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Famous Fighters #1

Written and illustrated by Matt Smith and Tom Pappalardo
self-published
52-page comic book, $5.00

 

'Fong Fong Fong' equals not funny. Panel from Famous Fighters #1, ©1997 Mediocre Concepts Unlimited.

 

Ten things I learned from Famous Fighters #1:

  1. Apparently, everyone wants to be Jim Mahfood.
  2. Remember the Open Head Wound Guy from Saturday Night Live? Me neither. There's a reason for that: Giving Clint Eastwood's Man With No Name a hurdy gurdy and a monkey and dropping him into the middle of a six-page Hong Kong martial-arts movie parody isn't funny if you forget to write any good jokes to go along with it. The concept alone isn't enough.
  3. If I see one more lame-ass Conan the Barbarian parody, I swear I'm going postal.
  4. Parodies of children's-book cadences and clichés are actually harder to successfully create than Conan the Barbarian parodies. If you can't do the former, don't attempt the latter.
  5. You can draw really pretty pictures with lots of crosshatching and still not know what you're doing.
  6. If your first six-page Hong Kong martial-arts movie parody isn't funny, following it up with a second, thirteen-page Hong Kong martial-arts movie parody probably isn't a good idea.
  7. Star Wars parodies aren't memorable just because they're Star Wars parodies. No, really, the concept alone won't carry it if you forget to add jokes.
  8. Zombie parodies can be funny if you're Simon Pegg.
  9. Matt Smith and Tom Pappalardo are no Simon Pegg.
  10. Matt Smith and Tom Pappalardo definitely aren't Jim Mahfood. Hell, Jim Mahfood is no Jim Mahfood half the time.

Better luck next time, guys.

 

This essay appeared on the then-website of The Comics Journal sometime between 2006 and 2008.

 

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