Tony Millionaire—the brainiac, booze-lovin' cartoonist behind the Maakies comic strip that ran for years nationally (and here in the Mercury until a couple years ago)—has announced he is retiring his long running comic that featured Drinky Crow and Uncle Gabby. From Millionaire's Facebook announcement:
MAAKIES IS DEAD
Since that cruel icy winter in February, 1994, Drinky Crow and MAAKIES have been my constant companions and lifesavers. With a broken heart I sat in that bar in Brooklyn and drew comics for beers. The black coal of my heart cracked open and a bird popped out, a drunken bird, a crow, Drinky Crow. It grew, I grew, people read my little strip and they grew.
Now we’re all grown up, the weekly newspapers across the world which carried the strip have almost all disappeared or dropped their comics sections for one reason or another, and here I sit, at the edge of a granite boulder, jutting out into Gloucester harbor, watching the good ship Maak sink.
This strip has been my diary, all my odd thoughts and the funny things my friends have said were jotted down in a hundred pocket notebooks and ended up in the strip, in the newspaper. I was a hard-boiled newspaperman, I was proud! The world has changed, the only comic strips that can sustain themselves anymore are those who have ambitious young strong-arms with the self-discipline to set themselves up on dedicated home-made sites or those that can land a spot on a big website or two, which could support it financially.
Thanks to everyone who told me a good joke, to all those who told me terrible jokes which I threw in the garbage, and especially to Helena Harvilcz, without whom MAAKIES would have been something else entirely.
I remember Capt. Ed Grey, standing in the middle of the street in Brooklyn, his small ship sunk, homeless, his blue eyes gleaming with mania, as he stared over the cold East River, (or “sluice” as he called it,) laughing.
“What are you laughing about, Ed?”
“Oh, just the horror of being alive.”
Rest in peace, sweet Maakies. Let's "dook, dook, dook" to its memory.