Sunday, December 5, 2010

WE DON’T NEED NO STINKING WASHCLOTHS!

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Q: What do skunks, snakes, octopi, vomit, talking toast, disembodied heads and stupid zombies have in common?

A: All are subjects of cartoons drawn by Lonnie J. Millsap III (L.J.M.3).

That may sound like the name of a pretentious White guy, but once upon a lifetime I worked with Lonnie J. Millsap the Third. I knew Lonnie J. Millsap the Third. Lonnie J. Millsap the Third was a friend of mine. Lonnie J. Millsap the Third is no pretentious White guy.

Yes, it’s true, Lonnie (J.) Millsap (the Third) was a co-worker of mine at a University far, far away. He and I supervised about 80 college students. Which means that mostly what we did was pitch pennies on top of parking structures for eight hours a day and play video games after “work”.

The video game contests we engaged in were pretty ferocious, pretty intense. You see Lonnie is Black and I’m the pretentious White guy. You’d have to travel back to the Civil War to match the Black and White intensity level of our video game contests. I won more video games than Lonnie did, but he won’t admit that. Just like he won’t admit that I drew better cartoons than he did.

Yeah, we were always competing at something, even to the point of drawing dueling cartoon characters on the chalkboard at work (when we weren’t busy pitching pennies or going to lunch).

Now I find that Lonnie J. Millsap III has published a book of Far Side-like cartoons titled ‘MY WASHCLOTH STINKS’. Well, we don’t need no stinking washcloths! But then again, we might WANT one. If not for ourselves then maybe to give as a Christmas present to that person who has a sense of humor and deserves a gift from us but not a gift that’s overly expensive, overly White, overly pretentious, or overly classy. ‘My Washcloth Stinks’ would be perfect for him or her.

What galls me is that decades ago, Lonnie and I took a ‘How To Start Your Own Greeting Card Company’ class together. I’m the student who stayed awake and took notes and yet Lonnie is the student who started his own greeting card company and published his own cartoon book. Don’tcha hate it when that happens?

He calls his enterprise “Rollyhead Publishing” – apparently based on all the disembodied cartoon heads he draws – but I remember when Lonnie wore a flattop haircut and used the name “Flattop Productions”. Well, the shape of the disembodied heads he draws may have changed, but what hasn’t changed is the black comedy nature of this Black cartoonist. You have to be a little demented, a little twisted, a little sick in the (rolly or flat) head to enjoy Lonnie’s comedy.

Fortunately, that describes me well, and a number of the cartoons in ‘My Washcloth Stinks’ made me Literally Laugh Out Loud (LLOL). Of course, in a blurb on the back cover of the book, one reader expressed a different opinion:

"Lame, lame, lame. What Black person draws cartoons like these?"
~ Ruby Millsap (Lonnie's Mother)

Well, I remember when all of Lonnie's cartoons really were lame. But, like the village idiot who claimed he had been turned into a newt by a witch in the movie 'Monty Python And The Holy Grail', Lonnie "got better".
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Who knew the guy had genuine talent that would lie doggo until he was jobless and destitute and FORCED to rely on it in order to scrounge up enough money for another Fatburger?

It would be easy to describe here some of the twisted and funny cartoons you will find in ‘My Washcloth Stinks’, but rather, I will illustrate Lonnie J. Millsap the Third’s sick sense of humor with a couple of personal anecdotes that will prepare you for the “style” you will encounter in his cartoon book:

I still have the original hand-drawn Christmas card that L.J.M.3 gave me in 1988. It shows Santa Claus on a rooftop, an open sack full of human skeletons lies at his feet, and Santa is thinking: ‘Damn, wrong bag!’ Below it reads: “Why Christmas came a few hours late in 1977.”
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Inside the card, L.J.M.3 wrote: “Stephen, you S.O.B., you crazy fool, retard. I bet you thought you’d never read this stuff on a Merry Christmas card!”

Can you believe the shi— er, the “stuffs” that guy would say to me? If it wasn’t for all the pennies I was winning from him 40 hours a week, I wouldn’t have hung around the dude.

Yeah, the card may not have exactly expressed the “traditional” Christmas greeting but, nevertheless, it’s one of the best Christmas cards I ever received. (But don’t tell Lonnie - it’ll go to his rolly head.)

And don’t be shocked by the language he used in that Christmas card he gave to me. If it weren’t for the word “Fool” and the initials “S.O.B.” we wouldn’t have known how to speak to each other.
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One time Millsap was on vacation and he sent me a post card. On the front was a photograph of a short pier, and on the back he wrote: Two words come to mind. Long walk. (That’s not a direct quote because although I know I’ve saved the post card, I was unable to locate it in my filing boxes. I looked under “L” for Lonnie and “M” for Millsap, but it wasn’t there. I’ve probably stored it under “F” for Fool or “S” for... well, you know.)

Another favorite tactic of ours back in the day was to sling racial epithets at each other while each of us accused the other guy of being a racist. Of course, I was only joking, but after reading L.J.M.3’s cartoon book, ‘My Washcloth Stinks’, I suspect this black comedy humorist might really be a racist after all. You see, I noticed only one White cartoon character in the entire book, and that was a drawing of Thomas Jefferson with a non-diversity-lovin’ world-view. (It was dang funny though!)

