More Comics! Henry & Glenn Forever
Is Henry & Glenn the most popular punk comic of all time? I think it’s possible. Born on a night when the Igloo Tornado art fraternity had partaken in too many beers and divine revelation struck Gin Stevens:
“There should be a book like Tom of Finland, but with Henry Rollins and Glenn Danzig.”
The homoeroticism of beefhunks Henry and Glenn has almost certainly been pondered by drunken heads in the past, but only Igloo Tornado had the good sense and drunken dexterity to carry it to the next level and create a series of gag comics about the fantastical life of Henry and Glenn as domestic life partners. The comics first appeared in self-published zine form and have now been collected in a book published by Microcosm.
I asked Igloo Tornado member Tom Neely a couple of quick questions about Henry & Glenn:
Do you see this comic series extending into the future or is H&G burnout imminent?
It’s weird when you do a book that’s basically a tossed-off drunken joke and it becomes a huge success that overshadows everything else you’ve done as an artist. At first I was feeling pretty conflicted about that and I was feeling pretty burnt out by it for a while. But I’ve come around to accepting it. It’s nice to make a silly book that seems to make people happy (well, most people anyway — the Danzig fans seem pretty angry about it).
As for future plans… I’m not really a fan of repeating myself, but a lot of people seem to want more of H&G4ever. We don’t wanna get stuck doing Henry and Glenn for the rest of our career, but we might as well ride the wave of success for a little while and have fun with it. We have a couple of other things going on:
I just completed a Henry & Glenn Xmas Special cartoon. That was a lot of fun to make and if I could find a way to do more cartoons, I will. You can see it on here:
And the Igloo Tornado is curating a gallery show of other artists doing Henry and Glenn themed art for a group show at La Luz de Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles for February.
Do you have any advice about how to write a funny gag comic?
Advice? Ha — I didn’t even know I was any good at being funny. Most of my other comics are considered a bit depressing. But I think all great comedy springs from misery. I think all good art, whether it’s comedy or not, should come from a genuine place of self expression. For most of my strips, I mined my own history of dysfunctional relationships to find things I could make fun of. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to get a group of artist friends together with some paper, pens and a few six packs — something funny is bound to happen.
Have either Henry or Glenn seen your book?
Henry has definitely seen it. Gin Stevens got him to sign a copy of the self-published zine version at San Diego Comic-Con back in ’05. He looked at it and said, “Has Glenn seen this? Trust me, he would not be amused.” We couldn’t resist using that as a blurb on the back cover of the book.
Glenn is a different story. About a month after H&G4ever came out, my friend J. Bennett was interviewing Danzig for Decibel magazine. We all signed and gift-wrapped a copy of the book for J. to give to Glenn. We’re all big fans of Glenn, and we really hoped that maybe he’d find it amusing, too. But when J. tried to give it to him, he refused to look at it… and then proceeded to angrily rant about it. J. gave me the transcript of that interaction and I made it into a comic strip. You can see it here… I’d be curious to know if Hall & Oates are aware of the book.