Memory Monday – Gnat Rat!

Back in 1986, a guy named Mark Martin wrote and drew Gnarat: The Dark Gnat Returns. Billed as “Book One and Only,” it was a send-up of the hugely influential, mega-popular Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.

And it was friggin’ hilarious.

I rolled and rolled with laughter over this thing. My kid brother wept tears of joy. We were both huge fans of Dark Knight, and sometimes there’s nothing funnier than that which skewers that which you love. Readers of DKR (as it’s affectionately known) should get a giggle out of Gnatrat.


To this day — decades later — my brother and I will still look at each other and say, “This rain! It’s like…water, falling from the sky!” And then convulse in stupid laughter.

(From Gnatrat: The Dark Gnat Returns, 1986. Story and art by Mark Martin.)

This Week in Rejection!: The Missouri Review 8

Uh-oh… This didn’t bode well, I figured…

I’m not gonna lie to you, folks. This, I admit, was a blow to Budding Author Barry. After working my way up to some substantial and hopeful editorial comments, I now was the recipient of a mere “Sorry!” The exclamation point, I remember thinking, seemed inappropriately jaunty and cheerful. But I tried again. And next week, you’ll see how it all ended…