The De-Gaying Of Arthur Suydam’s Cholly And Flytrap

Cholly And Flytrap by Arthur Suydam was a sci-fi/fantasy comic from Marvel’s Epic line in the eighties  that has recently seen new work from Image Comics and a republication of the series from Radical Entertainment last year.

But one keen reader of the original who has finally scored the recent Radical hardcover is reporting a few amends. And one or two that are a little disturbing.

In the twenty-five years since original publication and recollection, there have been a few changes. Firstly, to suggest that the non-humanoid characters are just people wearing suits, which was never the case originally, especially with the talking Frog. And there are odd dialogue changes so that Frog’s “‘The times they are changin'”, replacing the original “I never thought I’d see the day Cholly & Flytrap turned yellow”. Odd, but nothing to storm the palaces over.

Arthur Suydam has a reputation of drawing Frazetta-ish buxom ladies, but in the new version a number have been altered, and their levels of clothing increased. The reader compared this to other amends his girlfriend had seen on work, when living in Saudi Arabia.

However, and this is the bit that will get letters. the biggest change comes to a character called Wilmer.

In the original Epic editions, Wilmer was clearly a very effeminate male, who becomes involved in a clandestine affair with the character  The Champ. A sympathetic, if stereotyped gay character, but with depth and being portrayed in an gay relationship with bedroom scenes in a Marvel comic book, still a fairly bold step back then.

In the new version, Wilmer is, without any art changes, female. And refers to “herself” as such. Some characters still refer to Wilmer as male, but new text has been added to have “her” object to this. Here are three examples.

And suddenly the affair is a heterosexual one rather than homosexual. Seriously, does this look like a girl to you? Either of them?

Isn’t this a little… odd? It does seem to smack of orientation cleansing…

UPDATE: I can confirm that this was a creative rather than an editorial choice.

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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