By Joe Infurnari
W ell, here it is in it’s completed form…all 31 pages of, um,…well, let’s just say 31 pages of pure comedy gold, shall we? Yes, I thought you’d see it my way.
As a little treat, I’m going to let you in on some of the ‘extras’ that have informed the making of “I’m Taking this LAYING DOWN!”
The name, Salvatore Ghesboro, is obviously of Italian origin but more so than you think. Last fall, my girlfriend and I had the pleasure of visiting Venice as part of a three city tour of Italy. While we were there we took a train to see a cousin of mine living in the nearby town of Pordenone. The three of us had a lovely time of amazing food, drink and conversation. At one point Venetian slang came up and my cousin, Michelangelo, thought he’d give me this little pearl, “ghe sboro!” Apparently it’s all the rage with the youth of Venice to say this as a show of appreciation similar to, “awesome!” Except, “ghe sboro” roughly translates into “what an ejaculation!” The Italians are an exuberant bunch. So from now on, during holidays and basically any chance I get, I try to throw in a little “ghe sboro” into my Facebook conversations with my cousin.
Why Hoboken? I’m Canadian and when choosing a setting for a story, I prefer to stay close to my home in New York city since it’s what I’ve known for the last 13 years. I chose Hoboken solely for it’s reputation as a tough town. I grew up in a heavily industrialized former steel city called Hamilton, Ontario and Hoboken seemed to me like a good American counterpart. The panel of Sal’s home would work just as well with Hamilton, ON in the caption but not many of you would have any connection with that.
Thomas Edison’s Peepshow Time Machine comes out of the setting of the story in New Jersey. Thomas Edison, also known as the wizard of New Jersey’s Menlo Park, has contributed many invaluable inventions to civilization. But there’s also a theatrical and grand guignol aspect to him as well. To demonstrate the dangers of rival, Nicola Tesla’s alternating electrical current (AC of AC/DC), he masterminded the public execution by electricity of a performing elephant on the beach at Coney Island in 1903. The event was publicized, well attended and filmed. The footage is available here for the curious. It’s not for the faint of heart.
My sincerest apologies for the line, “…blasted the roof off of Sally Lever’s pussy!” Anyone familiar with my work may recall I did a 12 page story with Alexis Sottile based on my history with neighbors in New York city. It’s called Vs. and features a werewolf pharmaceutical drug rep. He has been an unending source of hilarity ever since. His most shocking boasts of “fucking the roof off of _____’s pussy” that I’ve quoted for your amusement and horror.
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins!? Yes. For those not already familiar with Screamin’ Jay, he was the very first ‘shock rocker.’ His stage persona and moniker came out of a drunken recording session where Jay’s screams, howls and ramblings punctuated his otherwise operatic vocals. Jay always wanted to be an opera singer but 1940’s America wasn’t ready for that so all that theatricality got channeled into the persona of a 6ft tall black man in a yellow suit with a bone in his nose! He and his trusty skull mounted scepter, Henry, would explode from a coffin as his stage entrance. America wasn’t entirely ready for that either. He’s best known for the song, “I Put a Spell on You” which has been covered by numerous performers. But that’s not the whole story. Upon his death in 2000, it came to light that Screamin’ Jay had sired approximately 75 illegitimate children. For this reason as well as his wonderful and outlandish vocal style, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins was a natural fit as Dick’s father.
Lucy the ‘Missing Link’ is a reference to the famous skull, dubbed ‘Lucy’, as the missing link in human evolution. The skull was discovered in 1974 and has since largely been discredited.
Hamsters!? Get over it.
Why Frederick Douglas? I don’t exactly know. Originally I had planned for using Che Guevara but I ultimately opted for the early civil rights leader because I thought it was a little less obvious and somehow…funnier?
Why did I have to have Sal sleep with his Mom? I understand that this is a tough one to swallow for a lot of people. My feeling on this subject is that I went for the most extreme circumstance because there was the most drama and comedy to be had. A story about a guy going back in time to preemptively impregnate the mom’s of contemporary villains is funny but making that villain the half brother takes it to a whole new level. Certainly it’s sensational and controversial but what great comedian over the last 40 years has not tried to push the envelop with their comedy. Besides, if I dangled it out there in the beginning, wouldn’t it be a little cowardly to not follow through?
On the subject of Willy. Willy is presumably the mentally and physically handicapped brother/son of Sal and his mother. What can I say, I’m on my own on this one and my only defense is I thought it was funny. It’s really all I could do that might top the surprise of Sal sleeping with his Mom.
The photograph of Dick is a nod to “Back to the Future” where people erased by tampering with the past disappear from photos in which they once appeared.
Lastly, a lot of you were titillated by the story with the knowledge that it was a story, “very personal to me.” I’ll admit I sort of set you up. There is truth in Time Fucker but not in the many ways people have speculated. It’s been suggested that it’s an expression of my anger or that I have deep seated Oedipal desires etc., etc., etc. Yawn. The psychoanalyzing of the creator based on his art by a bunch of armchair psychologists should be the subject of my next story because the results have been…surprising. Let me go on the record as saying that the ending of Time Fucker is where I allow most of my personal life to seep in. I don’t have a retarded brother/son by the name of Willy or any other word for penis and I’m not married. The thing most personal to me is the imagined domestic bliss of living with your dream girl. My girlfriend bears some resemblance to the adult Sally Lever and we are embarking on moving in together this summer. So all you salacious speculators just got ‘egg’ on your face. It’s not anger. It’s not revenge. It’s love.
Thanks for reading! I hope these little nuggets of information have enhanced your experience of Time Fucker or have encouraged you to read it again. Either way, if you enjoyed the story please consider tweeting about it, sharing it on Facebook or your preferred means of transmission. This story was written, drawn and lettered in the time I could squeeze between paying work. Spreading the word through these social networks is a great way to show your support and very much appreciated. Thank you!