The other day I was rummaging through the pile of paper that I’ve amassed over the years (and which is now filling a room, much to my wife’s desperation), looking for God knows what, and I came across this pamphlet that was published by Ollie Ollie Oxen Free Press on the occasion of the 1998 San Diego Comic Con.
OOOFP was the vehicle that cartoonist Gary Sassaman used to self-publish his rather wonderful autobiographical comic, Innocent Bystander.Â I spotted that comic one time in my then-favorite store and was immediately smitten by its combination of honest quality and well-meant, amateurish execution.Â It combined stories about the Marx Brothers, about Sassaman’s youth, and non-sequitur lists like the one after the break.
Many of the stories involved Sassaman’s two cats, Stan and Ollie.Â But, as shown in the cartoon below, he always promised to keep it real.
Even though Innocent Bystander was the only comic I have ever written a letter to (which even got published), I lost track of Gary Sassaman and his quirky little comic after issue 7.Â I think I saw a double feature once with Rich Koslowski’s 3 Geeks, but that was about it.Â A quick google learns that he’s got a (quite interesting) blog these days, and has been working for the San Diego Con for a few years.
Now, if only he would start making comics again…