“Who’s that? Chickenman?” asked Misha, the secretary.

Indeed, I had meant to draw something like The Savage DragonTM, whom I’d doodled before in an effort to ape Erik Larson’s style, but I must have been nervous. He really looked like some kind of chicken fetishist on steroids.

“The Chicktacular Chickenman,” I replied, sheepishly.

“What are you going to do? Scare the parrot away with a drawing of a larger bird?”

I didn’t really have time to explain. I took the finished drawing and ran outside, hoping to find the pirate still in the area. Sure enough, he stood stunned in the parking lot.

“Yar, matey, where be the docks?”

“I’ll see if I can locate them from on high, ya scurvy dog. SQUACK!”

He had managed to gag poor Mrs. Bilbao, who seemed more embarrassed than frightened at this point. At least as near as I could tell from this angle. Well, I would have been embarrassed.

The paper started to feel heavy and suddenly the hand of Chickenman was reaching out from the paper and growing a more “real world” scale. I dropped the sheet immediately and watched in amazement as Chickenman rose from the paper in amazing 3-D!

“Holy shit,” whispered Misha.

Chickenman stood, brave and tall, his outline illuminated in the sunlight. It was one of those typically heroic poses you see on any of a thousand comic book covers.

“Good day, citizen. What seems to be the trouble,” he bawked.

I pointed at the buccaneer.

“I see. That pirate will be no match for CHICKENMAN, protector of poultry, champion of chicks!”

“He really was Chickenman,” muttered Misha, “what do you know?”

The Egg-bourn avenger sort of half ran, half leapt at Happy Jack, clucking merrily. He threw eggs from his utility belt (which I had intended to be small bombs filled with knock out gas when I drew them) as the kidnapper turned to face him.

“Yar! Lunkhead! It be a giant chicken! SQUACK”

The parrot swept down from above and – GOOSH – he was clobbered by a well thrown egg and knocked out.

“Salty Peter, lad!”

“Release the damsel, evil-doer, and your pet will come to no further harm.”

“Yar, she is my plunder, bird! Do your worst!”

“I shall.”

The two drawings sprang at one another. Happy Jack attacked with Mrs. Bilbao over one shoulder and a dangerous looking bottle of rum in his good hand. Chickenman was all feathers and fury.

The argued as they fought, but I couldn’t make out a word of it. They were talking faster than auctioneers.

“So that’s how they fit all those words in during fights in comic books,” I thought.

It looked like the pirate was going to win the day, when suddenly he dropped to his knees, crying. He released Mrs. Bilbao who retreated across the parking lot.

“Aye. What you say is true, you bloody big bird,” Happy Jack sobbed.

“Big Bird,” the Chickenman said, “Wow – that is a much better name than Chickenman.”


It turns out that Chickenman had told the pirate that, while they were fighting, his parrot could be in need of serious medical attention. It also turns out that he had asked Mrs. Bilbao out on a date and needed to borrow my Colt. What could I say? I handed him the keys after he had changed into his “civilian” identity.

“Drive safely, Chickenman,” I said.

“Big Bird, please,” he replied with a huge, heroic smile.

I was too tired to explain the finer points of copyright infringement to him, so I just waved as he and my potential employer drove off. I hoped it would be a good date and that she’s like my drawing so much that she couldn’t resist hiring me.

“What is going to happen to the pirate?” Misha asked.

“Chickenman turned him over to the local authorities. I don’t even want to imagine the legal ramifications of this…”

“Does everything you draw come to life?”

“No – just some of the things I draw with this pen. But not everything, see?”

I showed her my duck drawing.

“What are these? Killer ducks?”

That was all it took – they started flapping their way free of the paper – evil looks on their little duck faces. That’s when I realized it. Apparently, drawing it wasn’t enough. Somebody had to name the drawing before it could come to life.

“Run,” I cried, as the ducks started putting on their little hockey masks and quacking menacingly.

To Be Continued
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