Tony Millionaire's Beautiful Book | Bleader

Tony Millionaire's Beautiful Book

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Dark Horse recently published a big 9-by-12-inch hardcover collection of the work of Tony Millionaire, whose comic Maakies runs in the Reader.

The full-color reproductions are gorgeous, and along with the adventures of such Maakies mainstays as Drinky Crow, Crabby, and Sock Monkey, there's an introduction by Elvis Costello and anecdotes from Tony himself, like this one:

"One sad day the Village Voice fired Jules Feiffer. It made a big buzz on the weekly newspaper scene. Everybody loved Feiffer and thought he got a raw deal. The Village Voice wanted to fire him as editor and buy his strip from his syndicate instead. He told them if they wanted the strip, the syndicate had to charge one or two million dollars a week, something like that.

"One morning I woke up very hung over and answered the telephone. It was Doug Simmons from the Village Voice, asking if I'd like to switch Maakies from the New York Press to the Village Voice. He offered to pay me double what I was getting. I said, 'Do you mean to replace Jules Feiffer?' He said, 'Well, yeah, I guess, sort of.' I said, 'Hey that's terrific!' He said, 'What's terrific? You mean you'll do it?' I said, 'No. I mean it would be terrific if you would go fuck yourself!' Then he said, 'What did you say?' I replied, 'You heard me. BLOW ME!'

"Ten years later, as the New York Press diminished in quality, they told me they'd have to cut my fee by 66.6 percent. Since I was the last strip in that paper, I decided to leave the sinking ship and try to jump to the Village Voice. I figured the best way to do it would be to call Doug Simmons directly. As Lord Admiral Nelson said, 'Never mind maneuvers, always go straight at 'em!

"When I got him on the phone, I stammered and said, 'Uh, Doug, remember what I said to you that time about ten years ago?' He said, "Yeah, something about me fucking myself? What's the matter, Tony, you want to jump ship? Come on over. I have a thick skin. I used to be a music editor." That guy was a great editor. He was funny and smart.

"A few years later I had to pull the same bullshit to get back in the New York Press."

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