Melvin Comics by John Romero

Melvin Comics by John Romero

When I was just entering adolescence, I was going through some “mental things” and, yes, I did lots of bad things that I never got caught doing. But one healthy outlet for my… energy… was to draw comics — violent comics. So, I invented a little character and named him Melvin. Melvin has a Dad whose job is to beat the shit out of him… sometimes as fast as possible (I only had about 15 frames to set up the situation, have Melvin do something dumb or innocent, then have his Dad completely destroy him).

As I was drawing the comics, I felt like I was taking my aggression out on Melvin when, in fact, Melvin was actually me. And Melvin’s Dad’s physical beatings really just represented the mental “beatings” I felt I was taking at home.

Yeah, it’s a weird situation, but when you read these comics, don’t think about any of that psycho mumbo-jumbo and just take it at face value: Melvin is a little kid who needs a complete beating on a regular basis.

Oh yeah, some of the comics got really sick, so if you’re squeamish or don’t want to think any worse of me (heh), then just mosey on back to the game section!

BTW: I drew about 60 of these Melvin comics and made a few live action videos. I’ll eventually post all the comics — here is just a sampling.

Melvin Mows The Lawn / Oct. 1984

I used to have to mow the lawn almost every weekend for my $5/week allowance. I was also mowing some neighbors’ yards for $5 each as well – all going toward my Pac-Man fund.

This comic deals with the dangers of lawn mowing and having a sadistic father.

The Nose / Oct. 1987

This one’s real quick and simple – 6 frames and the beating is in the 5th. I think my Mom left the house for work one day and it inspired me to draw this one.

I was going to college in 1987 and living with my parents. I am not embarassed!

Commie Melvin / Feb 1990

My stepdad was in the Korean War. ‘Nuff said.

Okay, I haven’t said enough. Actually, my stepdad never talked about his time in the war so I just had to imagine what it would have been like to be fed up with listening to war stories.

Beta Tester Melvin / Feb. 1990

While working at Softdisk, Mike Maynard was working on a French Language Tutor program (uh…yeah, most of Softdisk’s software was wide-open ass).

Anyway, Mike had some beta testers check out the program and when he got their feedback he thought it was all bullshit and wanted to harm them.

Instead, I took it out on Melvin for him.

Messy Melvin / Oct. 1984

I think I was told one too many times to clean my room. This is my favorite Melvin of all – so hilarious!

You’ll see that I love to write “DIRTY!” in these comics – Melvin’s always having to clean stuff up!

C***s**ker Melvin / March 1990

Basically, I wanted to create the most disgusting Melvin I could think of… and this is the one. And I just had to have it take place at Softdisk, just to top it off.

For once on this oxygen orb we call Earth, a petition actually WORKED! For over a year people have begged for this comic -and now it’s here! Get it while it’s hot! (in his mouth)

Breakin’ Melvin / Oct. 1984


Smoking Melvin / Oct. 1984


BMX Melvin / Oct. 1984

Man, October was the month for drawing Melvins back in 1984, eh?

I used to ride a Mongoose BMX for several years – I loved that damn bike! Then some a-hole stole it when I was at an arcade in Roseville, CA. The arcade was called Video Bob’s.

Anyway, here’s what would happen if Melvin showed his dad some BMX stunts…

Mouldy Melvin / Oct. 1984

Occasionally I had my friends come up with Melvin ideas, so that could explain why this one’s a little weak.

I usually go for really hardcore, brutal destruction of Melvin, like dismemberment, head splitting, leg snapping… that sort of thing.

Man, Melvin should just not ever talk back to his dad. But I make sure he never learns.

Stereo Melvin / Jan. 1985

This was one of the first Melvins where I used felt tip markers to color them in.

The deal with this Melvin was basically that I was playing a lot of Black Sabbath in high school and got in trouble for blasting my boom box everywhere I went.

Since the school bus trip in the morning was over an hour, I used to sit in the back seat and crank Metallica and Accept all the time. And Black Sabbath, of course.

The metal connoseiurs out there will recognize the song being played as Looks That Kill by Motley Crue.

Christmas Melvin / April 1985

Ah, Christmas! That most magical time of the year – snow falling, reindeer prancing, Santa blasting down the chimney, and your yearly sneak out of your room to see what Santa brought before anyone’s awake. Oops – that could get you in trouble, couldn’t it?

Yes – it could, especially if you’re Melvin.

TV Melvin / Oct. 1984

Well…what do you think would happen if you stayed up just a little too late at night….and came downstairs…???

Not good things.

Rebel Melvin / Oct. 1984

Ya know, sometimes you just cannot take any more shit from your parents. And such was true for Melvin this time out after his Dad punches him down twice!

This comic has a record THREE BEATINGS for Melvin – that’s one every 5 panels! Heheh.

Chewy in Pipeline / Oct. 1984

My family used to have a little maltese doggie named Chewy. He was a cute little thing but too timid for my taste.

So timid that he enraged me constantly!!!

BTW, the guy in the comic is “John”. Heh.

Frisbee Melvin / Oct. 1984

Based on a true story, Melvin was playing frisbee outside his house with his friend John (!) and did something that, well, let’s just say it upset his dad – as if that was something out of the ordinary.

One broken leg later and he’s off on another escapade!

Dissecto Melvin / Oct. 1984


K.P. Melvin / Oct. 1984


Rip-Off Melvin / Oct. 1984


Brave Melvin / Oct. 1984


CPR Melvin by Andrew Schultz based on characters by John Romero / March 31, 2005

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