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average writing
skilled art
historical bonus 2
total score 6
Rubber Duck Tales #1
Back Cover
Back Cover
(click for larger image)

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Only Printing / 1971 / 36 pages / The Print Mint
Rubber Duck Tales #1 gets off to a decent start with "Buckwheat Cakes" by Robbie Landeros (aka Robbie Lawso). This four-pager is about a man who looks like Richard Nixon (but is portrayed as an everyman type) eating some hallucinogenic buckwheat pancakes at an airport coffee shop. As we will discover throughout the Rubber Duck series, Landeros packs his stories with amusing little details that warrant careful perusal. He hasn't hit his stride yet, but one can also see the influence of Robert Crumb on Landeros' art, even down to the point of using a racist stereotype character for laughs.

Michael J. Becker, who simply goes by "Michael J." in the Rubber Duck series, contributes the densely illustrated, 10-page "The Great Fronk," which is a parody of the Godzilla monster films. Becker sustains the touch of racist stereotypes that Landeros employed by stereotyping Japanese people here. Nonetheless, the story is pretty funny with a clever twist at the end. Some of Becker's panels are rather impressive in their scope and detail, upholding my contention in the series overview that Landeros and Becker demonstrate great patience and attention to detail in these books.

Landeros gives us the two-page "Famous Rubber Ducks of the Past" and four-page "The Adventures of Cosmis Connie," the latter of which is a somewhat funny fantasy of a meek school teacher. Becker follows with a psychedelic two-pager before Landeros returns with "Ding n' Ling in Mad Vibrations," which also features a stereotypical Chinese character. In "Ding n' Ling" we can really see the Crumb influence on Landeros, as the two protagonists are strongly reminiscent of Crumb's Snoid character.

The first issue closes with a weak Becker story and couple decent one-pagers from Landeros. Overall, Rubber Duck #1 nearly makes it to a total score of 7 based on its strengths, but it has too many weaknesses and is a bit too derivative to get it past its official score of 6.
The Print Mint produced approximately 20,000 copies of this comic book. It has not been reprinted.


Michael J. Becker - 1 (collaboration), 2, 7-17, 24-25, 31-33, 36
Robbie Lawso (aka Robbie Landeros) - 1 (collaboration), 3-6, 18-23, 26-30, 34-35