WEIRD DICK AND THE PROFESSOR (1976)
Artwork: "Weird Dick and the Professor" (as featured in 1976's MANTICORE #1) © 1976, Rick Grimes.
RICK GRIMES: "MANTICORE itself is one of those things, mixed up beast that it is, you wish wasn't following along after you. I could be ever-embarrassed by it, but what-the-heck, we all did the best we could?
It's like telling someone with some physical flaw that they have it, like it's big news.
We already know: 'Improvement' is just a nip and tuck away.
Just look at some of the fanzines around you don't feel so 'bad'.
I did draw the Weird Dick figure on the cover and Steve [Bissette] inked it. An odd first for me then, and maybe the only time to date anyone else has inked over my lines.
Not only was the cover depicting the school, my story page, "Weird Dick and the Professor", (as well as it's five page followup), were set inside the so-called Mansion.
That was the feel of the steps, especially to the third floor. The place was already built on a hill, so up there, there was a definite extra pull.
The arms in the wall I got from [Jean] Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast. But, 'his arms' weren't assaultive, they were helpful candelabra.
Maybe it was my primitive rendering or the barrenness of the rooms, (also a fact of the place then), but no one at the time seemed to notice it was the school.
Ken [Feduniewicz] passed it along to me years later that someone had figured it out.
I had always thought it was obvious to everyone there!
My one big regret, of sorts, with the story is the hackneyed 'falling body' bit. Should've made them look more like someone or something more defined, dummies even. They haven't much resonance or any menace.
Nothing else came to mind. 'Fell' back on too much Emil Sitka-falling-on-Shemp Howard. But, I had actually explored that room and opened that and this closet, of course. Early on.
The whole strip is a reflection of the place's initial effect on me.
Also, after I left New Jersey, I may've been the only one of us to actually send copies of MANTICORE to the Library of Congress via the Copyright Office to copyright my page.
It's odd to think it may still be there or that someone dutifully microfilmed it all!" -- Rick Grimes (December 22, 2008).
- FURTHER READING: Rick's Weird Dick & The Professor characters also feature in the following comics / stories: "Daymares" (1976): http://www.rickgrimesfansite.net/photo_album1.3.html + "Daymares" character drawings: http://www.rickgrimesfansite.net/photo_album1.4.html + Kubert Art School 1977 letterhead assignment: http://www.rickgrimesfansite.net/photo_album1.6.html + Kubert Art School 1977 book assignment: http://www.rickgrimesfansite.net/photo_album1.7.html + Kubert Art School 1977 wash assignment: http://www.rickgrimesfansite.net/photo_album1.8.html + "Sicky Claws Conquers The Weird Dicks" (1981): http://www.rickgrimesfansite.net/photo_album3.7.html + "Head Chez" (1981) http://www.rickgrimesfansite.net/photo_album3.6.html + "Stinely Stellwick - That Mahogany Chickenhead" (1981 + sketches): http://www.rickgrimesfansite.net/photo_album1.13.html