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solid writing
skilled art
historical bonus 3
total score 7
The Further Fattening Adventures of
Pudge, Girl Blimp #2
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AVERAGE SCORE 9
1st Printing / April, 1975 / 52 pages / Star*Reach Productions
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The second issue of Pudge, Girl Blimp expanded to 52 pages and was published by Star*Reach Productions instead of Last Gasp. Star*Reach would publish a lot of Lee Marrs' work in the late '70s, including several science-fiction stories in the Imagine and Star*Reach anthologies.

In Pudge, Girl Blimp #2, Pudge gets closer to landing a boyfriend and even goes out on dates with a couple guys, but she still can't get laid. She also falls short on her portion of the rent, so after a brief, failed attempt at panhandling, she goes out to get her first real job. She tries to get a part as an extra in a porn flick masquerading as a horror movie, but is rejected because she's too fat and won't invest money in the production. Pudge does land a job through a temp agency, but her paycheck is eaten up by taxes and deductions. Finally, Pudge gets a job she actually likes with a record shop in Berkeley, but the old dude who runs the "cooperative" underpays his workers and then suddenly shuts down the store and disappears.

In between jobs, Pudge goes out on her dates, attends consciousness-raising seminars with women, and makes friends with a lesbian named Jane. The latter leads her to almost getting arrested at a gay solidarity march, but she's rescued by her cop friend Jethro and almost gets laid before getting interrupted once again. At the end, one of members of the commune gets a check for $10,000 as part of a lawsuit settlement and agrees to pay everybody's rent for a year, so at least Pudge can stop worrying about getting a job. If only she could get laid!

Pudge, Girl Blimp #2 also features
another installment of "Mei-Lin Luftwaffe, Aerial Infant," in which the Infant destroys the massive corporate underpinnings of Cosmopolitan magazine ("Coarsemopolitan" in the story), which has brainwashed the entire female population to buy into every new fad suggested by the magazine. Cosmopolitan and its editor-in-chief, Helen Gurley Brown, were popular targets of many feminists in the '60s and '70s. It's peculiar, since Brown was an advocate of women's sexual freedom and claimed that women could have it all; "love, sex, and money." But Cosmo's promotion of glamour and cosmetics certainly held no allure for the grass-roots feminists who refused to cater to traditional male fantasies. Obviously, Marrs sided with the grass roots side of female liberation.

The presentation of dense text that pervaded the first issue is slightly alleviated in the second, but Pudge, Girl Blimp #2 is still rampant with Marrs' ancillary social observations. This could be considered either a strength or a weakness, depending on the reader's preference for a character-driven story or an environment-driven exposition. Either way, a patient reading of the book will provide ample reward.
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keyline
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HISTORICAL FOOTNOTES:
There are two printings of this comic book, both by Star*Reach Productions. The 1st printing (5,000 copies) has a $1.00 cover price. The 2nd printing (6,200 copies) has a $1.25 or $1.50 cover price.
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COMIC CREATOR:

Lee Marrs - 1-52