How Mirka Got Her Sword/How Howard Lost His Stogie

by John Holbo on April 16, 2009

We’ll just make it webcomics week for me, here at CT. If you don’t happen to know, “Hereville, How Mirka Got Her Sword” is a great read. It’s a complete story, nice art, peculiar setting, apparently part of a larger graphic novel in progress. (Page 36 is particularly nice, compositionally.)

On the other hand, if you are like me, you probably figured they’d done about as much damage to the Howard the Duck franchise as they were likely to do, at least by means of that 1986 movie. We were wrong. The DVD [amazon] just got released – and they Photoshopped the poor guy’s stogey off the cover. Compare:


And now:

Oh, the humanity.



Baptiste 04.16.09 at 9:22 am

Same thing in France : The poster for an exhibition at the Parisian Cinémathèque removed Jacques Tati’s pipe and gave him a child’s “wind mill”.


MR Bill 04.16.09 at 12:31 pm

Aww mann.
I was a fan of the Howard comic back in the day, won tickets to the ATL opening of the “Howard the Duck” movie, and was appalled. I have only left a theater early a couple of times, but I was embarrassed for Lea Thompson and Jeffery Jones, and me and the wife walked…
I’m amazed their careers survived it.


Ben Alpers 04.16.09 at 12:48 pm

Howard the Duck remains one of the worst movies I ever saw in its first run. I went on Sunday of its opening weekend. It was playing in a cavernous movie theater in Boston…presumably since they were expecting another hit from Lucas. But by its third day playing, word of mouth had pretty much driven audiences away. Something like nine out of ten seats were empty. And there was one guy (and I mean literally one guy) who thought the film was funny and laughed, loudly, throughout. A truly painful viewing experience.


Ginger Yellow 04.16.09 at 1:39 pm

I watched Howard the Duck as a very small child (it is, in fact, the first film I can remember seeing at the cinema), and the ending scared the crap out of me. On the other hand, it gave me my first celebrity crush with Lea Thompson.


MattF 04.16.09 at 1:54 pm

For the real thing, there’s the Essential Howard the Duck.


CJColucci 04.16.09 at 4:06 pm

There are movies that are just bad, which I don’t like, and movies so appallingly bad as to be entertaining because of their badness. Those I love. Which kind is Howard the Duck? It sounds like the former, but if it is so screamingly bad as to be appallingly funny I’d hate to miss it.


Righteous Bubba 04.16.09 at 4:07 pm

Which kind is Howard the Duck?

Dull and unengaging.


Josh Jasper 04.16.09 at 8:33 pm

Barrys work on the Mirka comic is amazing. I hope it gets around how good he is.


Barry Deutsch 04.17.09 at 6:14 am

John, thanks so much for recommending Hereville!

Page 36 is my favorite page, incidentally.

And Howard with no stogey? You might as well take away Groucho’s mustache. Thank goodness Marvel Comics owns Howard, rather than Howard’s creator the late Steve Gerber owning Howard — what we’ve gotten this way is so much truer to the character, and serves the interests of the audience so much better.


lisa 04.17.09 at 9:48 am

I loved the story. I hate to say that I loved getting it for free but it’s true. Usually, I have to go to the bookstore to read all the comics I can’t afford.

It was a good read. And interesting to read the explanations of the pictures and why/how he set them up the way he did.

The place/time is confusing. It seems in the past and the present. Is this because it is an orthodox community? You don’t have to answer that question.


delagar 04.17.09 at 2:08 pm

Loved how Mirka Got Her Sword. Dragged the kid (she’s ten) in to make her read it. She didn’t want to (she won’t read anything I recommend (did I mention she’s ten?) but after the first two pages she was hooked. Now she wants more Mirka.


Barry Deutsch 04.17.09 at 6:31 pm

Thanks for the link and the kind words about my comic, John, Josh, Lisa and Delagar! I really appreciate it.

Lisa, it’s available online for free because I want people to read it. So that’s totally cool. The question about exactly when and where “Hereville” takes place will be answered in one of the future stories.

And John, page 36 is my favorite page, fwiw.

As for Howard, taking away the stogie sucks; but I’m just amazed they found it worthwhile to release a DVD at all.

(This is my second attempt at posting; sorry if it turns into a double-post.)


John Holbo 04.18.09 at 4:13 am

Thanks, Barry. Wonderful work. Sorry your comment got stuck in queue for a while.


Peter VE 04.19.09 at 1:32 am

A duck. Cleveland. Jesus

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