Ken has published a helpful guide to The Illuminated Donkey which makes reference to the infamous issue #15. Sought after by collectors due to it’s careful documentation of the history of Philadelphia’s Museum of Skin Ailments (and the relationship of said museum to LA’s Museum of Jurassic Technology) as well as previously unpublished photos of Marilyn Monroe, #15 also reprinted a comic strip of mine, “The Unexpected Beret“, in the back of the book.
Since I have a personal perpective on this, and because (following my recent prose experiment in last week’s KG of the Week) Mr. Goldstein (aka “Kenny”, or “Goldy”, to the boys in the deli) inadvertently dubbed the KG of the Week “MW of the Week”, that’s what we have here today.
This was prior to my introduction as a regular “sidekick” character (Chalky White to Mr. Goldstein’s Rusty Brown, for you digilliterati out there), and the second appearance of me as a character in the continuing saga of The Donk. However, as the author of the story, I must stress that the character of Ike Whattree is merely self-caricature, and although accurately identified in the Guide as having had his handlebar moustache removed by bootleggers of the issue (see accompanying illo) after it’s collectable value became apparent, does not apear under my name in the context of the issue at all.
An additional point on this matter: although I certainly gave Mr. Goldstein (“Steen”, to those in the know) verbal permission to publish The Unexpected Beret in his book, the details of compensation were, unfortunately for me, left for later discussion.
To date, said compensation has included:
- One Fisher Space Pen, in package
- a WWF collectors card of Andre the Giant
- a postcard featuring the splashdown and recovery of Apollo 13
- and a tee shirt from the Deke Slayton Memorial Space and Bike Museum, of Sparta, Wisconsin
but no monetary compensation of any sort, despite the astounding amounts that suspiciously fresh, yet apparently non-counterfeit, copies of issue #15 regularly bring on eBay.
Despite this, I’d like to publicly disavow any rumors of a dispute or acrimony between Mr. Goldstein, his publishers and myself. Allegations of such a dispute – now or ever – are as baseless as allegations of my own involvement in the production of the counterfeit #15. Absolutely baseless, with no grounding in reality whatsoever.