RYAN YOUNT & ANDREW BOYD

Ryan Yount and Andrew Boyd are our kinda creators, because they know the value of pirates as comedy gold. Born in a small shoe, Ryan (on the left in the photo) was fed scraps of Robert Louis Stevenson books, including Midnight in a Vegas Brothel and Christmas in a Vegas Brothel. But the one that he liked the best was Treasure Island. He decided to mix this with Jim Thompson novels and old episodes of Man About the House, the original British version of Three's Company. And somehow you get...Scurvy Dogs! Arrr! As for Andrew... well, anyone silly enough to invest time and energy into cultivating a partnership with a noted drunkard like Yount must be a rummy themselves, eh? True.

Q
. Now, what’s the deal with these dogs? Why do they have scurvy? Are  they not getting enough lemons?

RY: Well, apparently they're getting some kind of "bunk" lemons. Is there any kind of international "lemon" law for lemons? My first thought is yes, yes there must be a lemon law for lemons. As well as a whole international organization devoted to the enforcement of the lemon law for lemons. Like NATO, but only, you know, more EX-treme. Maybe it's called YELLO. I don't know what it stands for, but it's definitely EX-treme. Like they have troops that patrol internationally in support of the lemon law for lemons, but they wear lots of metal spikes on their uniforms, and have tough-looking tattoos, and yell obscenities at people and cultures they don't understand, really loudly, plus they're always shooting their automatic weapons off, into the air, or buildings, or livestock.

 AB: Oddly enough, an organization like this does exist. It’s a grass-roots movement started by Zurich Super Rock Stars YELLO. They’ve been leading protests against Country-Time Lemonade, those plastic yellow containers of lemon juice, and the colonization of Antarctica . I’m not sure if they have automatic weapons, but one guy has a squirt gun full of lemon juice, and the other guy has a jar of bees. You do the math. “Oh, Yeah” indeed.

 RY: And no, I've never actually had scurvy. In fact, I've so NOT had scurvy to the degree where I actually have contracted ANTI-scurvy. Which is a condition resulting from eating nothing BUT citrus fruits. I turned orange, and sweated acid through my pores. And I smelled lemony-fresh. In retrospect, it was actually a pretty cool condition to have, except that everything I touched died.

 AB: Actually, that’s on account of the Mercury baths you keep taking. Do you know how many thermometers he goes through a week? A lot. Ryan keeps saying that it’s good for his complexion, and that it’s going to one day make him go “hella liquid metal fast!” but seriously. “Hella” isn’t even a real word, for starters. Secondly, he gets shorter every time he walks into a cold room. And that’s awkward for everyone.

Q: Would you like to be a pirate, Ryan, sailing the seven seas, drinking rum,  and bathing once a month? Would they call you Blackbeard Yount? Would you be  the scourge of Barbados ?

RY: No, no, and no. I would like to sail, but, ya know, without the general bulk of pirating. They wouldn't call me Blackbeard Yount, they'd probably call me "Admiralo Provizejodemono," which is Esperanto for "Admiral Pantry-Demon."  On account of me only raiding high-seas gourmet food kitchens. And I would definitely not be the scourge of Barbados, since they (yes, the whole island) sent me a really nice fruit basket last Christmas. I'd be the scourge of Chico's Bait and Tackle Shop on the Gulf of Mexico, because Chico sold me some bad hooks. C'mon, who the hell sells BAD HOOKS?

AB: Steven Spielberg. To like a million people.

Q: Why is Scurvy Dogs so friggin’ weird?

RY: Because Andrew is so friggin' weird. And I encourage him. Like when we're out drinking and I'm all, "yeah, dude, you should totally piss in that mailbox, the USPS sucks!" Or "yeah, dude, you should totally smash the window on that cheese shop, cheese sucks!"

AB: I would like to say that: A) I am just as normal as anyone raised by a hyperintelligent collective of semiautonomous Bertold Brecht-loving garden gnomes could be. B) I am really sorry about that, USPS, I really though that was a northern outpost of the Smurf empire. C) It’s not my fault. I’m lactose intolerant.

Q: How would you revamp Werewolf By Night, if Marvel let you be you?

RY: How 'bout "Werewolf By Formal Requisition," where in order to change into a werewolf, Jack Russell has to file a lot of corporate paperwork and wait 4-6 weeks for the proper permits to be approved. Or "Werewolf By Night Train," where Jack only turns into a werewolf when he gets drunk on the title liquor. And in one issue, the local hobos and transients have bought up all the Night Train in town, so Jack has to drink Thunderbird, which doesn't actually turn him into a werewolf, but he's so drunk he doesn't know the difference.

AB: I have a 16 point plan:

1) Less Jack Russell, More Kurt Russell.

2) Jack Russell? I mean seriously. Why didn’t his parents name him Dane Greatly, or Boston Terrier, or Useless Chihuahua. Jeez. He’s probably a werewolf due to repeated childhood beatings and being forced to eat dog food. I would write about that.

3) I would do one of those very clever Shakespeare issues, like Neil Gaiman used to do for Sandman. “A Midsummer Night’s Werewolf” or “The Twelfth Werewolf by Night” or “JACK RUSSELL IS: Two Gentlemen of Verona”!

4) Did I really say 16? That was dumb. Uh, the Kurt Russell one again. The point so nice, I’ll use it twice.

5) Jack Russell is kidnapped by Arcade and forced to live in a reality TV show. At the end of the month, he eats everyone. Arcade and Jack Russell get very rich.

6) After getting rich, Jack Russell decides to change his name. He is now known as “Eduardo Fantastico, Prince of my Pants.”

