Oaf. Doll. I…I can’t imagine I have to say more than that, but I will try. You can now get (and make) your very own Wuvable Oaf doll, based on creator Ed Luce‘s popular Wuvable Oaf series. The kit comes with front and back patterns, an instruction booklet and the pink thread needed to seal up Oaf’s sensitive parts. You provide the sewing needle, white thread and stuffing. It takes some very basic Home Ec 101 skills to put this sweet little doll together. Or do what I do and just flirt with someone with sewing skills. Ed, the man behind the Oaf, was kind enough to take some time to talk to FBOTU about the new Oaf doll, his contribution to Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever and his appearance at Stumptown Comics Fest this weekend (April 27-28) in Portland, OR.
FBOTU: First underpants, now a doll! What inspired you?
Ed: The Wuvable Oaf DIY Doll is something I’ve been wanting to do from the very start. I kept getting asked if we were ever going to make one, but obviously the logistics of such a thing are incredibly intimidating. I wanted to capture the feel of those pillow dolls that were widely available during my childhood. Your mom would just go to a fabric store, purchase a pre-printed design by the yard and sew it together in no time. I remember having Ronald McDonald and Grimace ones as a kid.
FBOTU: Oh my god! I had those, too! And Birdie. I remember having Birdie.
Ed: Where did those go and how come no one makes them anymore!?
FBOTU: Articulation is overrated!
FBOTU: The DIY nature of the doll fits in perfectly with Oaf’s occupation as a crafter. Are you crafty, too?
Ed: Believe it or not, I have a background in sewing (I used to teach a college art course where producing a soft sculpture was the final project), so it was just a matter of sitting down and making the pattern. My brilliant screen printer Brian, at badskulls.com, did the rest.
FBOTU: How hard is it to put this thing together? I can thread a needle and sew on a button. Will I be okay?
Ed: The kit only takes about two hours to assemble; the instruction booklet (which is written and illustrated from the Oaf’s point of view), offers little tips on how to do it correctly…including putting on a fun movie in the background.
FBOTU: I can’t wait to get started. I need a Martha Stewart project for a rainy Sunday afternoon.
Ed: People should also know it’s scaled to ride a cat (about 13” tall)…but good luck getting it to stay on for very long!
FBOTU: The Oaf doll is available at wuvableoaf.com, or you can pick up one at Stumptown, April 27-28, in Portland, OR. What is Stumptown?
Ed: Stumptown Comics Fest is one of my favorite events of the year. Portland has some highly advanced indie comics culture going for it; there are dozens of amazing creators there, making brilliant work. And that whole city just loves their indie comics! They’re incredibly supportive. It was after our first Stumptown that I realized maybe Oaf could have some crossover appeal. There was just so much enthusiasm for the character, people got the story and aesthetics, regardless of their gender or sexuality.
FBOTU: What do you have planned for the show?
Ed: This year I’ll be participating in a panel discussion with Tom Neely and Ben Marra called “Heavy Ink: The Collision of Music and Comics” (Saturday, April 28 in room #B116 from 2:00-2:45 PM). I’m sure we’ll talk a bit about Henry & Glenn, but each of us will probably also touch upon how music has shaped our work. I plan on discussing Wuvable Oaf’s EJACULOID characters and what it was like to collaborate with musicians to make actual music based on the band in the comic.
FBOTU: Let’s talk about Henry & Glenn. How did you get involved in the sequel (Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever)?
Ed: Henry & Glenn Forever is one of my favorite comics from the last few years. The basic premise is pretty simple: what if aging punkers Henry Rollins and Glenn Danzig were in a domestic relationship? Tom Neely debuted a collected version of the book right beside me at my first Stumptown in 2010. By the end of the con, I was so smitten by it, I told him if he ever did another book, I wanted in. I felt I had something unique to contribute, being a lifelong fan of both singers. Tom was very receptive; he likes what I do with Oaf and there was an opportunity to have an actual gay man contribute to what was, at that point, a queer book made by heterosexual men.
FBOTU: That’s a novel idea. Can you tell us a little about your contribution to the book?
Ed: Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever #1 follows a more narrative approach, rather than the original’s single page/panel concept. My story involves Henry and Glenn being in couple’s therapy over the first book. In fact, their therapist looks like Tom Neely, and the story starts with him reading a copy. It also features cameos by Kevin Smith, Kerry King (from Slayer), Ian MacKaye (from Fugazi) and…wait for it…Morrissey.
FBOTU: Morrissey?! You mean he actually shows up?!
Ed: Yes, of course! Tom Neely’s and Ben Marra’s tales take the duo in perverse new directions, too. Some of what we do to poor Henry and Glenn in these stories almost makes me feel bad. Almost.
FBOTU: Where can people get the book?
Ed: I’m really excited we’re all going to be doing a signing and release party in Portland at Floating World Comics (Friday, April 27 from 6:00-8:00 PM). The book is also available online at cantankeroustitles.com.
FBOTU: Thanks, Ed! Have a great time in Portland! Where can people find you?
Ed: We’ll be at booth #206, right next to our pals at Floating World Comics!