Widow Miss Muffet, Part 15 — Final Episode!

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Well, there you have it. The end of the story and…possibly the end of Mitzi.

Looking back, I think it was a mistake to break the story into such small episodes. Showing just two-panels an episode — for most of the story — created some weird breaks in the action and dialog.

Of course, now that it’s all on the web, you can read the entire story from the start in a single, fun sitting!

Dick Giordano Tribute Wrap Up:

We’ve also reached the end of my memorials for “Widow” artist Dick Giordano.

In retrospect, was it absolutely nuts to stretch these tributes out over three weeks and 17 different episodes? Absolutely! By the end of the first week, I felt like I was running the world’s longest online wake.

In the future, nobody–no matter who they are–gets 17 tributes on this site. Heck, even when I die–I’m only giving myself 16!

On the other hand, if anyone deserves 17 tributes, it’s Dick Giordano. In the course of researching Dick’s life I found myself truly inspired by the graceful, balanced way he lived his life. He didn’t just accomplish great things. He had fun doing it.

I’m going to close with a few words from Dick’s former assistant, Michael Eury whose entertaining biography of Dick Giordano is well worth the space on your bookshelf:

“Dick Giordano is a mutant. He was born with the power of unbridled optimism. He’s always smiling, and…just about everyone in the comic business likes him. This has led to his ability–as an artist, an editor, a teacher, and an editorial administrator—to encourage the best from creators, guiding innovative series…

“Some comic folks are known as much for their self-promotion as for their published product, but rarely has Dick Giordano beaten his own drum. His career can, however, be best assessed by his relationships with his collaborators and coworkers, and with the characters to whom he’s helped breathe life. By those measures, Dick is one of the industry’s giants…”
–Michael Eury, April 2003
from Eury’s introduction to Dick Giordano: Changing Comics, One Day at a Time


Sprechen Sie Deutsch? To read “Widow Miss Muffet” and other Last Kiss comics in German click here.

↓ Transcript
SCENE: Mitzi is lying in bed in a hospital room. Her right leg is in a cast; her head is bandaged; and she looks with alarm at Al. Al smiles and looks down at her. He has one hand planted on the bed, but we can't see exactly where it is on the bed.

CAPTION: "No! I needed to be widowed…to survive Al!"

AL: You’ve lasted so much longer than any of my other wives!

MITZI (gasping): Krptglugg zrq klp tpeg dsarbap!*

CAPTION: *Translation: Get off my oxygen tube, you #%&@ idiot!

THE END



Widow Miss Muffet Part 14

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“I know of no way I can begin to pay the debt of gratitude I owe Dick Giordano. Dick is responsible for much, if not most, of what’s been good in what I’ve done for the past quarter-century…Dick hired me…when I was one of the worst prospects in publishing…and he did so against the advice…of his managerial colleagues. No one has ever believed in me like that. Such faith is a gift beyond valuing…

“He’s not good at everything, however. He has little gift for self-promotion, which may be why he is not as renowned as he ought to be. That’s a shame because it means that young artists and editors don’t profit from his good example.

“Somebody ought to do something about that.”

–Dennis O’Neil, Feb. 2003
from Michael Eury’s Dick Giordano: Changing Comics, One Day at a Time

Sprechen Sie Deutsch? To read “Widow Miss Muffet” and other Last Kiss comics in German click here.

↓ Transcript
PANEL 1, SCENE: The raft hits a large rock in the river and Al and Mitzi are thrown out of the raft.

AL: …and bring a couple closer together!

PANEL 2, SCENE: Establishing shot of a hospital's exterior.

CAPTION: "Two concussions, 14 fractures and 367 bruises later, the honeymoon was officially over!"

SIGN: Needa Nursa Memorial Hospital

VOICE (coming from within the hospital): Mitzi, you’re amazing!

PANEL 3, SCENE: Closer view of hospital, just outside one of the windows. We see two figures in silhouette through the window. One's standing and one's lying down.

CAPTION: "I wasn’t like Auntie Maim! I didn’t need to be widowed to have amazing adventures!"

SILHOUETTE OF STANDING PERSON: Simply amazing!



