The whole Vomit Pig gang in living color!!!
The photos on this page are of the characters of the punk rock/new wave cartoon band, The Vomit Pigs as portrayed by the cartoonist himself. Yes that's right, the cartoonist is dressed as each character, even the female, Crackers Saltine. Although some of Max's friends worried that there were way too many pictures of Crackers, that's another issue. Each character is a bit of the cartoonist's personality mixed with other influences. Crackers Saltine is a mix of Max's bitchy side (Ha), a character from John Water's film "Pink Flamingos", and Anatomic, (Ann Pukk), the photographer friend who took these pictures. Henry X is a combination of Max's creative side mixed with the introverted lead character from David Lynch's film "Eraserhead". Dick Spaz is a mix of Max's hard drinking, lovable friend Ral and Max's troublemaking side. And Mr. Nuclear is Max's bungling, insane leader type character that has also appeared in other comics, and live and animated films that he has made.
In 1980 I was living in an apartment complex near the University of Oklahoma. There was a fellow tenant, Greg Huneryager, who was also interested in comics. (He starred as Jimi Hendrix's ghost in my second Mr. Nuclear film "Berzerko"). He approached me one day with a proposition to do a cartoon for a new Rock 'n Roll/New Wave/Punk news magazine called The Beat that his girlfriend, Sharisse Zeff, was starting with some friends. Of course there would be no pay, but there would be plenty of exposure and other fringe benefits.
Note: There was a legal problem with the name "The Beat" so by the 3rd issue in August the name was changed to Upbeat!
The magazine wasn't just about music, and covered current trends, art, and movies. It was a clever way to get into shows and performances, get promo music, meet famous musicians, and get into parties with lots of free food. Yes, Sharisse and the gang had ulterior motives, and they didn't try to hide it. Neither did I!
I got exposure, the chance to meet some of those famous people, and definitely my share of free food and goodies!! Many interesting people were interviewed in person or by phone and they all got complimentary copies of the magazine, that I hope at least half of them showed other people. I know one issue made it to England, where I received a fan letter! The primary distribution in the states was Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Colorado. People interviewed for the magazine were David Bowie, Frank Zappa, Pat Benatar, The B52s, Talking Heads, XTC, The Plasmatics and many others. I even did film reviews for the last three issues, so I got into free movies and attended the after screening parties -- although, I didn't go to one for Pink Flamingos, because there was none!
Things started to fall apart in January though, when Sharisse moved to Dallas. She was using advertiser's money for clothes and other personal things for herself and friends instead of paying the printers. Sharisse was even talking about cutting the Vomit Pigs down from a full page to a panel. I tried to buy the magazine with some friends, but she wouldn't have it. The magazine folded soon after that.
You can search the Max Comics site!
Your search results will open in a new browser window.