, walking Puddles down the side of the street (or, to be more correct, my manservant Ezekiah was doing it) and Ms. Love comes blazing down the street in a 1972 Grand Tourino and leaves Puddles as nothing more than a bloody stain on the pavement. I think she was hopped up on the wacky tobaccy as well.

Anyway, Tokyopop has gotten into bed with the sinister Ms. Love, in the form of this forthcoming comic book:

I don’t know quite how it works: whether they have some sort of gun that shrinks her down into a comic strip character, or whether she has magic powers that enable her to somehow exist simultaneously on two planes of existence . . . but I do know that if I buy Tokyopop and burn the place to the ground I will finally be rid of that meddlesome shrew!

On the ashes of the Tokyopop compound I shall erect an enormous memorial to my dear Puddles, the greatest dog in the world. The only thing that makes it easier to get by from day to day is the knowledge that even though my Puddles is safe in Dog Heaven, the first Puddles will live forever in my heart and on newspaper pages all across the world . . .

So, what else? Well, we’ve got these smaller independent companies that seem to exist merely to bother the real entrepreneurs. The problem is that they have some lucrative properties, if they’d only know how to exploit them.

Take Eightball, for example. I am sure this Clowes fellow is a nice guy, but nice guys just don’t cut it in the world of business. One issue every three years isn’t going to send the stock through the roof. So, as of next October, Eightball is going monthly, with a new creator behind the helm, Chuck Austen. I’m told this kid is really hot – never misses a deadline. I’ve seen some of his drawings and his work looks a lot better than that Clowes guy in any event – he works with computers! It’s got to be great! There will, in any event, be more explosions, more violence, and a return to the characters from the popular Ghost World movie – only now they’re bounty hunters in a scarred post-apocalyptic wasteland where they have to fight dinosaurs and giant robots. Plus, they’ve got really big hooters now.

I know what the youth of America want, for I am

Lee Iacocca,
Master of Industry!!!

I don’t think we’ll be publishing those Archie comics anymore, I met the men who owned the company and they had some green beans in their teeth. I realize they had probably just returned from lunch but I will not have such immoral and unsanitary characters in my publishing enterprise. So, the Archie properties will be folded into Fantagraphics’ existing Eros line. They should be able to get sales up. Kids will eat it up!

Most importantly, I want there to be more Insane Clown Posse comics.

Yes, I realize that they already have a few comics on the market, but soon they will be the number one franchise in the world. I feel my deep roots in the town of Detroit, the heart of America . . . and the ICP remain Detroit’s - and by extension America’s – greatest living troubadours.

We live in a day and age when the American Dream is a living reality. What else speaks to the primal urgency of the American Dream like two men in clown makeup spraying fat people with Faygo brand soda pop?

They’ve already conquered the world of movies:

It’s only a matter of time before America’s children are all screaming to own all the Skinny J and 2 Shaggy Dope merchandise and artificial-butter canola spread that we can produce.

But first I’m closing all the comic book stores and I will personally go around and put my fat Cuban cigar out in the eye of anyone who speaks ill of these plans on an internet message board. I swear to God, you miserable punks, I don’t know what a fucking Heroclix is, and if you tell me you bought three cases without getting a "Bat Sentry" one more time I will ensure that Congress passes legislation banning you. You personally. From breathing.

Because at the end of the day, you don’t fuck with

Lee Iacocca,
Master of Industry!!!

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