7) Supreme Court sues Eduardo Fantastico, forces him to change name back. Russell goes on 3 week bender that results in accident while chasing the car from Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

8) Jack Russell forced into community service. While picking up trash on the side of the highway, framed for crime he didn’t commit. Like a serious crime, like … giving a tattoo to a minor or something. Anyhow, he goes to jail.

9) While in prison, Jack Russell and Kurt Russell team up and fight sewer-Nazis or something.

10) A whole season of legal drama. Jack Russell gets new lawyer. John Jameson, the Man-Wolf. What Jack doesn’t know is that John never passed the bar, and has huffed so much pain thinner, he thinks he’s the Stargod again. Legal hijinx ensue.

11) Sixteen sounded good, like a nice round number. I should really think these things through more.

12) Jack Russell has cross-continuity crossover with G’nort the Green Lantern. Oh, and if he’s still in jail at this point, he’s out now. Struggle for 22 pages to avoid leg-humping jokes and lawsuits.

13) Try to sneak in leg-humping joke anyway, get sued by Marvel and haunted by the ghost of Gil Kane. Regret several things, especially “16 Point Plan.”

14) “Jack Russell: Agent of P.O.U.N.D” where Jack becomes an international dogcatcher, and has to go on stupid missions such as cleaning up after Devil Dinosaur.

15) Jack Russell accidentally swallows a quarter and dies. Kurt Russell delivers stirring eulogy.

16) Jack Russell reborn as the Phoenix Force, achieves universal enlightenment, and makes sure Jean Grey stays dead this time, or at least until the new X-men movie comes out.

Q: Eisner, Toth, Kurtzman, Kirby. Arguably the Mt. Rushmore of modern comics  creators. Who would be on your Mt. Rushmore for oddball comics creators?

RY: Besides all you SKYAPE guys? 'Cause you've already got the NATIONAL MEMORIAL CREATORS OF SKYAPE MONUMENT PARK AND GULLY. It's just outside of Hangtown , California . Actually, I just taped a picture of you guys to a tree behind my parent's house. But there IS a gully. Hmmm, oddball comics creators? Let's see... Mike Allred, Mike Mignola (commercial success and "oddball" are not mutually exclusive...), Eastman & Laird, Ben Edlund, Bob Burden, Peter Bagge, Matt Fraction... Andrew and I are up there, but we'll only take one spot, like it'll be one-half my face, and one-half Andrew's face...
|
AB: Dorkin, Edlund, Mignola, Powell, Douglas Adams, and Pantera. Wait, no Pantera. I’m sorry.

Q: Ron Howard wants to make the Scurvy Dogs movie! Who stars?

RY: Ron Howard.

AB: Don Most, Anson Williams, Frankie Goes To
Hollywood , Ralph Macchio, and Amy Jo Johnson, the Pink Ranger.

RY: Sounds great. We can get them all for 30 bucks and free lunch.

AB: And not even a pricey lunch. Like one of those big buckets of tacos from Taco Bell Depot.

Q: Greatest band ever, The O’Jays, Booker T and the MGs, The MC5, or Naughty By Nature?  

RY: The O'Jays. They sang "Back Stabbers," which is one of those songs you hear and go, "yeah, you know, The O'Jays are right. People are scum."

AB: Pantera. Wait, no Pantera. I’m sorry. The Chieftans. Definitely.

Q: What do you put on hotdogs that’s surprisingly good?

RY: MORE hotdogs. It sounds crazy, sure. But you eat double-cheeseburgers all the time, don'cha? What the hell is the difference? My personal favorite is the Triple Cajun dog, which is three franks on two buns (it kinda looks like a subway sandwich). As for condiments, we're talkin' the basics: ketchup, mustard, and relish. Nothin' insane. There aren't any special cajun spices--it's called the Triple Cajun dog 'cause I talk with a bad cajun accent while eating it. "Bad" cajun accent as in "evil" Cajun accent.

AB: I refuse to eat hot dogs on the grounds that the name “Hot Dog” is offensive to werewolves, such as Jack Russell (by Night), who clearly has enough problems of his own, without having to worry about being cannibalized for Frankfurter materials.

Q: Did you ever cry during M.A.S.H.?

RY: Only every time Radar got killed. I always thought it was kind of a sick joke... you know, he gets blown off a helicopter, dies, then appears in the next episode, played by a different actor. I thought the most poignant episode was when Radar (this time played by Omar Sharif) saves Hawkeye by eating a hand grenade thrown into the surgery tent. I've got that one on tape--when I have a son, I plan on teaching him the meaning of "honor," by showing him that one.

AB: You know, Gary Burghoff is apparently really sensitive about being referred to as Radar. Like if you see him walking down the street and just say “Hey Radar!” He’ll either punch you or cry. Probably both. It’s important to separate the art from the artist. Unless you’re a tattoo guy. In which case, that might be illegal.

Q: Did you ever cry during Dif’frent Strokes?

RY: Only every time Conrad Bain died. And the episode where Willis becomes a junkie and beats a schoolmate to death with an Adidas shelltoe he stole from JC Penny's (he sold the other one for smack). Then the judge sentences Willis to 10 years of "just saying no," realizing "that crack is whack," and "getting high on life." All-in-all, that episode really captured the gritty reality of our crack-ridden youth culture. I'm pretty sure it won a bunch of Emmys.

AB: Night Trap. That’s all I have to say about Dif’rent Strokes. And you Sega CD owners know what I’m talking about. Both of you.


Check out www.scurvy-dogs.com for more.

 


Evan Dorkin

Robert Kirkman

Dan Yaccarino

Jason Siu

Mo Willems

Ryan Yount & Andrew Boyd