What Do You Get When You Crossover A Duck With A
Squirrel? Big Laughs!
By: Agent Darryl, We Got The Geek
It started out simply enough, as every fantasy comic-book hero crossover does:
Who’d win in a fight?
In this case, the question was posed last year in the letters page of the very first
issue of ‘The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl’ by ‘Sex Criminals’ co-creator Chip
Zdarsky. The contenders in this battle? Squirrel Girl’s staunch ally and best
squirrel-friend, Tippy-Toe versus Howard, a completely sane, talking duck just
trying to make his way in a completely insane universe that conspires to threaten
his continuing existence on a constant basis.
Q: Who would win in a fight, Tippy-Toe the Squirrel or
Howard the Duck? – Chip Z.
A few months later saw the launch of Howard’s first regular comic series since
the mid-80s, scripted by none other than Chip Zdarsky himself. At the time,
though, Chip wasn’t certain his stint on the title would last long enough to see this
fantasy animal scrap come to fruition. While promoting the first issue of Howard
in the spring of 2015, he shared the early details of the dream crossover between
water fowl and tree rodent. “I’ve been talking to Ryan North [the writer of The
Unbeatable Squirrel Girl], whose one of my best friends. We’ve known each other
for years and so, it’s funny that we both ended up in this situation where we’re
like, ‘Wait . . . you’re writing the squirrel comic . . . and I’m writing the duck
comic? How did that happen!?’ But then, we get together for lunch and talk and
stuff and it turns out [Joe Quinones] the artist on my book is also really good
friends with [Erica Henderson] the artist on his book. So Joe emailed me, ‘You
know, I’m really good friends with Erica and we’d love to do some sort of
crossover. I don’t know if you guys ever talk about it . . .’ And I’m like, ‘We talk
about it all the time! It’s crazy!’
So there it was, two writers and two artists on two different Marvel titles
conspiring to bring two of the most off-beat, unusual and diametrically opposed
characters together in a crossover nobody knew they needed in their life until
now. But not only were they planning on simply connecting stories between the
two titles, it turns out the lines of destiny between these two kooky characters
and their creative teams would reach much deeper than that.
‘Wait . . . you’re writing the squirrel comic . . . and I’m
writing the duck comic? How did that happen!?’
As the line-wide Secret Wars crossover shook the Marvel multi-verse to it’s core
last summer, both ‘The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl’ and ‘Howard The Duck’ were
placed on hiatus, but not before at least the possibility of Howard and Squirrel
Girl crossing paths was teased on the cover of each title. During the summer
hiatus, Chip and Erica collaborated on the critically acclaimed, realistically
depicted reboot of the ‘Jughead’ series for Archie Comics, forging yet another
lasting bond between the comic creative teams.
Then, following Marvel’s largest
mega-crossover event to date, both of the comedic comic titles were announced
as continuing in the autumn with brand new #1 issues.
Finally the playing field was level, the stage was set and the crossover was
officially announced to the public during New York Comic Con 2015, featuring an
illustration by Erica Henderson of the hapless duo in attendance, cosplaying as
one another while support characters and creative members looked on in
disbelief. Meanwhile, Chip and Joe have wasted no time committing to the
planned crossover by including a cameo of Squirrel Girl and Tippy-Toe in virtually
every issue of ‘Howard the Duck’ since, foreshadowing the inevitable reckoning
between the two park-dwelling protagonists.
. . . the most off-beat, unusual and diametrically
opposed characters together in a crossover nobody
knew they needed in their life until now.
So, what exactly can we expect the look of this crossover to be? Well, according
to Chip: “We want to do it like . . . did you ever read ‘Archie Meets The Punisher?’
Well, the conceit of the style is that the regular Archie artist did the Archie parts
and John Buscema drew all the Punisher parts. Which is amazing! That’s how we
want to do it with these books. We’ll have a crossover in which Erica does all the
Squirrel Girl drawings and Joe does all the Howard drawings.”
The first part of the “jam-style” crossover in ‘Howard The Duck’ #6 will hit stands
on March 30. Part two, in ‘The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl’ #6, will see release two
weeks later on April 13.