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REX MORGAN, M.D. Talks... About Your Unborn Child!
Free comic, distributed at Pennsylvania liquor stores
16 pages, full color throughout, newsprint, ca. 1980

PROBLEM DEALT WITH: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

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I love it when Rex Morgan makes Ken cry!

-- Rebecca, Atlanta GA

What the hell is up with that plotline with the whole cut hand? Sorry, no offense. Just Very Confused. Is that the easiest way to spin the theme of fetal alcohol syndrome into a comic book plot? More simply, couldn't she have been scripted as an expecting mother visiting Rex Morgan's office for some advice on prenatal care? Is a plot even neccessary with a topic like this? Why not just a simple illustrated sheet with all the neccessary facts and a phone number to call for more information? Again, I'm totally confused.

-- Richard, Austin TX

I did get a kick out of the argument scene in the beginning though, I will admit. "DON'T UNWRAP THAT TOWEL FROM YOUR HAND!" ... "STOP YELLIN' AT ME, KENNY!"

-- Richard, Austin TX

I think what is especially interesting is the implication that women, left to their own devices while "temporarily disabled" by pregnancy, can only get into trouble — drinking, smoking, cutting their hands. It's never explained how Linda cut her hand, just that she was drinking and the lacerated tendon was a direct result of drinking while pregnant and nothing else.

I can't believe this was published as late as 1980.

-- Ann, Washington DC

The dialogue has So! Many! Exclamation! Marks!

-- Thomas, Chicago IL

(Additionally) The point about the lacerated tendon and Linda's reluctance to have it "stitched up" is mildly funny in a mildly insulting way. Rex has to point out to her (page six) that a finger that won't bend is BAD only when one will have a new baby to care for. As if that is the only reason for the surgery. If she was any other drunken trollop, he'd treat her and street her. But since there is the welfare of a child to consider, bring on the specialists. I also like that the black doctor gets to school the white guy in how to control women at the end.

-- Ann, Washington DC

Panel 2 on Page 2. The guy is pitchin a tent. I mean, what else could it be? ... and it's funny, cause the nurse is kinda hiding around the corner.

-- Nathan, Denver CO

from information on the back cover

The single largest mistake about this comic that I see is that it was clearly intended for an audience of ALCOHOL CONSUMERS. It says on the back of the comic itself that copies were distributed at liquor stores, doesn't it? Where the fuck did you find this thing anyway? My thoughts, though:

1) First off, I can't imagine finding this in my paper sack when I got home from the liquor store, ha, how offensive! what the fuck? — and 2) the title is SO EXPLICITLY about pregnancy that I, as a reader couldn't expect anything more than sixteen jam-packed pages about pregnancy throughout. Especially if I was to merely skim the contents without reading too closely, or if I found myself reading it buzzed or completely hammered, maybe? Therein lies the funniest jokes, to me, that are found in REX MORGAN MD TALKS ABOUT YOUR UNBORN CHILD: How does it read to the drunks? With that as a consideration, I think we're treated to a number of hilarious accidents in comics storytelling, especially for our drunken readership who got this comic when they went out to buy a bottle of tequila.

-- Paul, San Francisco, CA

that ONE panel about "SEWIN' THIS THING UP AND LETTIN ME OUTA HERE" is totally hilarious if you think the comic is just about pregnancy, don't you think? What's the hurry to leave, don't you need rest? I just skimmed the comic and that's the panel I first paid attention to. I guess I'm a sicko.

-- William, Seattle WA

To the Batcave, Rex! -- Andrew, Phoenix AZ

Personally, I always LOATHED this kinda stock uptight drawing style that comprised so much of mainstream bullshit comix when I was growing up. Yccch. Nothing personal, looking at this thing just takes me back to those mid-60s when comix looked like that -- the main reason why Crumb made such an impression and so easily breathed life into the bloated corpse of comics.

-- Scott, NYC NY

possible Drunken Question asked to self:
"Why is he operating on the pregnant lady's face?"

optional Beligerant Drunk Statement:
"That's her mouth, you idiot!"

-- Andrew, Phoenix AZ

It's so important to have the voice of male authority, that it is so necessary that it makes perfect sense to have a cartoon doctor lecturing women (WOMEN REMEMBER ONE THING...) on how to care for their unborn children.

Christ, Garfield is male! Will he lecture us on the dangers of consuming raw fish during pregnancy? Hagar the Horrible on the risks of unpasturized cheese?

Where is Sally Forth? Cathy?

-- Alyssa, Washington DC

Panel 2 Page 7. what is that guy doing with his hand? It looks like he's making the 'jack-off' motion
"Is linda's hand going to be all right?"
"If you know what I mean"

-- Nathan, Denver CO

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