Ragged Claws Network

Connections: Jeffrey Jones vs. Esteban Maroto, again

The first page here is by Esteban Maroto. It is from a story called “Idi and Me,” written by Bill DuBay, that first appeared in issue #4 of the Warren magazine, 1984, way back in 1978. And though the script is junk, it’s an attractive page. Only problem is, all of the female figures are very clearly swiped from Jeffrey Jones’s celebrated comic strip, Idyl, which ran in National Lampoon from 1972 to 1975. See below for the ocular proof:

For those who haven’t read 1984 #4, which would be almost everyone, the woman in the DuBay-penned “Idi and Me” is the brutal dictator, Idi Amin, whose chromosomes have been jumbled, just for laughs, by the American “Department of Dirty Tricks” (DDT), thereby turning “the former gorilla-faced leader of Uganda into this heavenly image of white Anglo-Saxon femininity,” Idi, who nonetheless retains a male psychology and sex drive and is thus seeking an operation to change back into a man. (And the final line/moral of the story? “I guess no matter what form you’re in… the world just isn’t ready for Idi Amin!”) All of which seems very odd, given Jeffrey Catherine Jones’s own difficult journey; however, the story did appear way back in 1978, as I noted above, which is about 20 years, more or less, before Jones decided to take definite steps become a woman. So what’s going on here? Seems most likely to me that it’s just a coincidence — though if it isn’t, if DuBay is taking a shot at Jones’s sexuality based on industry rumours, private confidences, or whatever, it’s an incredibly crude commentary! I mean, why would DuBay have done it, and why on earth would Maroto have participated? It doesn’t make sense to me, though, of course, even if the sex-change theme is a coincidence, it doesn’t mean that the story of Idi wasn’t intended, in part, as a parody of Jones’s Idyl. That would certainly explain the blatant swipes, except that Maroto has swiped from Jones (and others) before. So maybe the simple answer is that Jones’s work on Idyl was so skillful, so sensitive, so gorgeous, and — perhaps it seemed to Maroto — so obscure, that it was ripe for the swiping… or not… because the fact is, I’m not sure what to think…

Anyone have any ideas?