Lonnie J. Millsap III is going to need to draw a lot of albino zombie cartoon characters if he expects me to ever again accept the idea that he’s not a racist S.O.B.

In the meantime, buy his book. It’s cheap and the fool needs the money.

I would stay and tell you more but I have a buzz to catch.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy the First (I'm #1!)

Links:

Rollyhead Publishing
(There’s some some zany stuffs to surf on this site and you can buy ‘My Washcloth Stinks’ here, too.)

‘Dumb Is Everywhere’ (L.J.M.3’s blog)

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.
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14 comments:

Judy Harper said...

Aren't memories so much fun! I'm finished with NaNoWriMo! I didn't make the 50,000 but I did make 21,338 words, now I'm doing the NaNoFiMo, finish a novel by the end of December. It was fun but stressful. Now I gotta catch up on old friends! Hope you had a great weekend! Anything important on the Other blog?

Arlee Bird said...

Hope Lonnie has lots of success with his book. You should go and review it on Amazon.

Lee
Tossing It Out

DiscConnected said...

This is obviously the racist work of a Marxist bent on world domination.

How sad that Stephen has fallen under his spell.

Dumb-ass S.O.B...

(just in case you missed being called names!)

It's kind of cool when someone from the neighborhood makes good, huh?

Dumb-ass disc dude

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

JUDY!-3 ~
Good to know that you're working so hard at your writing. It will probably pay off big someday.

Anything important on the other blog? Nah. Same ol' junk. Just me blowin' off steam, ya know.


ARLEE BOID ~
You know better'n that, Brother. Me at Amazon? Not gonna happen.


DISCDUDE ~
-->...It's kind of cool when someone from the neighborhood makes good, huh?

Well, Lonnie wasn't from the "neighborhood". He was from the "Hood". And I wouldn't say he made "good". He basically just managed to stay out of jail and earn enough for his next Fatburger. (That's not "good", but it's not "bad" either.)

Bottom line: He's an S.O.B. from the Hood who made mediocrity. (Which is still more than I can say for myself.)

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Anonymous said...

I went and purchased My washcloth stinks. Added it onto a few books I was ordering from the dreaded amazon.

Brer Marc

P.S. If I think it sucks you'll read about it ;)

Anonymous said...

Nice post, kind of drawn out though. Really good subject matter though.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

BR'ER MARC ~
Well, my friend, if you liked the idea behind that "Damn! Wrong bag!" Christmas card with Santa Claus and a sack of skeletons, then you'll like plenty of the cartoons in this book.

If the "SkeleClaus" card did nothing for ya, you probably just wasted yer $.


ANONYMOUS ~
Thanks!
~ McWindy

~ Stephen
"As a dog returns to his own vomit,
so a fool repeats his folly."
~ Proverbs 26:11

Peter said...

Hi Stephen, I noticed that you're a fan of William Fraker's Monte Walsh. It's a great film. I see it's out on DVD.
Peter

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

PETER ~
No Way!!!
Are you kidding me? Man, I hope you're not messing with me here.

I've been waiting YEARS for 'Monte Walsh' to be released on DVD. I always said that I would immediately buy two copies, just to have a spare in case something happened to the one. And I'm serious, I WILL buy two!

Now I gotta go do a search and see if this news is true. What a freakin' great Christmas present I'll give to myself if it is.

Thanks for the news, Buddy.
Lemme go see...

[To Be Continued...}

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

PETER ~
Thank you, thank you, my friend!

I just bought THREE copies!!!
Two for me and one to give away to an old friend of mine (the "REAL" Countess!)

Dude, you have just brightened what has been up until now a day that has been kind of a drag.

Thanks for being such a good messenger of such good news!

Happy Trails To You Until We Meet Again...

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Pooh Lynth said...

You forgot to mention the hours spent on benchage. Ahh, memories of a simpler life when all we had to worry about was understanding Suey Tom.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

-->...You forgot to mention the hours spent on benchage.

"Benchage"? Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis? I don't know no Iris and I don't know no "Benchage".

What I do know is that tonight I came across an old cassette tape I made titled "Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - BAY STREET".

You wanna know what was on it? Then say so, punk! But I ain't a-gonna take the time to type it all out until I'm sure we're having a conversation here.

I'm sick and tired of responding to comments and not getting any reply to my responses. If we're having a conversation here, then we need to have a conversation here. And if we're not, then... "OUT THE WAY, MOVE IT!"

"I'm different and don't care who knows it.
Something about me is not the same!"


~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Pooh Lynth said...

Benchage, my friend, was the act of sitting on the bench south of Ackerman and gazing at and critiquing (SP?) the people who went by. Perhaps this was after you moved on Press Kit or the likes. Nonetheless, there was a gender bias if you know what I mean...

BTW, yes we are having a conversation. Do tell about the play list.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

...And POOH...
Yeah, "Benchage" is evidently post-Me, 'cause I don't know nuttin' 'bout that.

But it makes me mad to know you wuz havin' a good time without me. You S.O.B.!

You didn't need me to straighten out your life at all, did you? You wuz fakin' it, wuzn't you?

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'