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What the Hell

by Noted Comics Historian,

Arnie Songh

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'What if people were driving cars in the nude, shopping, playing tennis — golfing, bike riding, hang-gliding? What if our characters...go to the town without their clothes? What if no one noticed because the WHOLE TOWN was naked?'

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Spoodgie Green Valley

The now infamous SPOODGIE and His Frat House Pals #162 which show the series' and the company for just what they were — a great excuse for the creators to draw naked women and lots of them. For some reason the large stable of PEEPHOLE artists and writers eschewed the far more noble, and time-honored forms of creative expression to be found in the glorious depiction of mature and realistic superheroes battling valiantly in spandex. Instead of the fighting, violence and bloodshed which were the stock-in-trade of most normal publishers, the PEEPHOLE crew preferred to wallow in the perversions of sex, romance and comedy.

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GREEN VALLEY was a spinoff of the surprisingly successful Spoodgie and His Frat House pals from Peephole Comics, a rip-off of a rip-off that ultimately became more successful than its source material and somehow never faced the legal ramifications it should have for its thievery. The overtly sexual series began as a simple six page story in Spoodgie #147, and was so well received by the legion of troglodyte, interpersonal relationship loving Peephole fans (that particular issue had 98% sell-through and the publishing offices received thousands of pieces of mail, most positive, very few in crayon) that it was awarded a title of its own within four months of its initial appearance. From that point on the gates of hell were opened and the comics industry would be sucked into an abyss from which it would never, truly, escape.

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Green Valley 97

Another cover from the endlessly repugnant and profoundly sexist GREEN VALLEY. Even though they often depicted men's naked bodies — usually with impossibly large penii — you could tell they made a special effort with the women. The artist's drew them far too pretty and sexy and the writers made them smart-alecky, acid tongued and smarter than the boys. Women just aren't like that. This cover in particular features the ridiculously outgoing and unashamed Red Hott (subtlety, thy name is PEEPHOLE) and Gas Stations in a typically offensive situation — naked, confident, and unrepentant for their brazenry.

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"The story began simply enough as a 'Spoodgie goes to a nude beach' kind of thing," said Sam Clemmens, the 'writer' of that particular tale, if you can stretch the meaning of the term to include such insipid hackery, "and it just evolved. We began asking questions, like: 'What if people were driving cars in the nude, shopping, playing tennis—golfing, bike riding, hang-gliding?' 'What if our characters had to leave the beach and go to the town without their clothes?' 'What if no one noticed because the whole town was naked?' And the story just kept getting funnier and funnier with more naked people running around doing things naked. The dumb gas station attendant, the naked sherriff who just wears boots and a gun, the diner full of old people—all that. We thought it was just frickin' brilliant."

Oh, yes. Genius. Pure (yawn) genius. Notice at no point did they ask 'What if we were to write a good story with high quality writing and more detailed art? With superheroes?'

Clemmens continues in his nasal drone. "We never figured it would be anything more than a really funny one shot. Then it sold through the roof and people went nuts. In a good way." Good, that is, if sales, popularity and vast sums of money are your only barometers of quality and value. Fortunately, some of us are willing to starve for true art.

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Green Valley cover 4In NYNA THE NAUGHTY NUDIST — another spin-off series that originated as a back-up feature in the GREEN VALLEY comics — the nudity went the other way.

Nyna was a nudist born and bred in the pastoral confines of Nottyngon, a small town somewhere in Green Valley. After a fight with her folks, she picked up everything she owned none of it clothes, apparently and moved herself to Spoodgie's hometown of Honey's Hole where she shared an apartment with a shy and prudish college student named Willy Nilly. She tried to fit in with Willy and his friends, but had a hard time adjusting to the concept of wearing more than shoes. Consequently she was always showing up in the most unexpected—and unbelievable—situations, completely naked.

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In that first, thankfully, short tale, Spoodgie and his frat buddies Rexy, Morgan, Bonehead, and Hardie, accompanied by their girls, Nikki, Micki (no relation to the later Micki from the idiotic, Micki The Nude Model series), and the Hummpty's stripper Wensdy, all wind up trapped in Green Valley with Spoodgie and Hardie's dad, Pastor Jones. Ridiculously, it turns out to be against the law to wear clothes in the tiny nudist community, and all the characters have differing opinions about that.

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temp Early on in the GREEN VALLEY series characters from far and wide in the rest of the PEEPHOLE LINE made regular, frequent appearances in the book—as in this issue with Bonehead and Vicki from issue #4 — presumably to boost sales. Before long, though, the regulars of the GREEN VALLEY series, themselves, had become far MORE popular, and the guest stars began going the other way, into the the books that formed the rest of the line. Which should prove, unequivocally, that PEEPHOLE fans were stupid.

When a disturbed relative bought me copies of this issue, I colored superhero costumes on the girls to make them less perverse and more respectable, and kept them safely hidden under my mattress, looking at them only at night, with a flashight, so as not to disturb the delicate sensibilities of others with my research.

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Spoodgie likes the nudist village, Hardie's embarrassed, Rexy's apalled (except if the girl is attractive. The pervert), the Pastor is horrified, Bonehead doesn't notice, and Wensdy drops her clothes like they're on fire. Nevertheless, by the end of the story, everyone is naked and they're all being chased out of town for unacceptable behavior of one kind or another — including the pastor.

