How do you doom a comic strip to a short run? Well, in the case of Rudy by William Overgard, you make the humor smart and character driven. You add great art. You build it all on the basis of an unusually intelligent and involved story. Once you’ve got all those great ingredients, not even a talking monkey can save a strip from oblivion.
Rudy was a dapper, urbane talking chimp, the only one in the world. He was a washed-up vaudeville star trying to make a comeback in present day (1980s) Hollywood. Much of the humor comes from his interactions with entertainment industry hangers-on, agents of questionable character, and an endless string of Hollywood oddballs and weirdos. Think of him as sort of like George Burns in The Sunshine Boys and you’ll have the general gist of the strip.
The strip ran Sunday and daily from 1/3/1983 to 12/22/1985. If you get a chance to read the strip (a reprint book, Rudy In Hollywood, was published in 1984) and appreciate writing that transcends the run-of-the-mill comic strip level, you’ll really enjoy Rudy.