Retro: Liefeld Meets Dennis Miller In a Perfect Storm of ’90s Cliches
As Chris Sims’ look at the amazing “Comic Book Greats: Rob Liefeld” video attests, Liefeld was a budding celebrity during the early ’90s. Marketing-wise, you couldn’t ask for a better hook: Here was this brash Gen X-er shaking up stuffy old Marvel with his “extreme” renditions of absurdly proportioned, suspiciously feet-less superheroes. This ain’t your daddy’s sequential storytelling!
Besides the infamous Spike Lee-directed Levi’s spot, Liefeld popped up as a guest on Dennis Miller’s short-lived talk show to promote the debut issue of “Youngblood.” It was a match made in ’90s heaven: “The Dennis Miller Show” was supposed to be the “alternative” option to Carson and Arsenio (booking guests like Henry Rollins and, uh, Stan Lee) while Liefeld was basically the comic book industry equivalent of Ethan Hawke’s character in “Reality Bites” at the time.Crack open a nice refreshing BoKu and watch as Miller asks Liefeld about his “hang-ups” with Marvel, suggests that “Brigade” might be a S.H.I.E.L.D. knockoff, and tosses in a Norrin Radd reference for good measure.
Sadly, references to “The Waltons” and pre-Kevin Smith jokes about Thing’s anatomy failed to keep Miller’s show on the air for very long. One can only hope the audience sold off their copies of “Youngblood” #1 back in ’92 before the bubble burst.