"Of course, unacceptable behavior by the standards of that commmunity meant something entirely different from what you or I might have thought." Clemmens added, laughing, though why, I'm not sure. Nothing about this concept is the least bit amusing. "It was not your typical small town. Let's just say they took the adage 'Make love, not war' to a whole, new level."

[PAUSE]

Oh! I'm supposed to laugh, here. Okay. Ahem.

Har, dee har, har.

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Spoodgie Cover 4Wankie Spankit, Red Hott and Gas Stations were created to be the main characters in the GREEN VALLEY title bolstered by multiple guest appearances from the many of Spoodige's pals.

But as the sales of all GREEN VALLEY titles began to surpass every single other book in the PEEPHOLE line (not surprisingly, given the limited ideas available, and the minimal appeal stories about sexy teenagers can ultimately have) more and more visits to that 'wacky nudist colony' were ordered, and more and more clothes came off in PEEPHOLE'S other titles.

Before long the company was virtually all nude, all the time, and no one ever fought crime or tried to take over the world. It was just disgusting.

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The series lasted a shocking 12 years and 99 issues, introduced a host of supposedly 'memorable' characters, and created several spinoffs, including Micki the Nude Model, Nottyngon, and Nuckeby's Bar and Grill. Interestingly, Green Valley was never embraced by the nudist community, itself. You would assume because the series was crass, pandering and uninteresting. But apparently, actual nudists simply considered the series unrealistic because all the Green Valley nudists were portrayed as attractive and 'well-conditioned' and had sex publicly. They felt it gave an unrealistic impression of the lifestyle.

"Um — duh." Clemmens said. "We had to sell the thing. Maybe ugly people go to real nudist colonies. But no audience wants to spend money to look at them. People in popular entertainment are always prettier than they likely would be in reality, and Mervin was running a business, after all. He wasn't sponsored by The Nudism Educational Grant.

"I think they were more upset because our comics brought perverts to nudist resorts in droves looking for hot, naked kids like the ones in our stories. Regardless, we made being naked in public seem about the most fun thing in the world, so I think we helped their cause, ultimately. I know I spend a lot more time naked, because of it."

And, again, he laughs. as if the image of him in the buff wouldn't forever traumatize anyone — except, perhaps, an actual nudist.

Ick.

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Green Valley Cover 1A cover featuring the snobby, stuck-up bitch, Mindie Butterwycke who endlessly criticzed and demeaned the innocent comic-collector, Morgan Wiggen — the only marginally redeeming character in the entire GREEN VALLEY series — even while he did nice things, like hold her ankle. Of course, he was always portrayed in a way no self-respecting comics fan would ever behave — like on this particular cover. No true collector worth his Price Guide would ever handle oils while also holding a comic. They stain. Any genuine comics afficianado would run screaming from this type of situation.

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Thankfully, Green Valley ended, along with all Peephole Comics other titles, in the summer of '78, the year of the great Peephole implosion.

Years later — in a deperate bid to revive his company — Mervin released a censored version of the series in a smaller, manga-sized digest format, and called it Nekkid Bottoms. Fortunately, to no avail. His business was dead, and with it, the oversexed series, Green Valley .

Many of the former creators were able to find more substantial and important work at Marvel and DC on far more memorable series like 'SUPERVILLAINS STRIKE AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN...', 'SHOCK VALUE', 'KILL YOUR FRIENDS WIVES WITH A BLOWTORCH!' 'SUPER AMAZING TEAM-UP of CONTINUITY FIXERS', '47', and 'HEROES RETURN CLASSICALLY UPDATED, BRAND NEW AND JUST LIKE THEY USED TO BE WHEN YOU WERE A KID!'

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Green Valley Cover 225A cover featuring — what else — naked girls. These young tarts in particular are: the ridiculously endowed Faunita Felize, The simply large busted Cinni Minni, and the equally titular Kandi Kayn.

The names of the characters in this series were the stupidest of the endless river of stupid ideas that ran through this most idiotic of concepts. "Red Hott", "Gas Stations", "Dork Bent" — even the store where Faunita and Cinni worked was called "Chochkies". The writers just couldn't have gotten any dumber or more suggestive if they'd tried. As if the fact that everyone ran around completely naked and showing off their 'chochkies' wasn't pushing things far enough into the realm of the ludicrous, they had to take it that extra, last step and make it wholly devoid of intelligence. Give me the allitaerative coolness of a Matt Murdoch, Clark Kent, or a Peter Parker any day.

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Apparently the master hack of all time, Chuck Austen (who never wrote on any of the series listed above, which should tell you something), has been commissioned by the new owners of Peephole Comics to write a novel based on the Green Valley comic book series and illustrate it with some cheesy drawings. Apparently they liked the perverted stuff he used to write back when he was ruining Marvel Comics. So he wrote about 400 pages, or so, probably because he couldn't find work anywhere else. At the insistence of the publisher I am required to mention the novel positively and place an ad for it, here:

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

So here goes:

Bah, blah , it's funny, it's ribald, it's got naked people doing stupid things in it and probably having sex. Praise, praise, praise, Blah, blah, blah, buy it now and wipe your ass with it.

If you want to read some good stuff and consider yourself a true comics fan, go read the fine graphic adventures I mentioned two paragraphs above, forget the novel or the re-creations at this site and let Green Valley languish in unremembered, naked obscurity.

Please.

Green Valley Cover 5

 

 
 
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