underground comix at comixjointarchiveswebcomixfeaturesmarketplaceforumsearchmickeybacktosection go to sample pagesgo to next comicblank sidebarblankbrickgo to head comix samplesgo to hear the sound of my feet walking  blankbrick review-ugheaderheaderblankrightheader spacerlink to abcd-efghi-jk-lmn-o-pq-rstu-v-wx-y-zalpha blank right
dirtu duck
solid writing
skilled art
historical bonus 2
total score 7
The Dirty Duck Book
Only Printing / March, 1972 / 36 pages / Company & Sons
If you like this comic,
you might also enjoy
merton of the movement
Merton of the Movement
Outside of the underground comic book cognoscenti, Bobby London is well known by cartoon enthusiasists for writing and drawing the daily King Features newspaper strip Popeye from 1986 to 1992. He's also known for his signature original creation, Dirty Duck, which appeared for several years in National Lampoon and for a quarter century in Playboy. For most underground fans (and avid Bobby London fans), London is even better known for his membership in the notorious Air Pirates collective and getting sued by Walt Disney.

London was a central contributor to Air Pirates #1 in 1971, providing a dozen pages of mostly Dirty Duck comics. But London's cartooning style was far more reminiscent of George Herriman's Krazy Kat and E.C. Segar's Popeye the Sailor Man comics than anything in the Disney ouevre. Despite his starring role in Air Pirates #1, the Dirty Duck character was never specifically targeted by Disney lawyers in their suit against London and the Air Pirates collective (perhaps because it was obvious that Dirty Duck was stylistically distinct from Donald Duck).

The Dirty Duck Book is an anthology of comics that originally appeared in The Los Angeles Free Press, long before the character hit the big time in National Lampoon and Playboy. London credits a variety of real-life inspirations for Dirty Duck's personality, from Groucho Marx to a wino who sold pencils on 32nd Street in San Francisco. Dirty Duck and his buddy Weevil are supposed to be loveable rapscallions, but they get mixed up in plenty of scandal and fraud and their foul language is downright pungent. There is plenty of funny stuff to be found in The Dirty Duck Book and I love the design and wisecracking persona of the character, but I personally prefer London's work in other comics such as Left Field Funnies and Merton of the Movement.

The Cocoanut Comix logo on The Dirty Duck Book's front cover is an imprint of the Air Pirates collective, which took credit for several books involving its members, including the aforementioned Left Field Funnies and Merton of the Movement.

After getting out of underground comics in the mid 1970s, London won the Jury Yellow Kid Award for Best Artist-Writer (1978) and contributed illustrations to The New York Times editorial page (1976-1981) before taking over the Popeye newspaper strip. After 2000, London produced Cody, a family-oriented comic for Nickelodeon Magazine, and co-wrote and storyboarded episodes of Dexter's Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls for Cartoon Network. Now a freelancer, his assignments ironically include drawing Mickey Mouse for Disney.

It is currently unknown how many copies of this comic book were printed. It has not been reprinted. Other Air Pirates collective publications included Dan O'Neill's Comics and Stories, the first three issues of Dopin' Dan, Merton of the Movement, and Left Field Funnies.
The Dirty Duck Book
was one of Company & Sons better (and better-selling) comic books, so it seems strange that it only had one printing. Rumor has it that Dirty Duck kept the struggling publisher afloat for an extra year or two before they really hit the skids.
Bobby London - 1-36