While wandering a local comic book store (as my son sifted MTG cards for his ever-growing collection), I found the magical $1 rack. Atop the fourth shelf was an unparalleled treasure!


Yes, my friends, the “rare” July, 8 1993 issue of The Ren & Stimpy Show comic from Marvel, featuring “The Maltese Stimpy”! For a measly buck, I brought it home, so I could indulge in its creamy center and it’s oh so nutty satirical cover!


Inside, I found the many pleasures of stupid sight gags, the annoyingly written version of Ren’s pronunciation, and jokes about blackheads, ear wax, and barf! Ren plays “Sam Spayed,” hired by femme fatale Stimpy in blond wig and lipstick to find the “Maltese Stimpy” statuette.

In addition to The Maltese Falcon, the comic pays tribute to To Have and Have Not and Casablanca, featuring Stinky Wizzleteats and his “Happy Happy Joy Joy” song standing in for Dooley Wilson’s Sam:


Particularly sweet was the inevitable conversation between Ren and Joel Cairo in which Ren can’t understand Cairo even though both characters sound/read like Peter Lorre:


Ren & Stimpy remains one of my favorite cartoons, even in comic book form. The show was the catalyst for so many gross-out and bizarro cartoons, past and present, including beloved wonders like ChowderFlapjackThe Regular Show, and Adventure Time. What a treat to learn the dynamic dog/cat duo did a noir send-up,even if creator John Kricfalusi didn’t write or draw it.