Punk Comic History, Pt. 3: Dennis Worden
If you prefer to get your philosophy from inside a dead dog’s asshole like I do, then you need to know about Dennis Worden. In addition to contributing hilarious comics to anthologies like Weirdo or punk fanzines like Flipside in the early ’80s, he made a variety of minis about some old favorite things, like doing acid in the suburbs, and some unexpected new favorite things, like circus freaks fucking. He’s probably best known for his existential solo comic, Stickboy, about a stick figure that attempts to persevere while being relentlessly peed on by rats or tormented by a disembodied brain. Stickboy had a punk attitude, and although not actually a punk, he was named after Kickboy Face (Claude Bessy) from Slash magazine. Stickboy had a lot of the same experiences Dennis had — choosing to be homeless, living with a cult, working shitty jobs — and basically evolved as Dennis evolved.
The Stickboy comic went through four different publishers, due to various things such as better deals, death and companies folding. Everyone I knew who was into alternative comics at the time was a Stickboy fan. All ten of us. After Fantagraphics, he was published by Revolutionary Comics until the publisher, Todd Loren, was stabbed to death. The last issue of Stickboy was published by Carnal Comics — a porn publisher who had worked with Todd Loren. I’m sure more than a few Carnal Comics customers were hurt and disappointed by the lack of dicks and titties found in Stickboy.
Is Stickboy dead? He may be. At least for now. But even though he’s missed, purgatory seems like a philosophically appropriate place for him to wind up. In the meantime, Dennis has continued his art career doing paintings and shows. Once in a blue moon he still draws comics. Recently he did the cover for a mini of “They Saved Hitler’s Cock” and few panels for a European anthology called Puck. He’s been primarily focused on writing a subversive self-help book/philosophical rant — a more in depth continuation of the philosophical stuff in Stickboy. You can buy art and various merch from Dennis’ website: www.dennisworden.com.