Widow Miss Muffet, Part 13

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“Let me say up front that Dick Giordano is my hero. A consummate (I think that means he enjoys soup) professional, over the years he has proven to be a generous boss, a sagacious mentor, a loyal friend, and even a bit of a role model (except sartorially; I’d never be able to pull off wearing those wild shirts he favors…).”

–Terry Austin, February 2003
from Michael Eury’s Dick Giordano: Changing Comics, One Day at a Time

Sprechen Sie Deutsch? To read “Widow Miss Muffet” and other Last Kiss comics in German click here.

↓ Transcript
Cut to Mitzi and Al white water rafting. Al's smiling and paddling. Mitzi gets splashed in the face.

CAPTION: "I found that Harold had some peculiar ideas about matrimony!"

AL: …do this on all my honeymoons! Next we’ll go sky diving! Then scuba diving! Nothing like a little adventure to spice up a marriage…

MITZI: Glub!

Widow Miss Muffet, Part 12

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More about “Widow” artist Dick Giordano:

“The First week I was there (DC Comics) I went to Dick’s office, one of the messiest, most comforting places I’ve ever had the pleasure to spend time in, to ask him for guidance. I explained I had been given no specific set of responsibilities…I asked him what my job was exactly. He just sat back, gave me one of those wonderful Dick smiles and just said: ‘You’ll figure it out.’

“And, of course, he was right. With his wind at my back and all the support I could have ever asked for, I got to do everything: learn, create, innovate, play, change.

“Few people know how to lead creative people to do their best work…Thank you, sir, for being the best boss and teacher I ever had.”

–Richard Bruning, VP-Creative Director, DC Comics, January 2003
from Michael Eury’s Dick Giordano: Changing Comics, One Day at a Time

Art by Giordano. ©2010 DC Comics


“When Dick left DC the second time, I told friends the company was losing its heart. That’s not to say no one who remained there or came…after Dick…acted on their generous impulses or…strove to be fair to…freelancers. But that kind of behavior never again seemed to me to be a core value of the company.

“He was a good guy because he was a good guy. He wasn’t a good guy because it was a smart way to do business, although it surely was…He wasn’t a good guy because the company mandated that persona. He loved comics and he loved comics people. He was a good guy…”

–Tony Isabella from Tony’s Online Tips, March 29, 2010

Sprechen Sie Deutsch? To read “Widow Miss Muffet” and other Last Kiss comics in German click here.

↓ Transcript
PANEL 1, SCENE: Mitzi and Al kiss as a minister marries them.

CAPTION: "Three miles down the road, I became Mrs. Albert Pillbody III...the world’s richest teenage widow-to-be!"

MINISTER: You may kiss the bride!

PANEL 2, SCENE: Cut to Al and Mitzi on their honeymoon. Mitzi is desperately trying to crawl away as Al drags her back towards the bed.

CAPTION: “Alas! Al survived our honeymoon...easily!

AL: Stop kidding! Come back to bed! I'm just getting warmed up!

MITZI: Haven't you heard? Eight is enough!

Widow Miss Muffet Part 11

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I knew that “Widow” artist Dick Giordano drew and edited zillions of romance comics. But it wasn’t until I read Michael Eury’s biography Dick Giordano: Changing Comics, One Day at a Time that I realized how intimately comics and romance were intertwined in Dick’s life:

“In 1954 artist Sal Trapani [a Charlton Comics staffer] announced his marriage to an old classmate of Giordano’s and asked Dick to be in the wedding. At the ceremony, usher Dick Gordano was paired with bridesmaid Marie Trapani, the sister of the groom, and was instantly enchanted by her striking beauty. In a scene that played out of a romance comic story (minus the heartache), Marie caught the bride’s bouquet and Dick, her garter. The two began dating and very quickly fell in love, becoming engaged shortly thereafter…[Dick and Marie] were married April 17, 1955.”

Sprechen Sie Deutsch? To read “Widow Miss Muffet” and other Last Kiss comics in German click here.

↓ Transcript
SCENE: Mitzi Muffet looks up and smiles at a handsome, older man who has crouched down and is smiling at her as he touches her chin. The man's chauffeur is in the background looking on with disapproval.

CAPTION (Mitzi completing her thought from previous panel): ...in love!

MAN (also completing his thought from previous panel): ...in love!

CHAUFFEUR: Not again, sir!