Making comics is hard, and writer Chris Reilly was fed up and ready to quit—except, being a comics writer, he didn’t put it quite that way: “Prior to this book I was about to throw in the towel, feeling as though as my guilt, fear and sorrow had tossed a blanket over my joy and beat it with a pillowcase of frozen hate balls,” he wrote in his blog last December.
Then fate intervened, in the form of a little green lump of clay. Reilly is writing a brand-new Gumby comic to be published by the eponymous Gumby Comics in September. Jorge Santillan, his collaborator on Punch and Judy, is illustrating the 24-page one-shot comic, which will feature two characters never before seen in the 55-year history of the character: Gumby’s grandparents. Like all good Gumby comics, it is chock full of joyous non sequiturs:
There’s a new player in Clokeyville, an off-kilt philanthropist named Mr. Golfer! What is Golfer’s secret? What are the Wooly Mammals? Why are there astronauts selling the founding fathers the Andrew Jackson? Who stole Picnic Park? Who is helping the nefarious Blockheads? And most importantly, how did Gumby become King of the Pirates?
And how is Chris doing now? “Working on this book has completely recharged my batteries and chased all the gremlins out of the garage,” he wrote back in December, and with more issues on the way, it looks like he will be busy for some time to come.