Truckhead – Don’t you want to be my baby?

Swimming in the great idea pool of the collective unconscious, it can be funny the things that will float by you on the way to the top. I was more that a little confused and surprised this weekend to come across a comic strip called Truckhead in the latest Nickelodeon Magazine at my local Kroger’s. The cartoonist, Nate Neal, seams pretty talented, and it was a cute and funny strip. It only subliminally registered on my flip through, but I totally did a double take in the magazine aisle and said aloud, “did I just see what I thought I saw”, and grabbed it for a second look.

Truckhead - Nate Neal

Truckhead, to me, is a song. One that is pretty much hardwired into my system after playing it many times with Brown Cuts Neighbors. It first appeared on our cassingle Two Heads Are Better Than Yours, and was re-recorded as the lead track on our debut 7″ record Broken Down Like a Bean; both in 1990. The cover of the cassette has a cartoon drawing I did of a Truckhead character… pretty obvious, truck cab in place of a head… normal human body…

Truckhead - Brown Cuts Neighbors

So, yeah… it was one of those, “I would have copyrighted and trademarked every dumb idea we ever had, if we weren’t so broke we could barely buy enough equipment to play shows” moments. The truth is, we never would have guessed that Truckhead could have had, or needed, any useful or profitable life beyond that song (It was strange enough when 1000 Young covered it on their first record). We certainly had no big plans for Truckhead, or for the man with a tire wrapped around his waist to hide his genitalia, for that matter. Nor did we question Jason’s grasp of human anatomy.

Max Andersson - Truckhead - Wreck-GirlThe first real inkling that a human with a truck cab for a head had any creative currency past our song first emerged many years ago, anyway, in Max Andersson‘s Wreck-Boy and Car-Boy comics.

To somewhat close the circle here, I first encountered Max’s automobile headed urchins as the art director on Fantagraphics’ Zero Zero, where they first appeared in english, back in the mid ’90’s.

Wherever this weird idea came from, I’m just glad to see it foisted on so many kids, and it makes me happy in the same way that hearing kids playing on the swings in Niskayuna, New York singing “You’re Supposed To Be The Patient” after seeing us at the local town fair did. It’s a shame Nate Neal’s The A, B, C’s of Truckhead comic book is out of print. I want a copy, dammit!