Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Paty Cockrum on Grabbing Dave’s Ass

Beginning a tell-all interview with Paty Cockrum (a.k.a. Paty Greer), who worked in Marvel’s legendary bullpen, penciled, inked and colored a number of Marvel’s comics (including Claws of the Cat #3 and Amazing Spider-Man #247), and is notorious for saying whatever’s on her mind...

Cliff: It's been slightly more than a year since Dave passed. Does he still visit?

Paty: Yes. He often comes visiting both in the studio and in the house. I am sure he roams the grounds too... He loved the pond area so I am sure he is out there. He has been with Boo and I on several trips, too. When something interesting comes on the TV, like recent discoveries in dinosaurs, I cannot help but say to the ether, “You listening to this, furface?” And I have the distinct impression he is.

Cliff: Tell me again how you and Dave met. I seem to recall that you pinched his ass.

Paty: (laughing) Not quite. The bullpen at Marvel, at that time, was a wide open large room with two half-walls that drawing boards butted up against. You had the window wall with Danny Crespi, head letterer, and Morrie Kuramoto, his erstwhile second in command, and they faced away from the windows. On the other side of their wall were three drawing boards butted up against the half-wall—those were usually reserved for freelancers to come in and have a place to do corrections or finish off something. Across from them were three more boards up againstthe second half-wall—mine and two others. Across from all that was a Xerox machine and a long table for people using the Xerox machine to lay out stuff they were doing, and another drawing board at the end. At either end there was an aisle and at the far end of the room was a long office that was the domain at the time of JJ (John) Verpoorten, the Production Manager. On my end of the room Johnny Romita Sr. had his office and there was an alcove with two desks where Mike Esposito and Frank Giacoia, both inkers, usually hung out. The door to the hallway that led to editorial offices.

Now I was correcting some art on a couple of pages or doing paste-ups of indicias and such, and Duffy Vohland was on the board next to me doing whatever Duffy did. There were people in and out of the room with all kinds of pages so when I heard the copier operating I looked up and saw this guy Xeroxing pages. Nice looking guy with a beard. I asked Duffy who that was and he said, “Oh, that's Dave Cockrum. He’s doing the new revival of the X-Men book.” I picked up the pages I had finished and walked the long way around, towards JJ's office, to get a better look at this guy. I knew his art from Fantastic Fanzine as well as some good work he had done over at DC on the Legion of Superheroes where he had redesigned the costumes of the characters (thank goodness! the 1950’s uniforms were awful and lacked any kind of style and pizzazz). So I was impressed with his art. Dave was busily Xeroxing and Duffy noticed that I took the long way around so he stood up to get a look at what I was up to because ordinarily I would have just walked out my side of the half-walls and gone out the door. As I walked leisurely from JJ's end of the room, I looked Dave up and down, liked what I saw, and, as I passed behind him, I patted him on the fanny and said, “Nice ass,” and then I was through the door.

Duffy later regaled me with what happened after I exited the bullpen. Dave looked up, his big blue eyes wide, looked both ways and asked wildly, “Uh...Who-waz-that? What? Who?” Duffy is, by this time howling and nearly falling down. Duffy was the human embodiment of Volstagg from the Thor series, with girth and flaming red hair and beard to match, so when he laughed, it was rolling. “Oh,” sez he to a totally startled and befuddled Dave, “that's just Paty. She's harmless.”

That's how much Duffy knew! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

That's really a great story. Very much from the 1970s. Today, that would get you fired, as we learned in today's mandatory sexual harassment seminar at work!