• Steven Heller

Chicken Gutz is Not a Meal

Updated: Sep 1

Randall Enos, whose comic linoleum cuts graced the pages of magazines and newspapers everywhere, was known for a crazy, gag-riddled comic strip called “Chicken Gutz” that first appeared in the January 1972 issue of the National Lampoon and ran in each issue for about 12 years. All this time later, Enos has revived his characters for the “Chicken Gutz” blog, which promises to feature a new strip every day — all new dailies. In between yesterday’s marathon drawing session, Enos took time to reply to the following:


How can you keep up this work everyday? It’s easy. Cartoonists have been doing it for a looooooong time. I find the strip writes itself and the bird, well, I don’t have much to do about what the bird says. I don’t plan it, it just happens … like a little bird-like voice in my head.


So, where does the title come from? Its quite ethnic . . . The title “Chicken Gutz” came from something we would say a lot in high school in the early 50’s. We would greet each other each day with “Suck chicken guts”! I don’t know where or why “chicken guts” but … there it is.


And where did your chicken come from? In the late 60’s I had seen a picture of a girl sitting in a tavern in Greenwich Village. Atop her head was a giant crow. That image has stayed with me lo these many years. I started drawing a little man with a tall hat (I have a passion for hats) and a bird on it. I did it in an advertising storyboard for an insurance company. Then later I painted a man with the bird confronting a bird with a man on his head. This painting (on a piano hinge) covered the rear projector’s screen in my boss’ office (Pablo Ferro Films). So when the Lampoon asked me to do a strip … the rest is history.


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