Monday, October 20, 2008

Garry Trudeau and the NOW Amazon woman

from the Back in the day Archives

Ok. recently Garry Trudeau, creator of Doonesbury cartoon strip, read around the world, has been in the news, you may have heard, you may not care, you may not even know who Garry Trudeau is? (which is hard to phantom). But, no matter, older white dude cartoonists know, and young African/American cartoonists could find out soon enough. But for the sake of white folk hipness and a little abstract honky humor here is my one and only Garry Trudeau personal encounter story.
I can't remember the exact date in 1978, but it had to have been around the time that Dick Randall and myself were busy interviewing top names in the Comic Book industry for an Interview article spread in Cornerstone Magazine Vol.6 issue no. 39. Dick was the main cartoonist at the time and I was doing story lines and the color for him. We had recently spent a full hour with Marvel Comic's mastermind, Stan Lee, at the second annual Chicago Comic Con, from there we went to interview "Brenda Starr" creator Dale Messick at her near North Side's Gold Coast apartment, from there we went to see Playboy Cartoonist and Art Director, Skip Williamson at the Playboy Building office and now we were headed to some Feminist fundraiser with Christie Hefner and the N.O.W. folks who were hosting the event with "Doonsbury" cartoonist/creator Garry Trudeau down on Michigan ave, in some swank Hotel . We were on a roll as Elvis would say.
Dick Randall somehow talked Christie Hefner into granting us an interview, while we were at the Playboy building for the Skip Williamson interview and she invited us to meet her and Garry Trudeau the following week at this NOW fund raiser. So hot diggety dog, we thought that would round off our interviews nicely. Although I never understood the Christie Hefner angle with the Stan Lee interview, maybe we were just meant to be at the Crossroads that fateful afternoon? God only knows.
Ok so we get there, and we are about the only two guys there except for Garry. I felt a little strange, like out of our element but ok we are young and we can handle it, we are on assignment for Cornerstone magazine to get an interview with the nation's top Cartoonist and besides we have a personal invite from Hugh Hefner's daughter. So we are there, in this hotel, with Christie Hefner and all the big wig National Organization of Women leadership and Garry Trudeau, the Doonesbury cartoonist plus some "others"........
The one "other" that stood out the most was a 6ft 7 Amazon, dressed up in a American Indian outfit complete with headband, Indian beads, buckskin mini skirt with war paint on her face. I kid you not. This chick could easily have played left Tackle for the Chicago Bears, she was that big. She was LOUD, and she had Garry Trudeau cornered and pinned down in some cosmic, revelation, conversation that sounded like a late 70's Saturday Night Live skit featuring Abbie Hoffman and the ConeHeads on Acid. All of sudden Garry grabbed my arm and said, "Can I talk to you guys right now, back here"? We said sure, that is why we came, to interview you, so lets go, I am thinking wow this is easy.........He rushed us into this side room and slammed the door in the face of Ms. Amazon Indian Chick trying to follow us in. The look of horror on Trudeau's face was worth a thousand original Doonesbury strips on Ebay. He started thanking us profusely for saving his butt back there from Ms. Amazoness Indian Chick. I think Randall said something that we did not save him but Jesus could?!?!?!? Oh NO, Look of Horror number two suddenly appeared on Garry's face. Everything happened so fast there was no time to react...... out of the frying pan and into the fire, "Holy Jesus Freaks and Amazon Acid ladies, Batman", Trudeau is thinking to himself, get me out of here, God. I could be off a little on that quote but it was something to that affect. Garry was just stunned, we probably did say something offensive concerning the Gospel in our youthful exuberance that afternoon, but it was nothing compared to Amazon Indian Woman's Acid rap. As best as I can recall we did not get that interview on tape. Dick Randall ended up arguing against Roe V. Wade with some N.O.W. ladies, probably not a good idea looking back at it. But not half as dangerous as Blues Hall of Famer, Gerry Glombecki arguing pro Roe V Wade with a Bar full of drunken conservatives in Tuscon Arizona recently. Whoa, dude, slow down, we want you to stick around a few more years.
As for me, I was just glad to get out of the Commune that day back in '78 and do something that no one else I knew, would ever do, meet and talk with Garry Trudeau and Wonder Woman at the same time? It was definitely not as cool as actually interviewing Stan Lee, Skip Williamson inside the Playboy Building and Dale Messick but it was truly comical and you can't fake real comical adventures, they just happen along the way.
So Garry, if you are out there and someone sends you an email to check this out, I want to personally thank you for putting up with us that day. We probably should not have been there but we did save your ass from Mrs Ponchahontas who probably was not on the guest list either..................God bless and if you are ever in Alaska, stop in, and say hello to the Governor Sarah for us .
Read Doonesbury for a complete up to the minute historical look at where we have been and how we got here, Best Damn Liberal Political Daily Syndicated Cartoon Strip Ever. Comic Book College (sorry for typos thanks Alan)


KFrank said...

What a great story, Bob Cox! I cannot believe you have held it back from me for all these years. All I can say is "MORE, PLEASE!"

Pat said...

Kev pointed me here--way funny, Bob! Can almost see your stunned stare at Dick as the interview evaporated. Got any good Clybourne stories? I could tell a few. . . . -Pat