365 Reasons to Love Comics #239
Not only could I not get on the interwebs for days, but this is also the busiest week ever. Bah. Anyway, today’s Reason is the world’s strangest TV tie-in! No, really. (Archive!)
239. Mad Dog
Mad Dog (or “Mad-Dog” if you’re being specific), believe it or not, was a spin-off of the Bob Newhart sitcom “Bob,” in which the comic genius played a comic book artist. Yes. To make things even odder, this comic was a flipbook. One half was the “classic” Mad Dog of yesteryear, the one by “Bob McKay,” and the other was the “edgy, kewl” big-hair-and-bad-attitude ’90s Mad Dog, the one by the, er, other guy who was not Bob. That half was not good at all. We shall not speak of it.
The good half, however, was really good. Written and drawn and even lettered by Ty “the Guy” Templeton, it was tongue-in-cheek cartoony fun, a pastiche of various eras of comic bookery. Witty dialogue, sharp, energetic art, and some fun situations and stories (cat aliens! robot monkeys! taking the mickey out of the Image era!) made it a good comic and a worthwhile send-up of superhero stories.
“Bob” did not last very long on the air, and the Mad Dog comic was only six issues. Still, it was six issues of zany fun! It was also six issues of really bad comics. You win some, you lose some. Templeton’s work is a wonderful reason to search for this in your local cheapie bins, however, because it’s a kitschy reflection of various eras of the superhero. It starts with ’50s sci-fi and segues into classic Marvel drama and eventually has a bunch of Image-y dudes and baddies with big teeth.
Plus, seriously: robot monkeys.
Honestly, I would’ve bought more issues of this comic. A lot more. The old-timey Mad Dog was just darn fun. And me, I like my comics to be darn fun.
How ’bout you guys? Anybody remember this series?