CHERYL BORCK - THE DEVIL GIRL
Robert: In a way, and I realized this later, that character Devil Girl is just another in a long line of dumb American woman caricatures of The Bad Girl. This archetype pops up a lot in low-brow entertainment: comic books, low-grade movies and TV shows and the pulps - the bad girl. The thing the male likes about the bad girl is you can do anything you want to her, because she's bad, she has to be, shall we say, disciplined.
The Devil Girl is like Tura Satana in Faster Pussycat! Didja ever see that? That stupid Russ Meyer movie? You gotta see it, you gotta sit through it. It's a good of example of the sensibility of a WW II generation guy who likes big tits. Russ Meyer is the embodiment of a certain set of American male attitudes. And Tura Satana is totally Devil Girl. And of course she gets hers in the end, sprawled out on the ground with her big tits jutting up into the air. Yeah man!. But she's really sexy. She has big tits and dresses in black boots and a tight black outfit and she's very bad. She doesn't have anything to do with reality, there're no women like that in the real world. [Laughs] I mean, there are women who commit evil acts and do bad things, but it's not like that, not like the flamboyantly sexy bad girl you get in that kind of literature or movie. That's just a male fantasy. That's what Devil Girl is, basically, a fantasy of the big, sexy, bold n' brash, slightly menacing woman who always gets hers in the end, one way or the other. She never wins, she always loses. [Laughs] Just a stupid, American male fantasy; yeah, a masturbation fantasy completely. She's big, she's sexy, she's got a terrific body and she's so obnoxious that you just want to annihilate her. And she allows herself to be annihilated. She even likes it. She likes being annihilated. And it's always Mr. Natural who puts her mind and personality out of commission. And then you can claim her body for a while, you can get your pleasure off her body after you annihilate the personality. It's a sex fantasy.
Alex: Why did you decide not to draw her any more?
Robert: Oh, I don't know... I made this giant, life-size statue of her in the '90s. Did you ever see photos of that statue? And while I was working on it, I started to become erotically involved with the thing, this life-size wooden figure. [Laughs] It was almost like I was an artist of ancient times constructing an Idol that was then imbued with a powerful, demonic spirit, kind of like one of those demonic Hindu goddesses of destruction and chaos, or Sekhmet, the Egyptian goddess; I mean, terrible, fearsome, female energy. She became very real to me as her form emerged from the inert materials. That statue became increasingly imbued with some kind of vivid, weird spiritual energy. It came from me, or through me somehow, through the intense focus and devotion I put into it. Can an inanimate object hold psychic energy? Who knows? But it was so strange. And it sat around our house for a long time, a couple of years. I had to put a sheet over the thing, because she was too disturbing to see, to look at after a while. And we had a really hard time selling it. It took, I think, about 15 years to finally sell that thing. A couple times some wealthy rock star or other wanted to buy it, but when it came time to write the check, suddenly it was, "Sorry, the wife doesn't want it in the house." [Laughs] Finally Mark Parker, the CEO of Nike, bought it. I wonder if he actually has her on display, or if she's sitting in a big wooden crate in a warehouse somewhere.
I worked on that statue for about six months, very intently, really getting into the details and everything. I just got so deeply involved, it was weird. It was sick! [Laughs]
Alex: You told me, when you stopped drawing her, that a person has to be careful what they conjure.
Robert: You do, you really do.
Alex: You told me at one time that she was trying to take over, and was becoming too powerful so you didn't want to deal with her anymore.
Robert: Yeah, well, when I was working on that statue, I started hearing her voice in my head telling me what to do, like, she told me to put little hearts on the socks n' stuff. [Laughter] I did, I started hearing her voice in my head. I have no idea where it came from. I have no idea how it works. It's all very murky and weird, all that stuff. Yeah, "Put some hearts on the socks and make them pink."
Alex: [Laughter] It's like going into some mysterious world that's unexplainable...
Robert: Like voodoo. And you know, I would work on her for hours and then, at the end of the day I would wanna go home, and she would say, "Hey, where are you going? Don't leave! Don't leave me." And the voice had a particular tone to it, an abrasive, glass-cutting edge, insistent, pushy…. I was greatly relieved when it was finally finished and I could, you know, separate myself from her. Then when the statue was sitting in our house and I had to walk past it I got the feeling that she was angry at me. She was feeling neglected. She wanted my attention again. Once in awhile I'd go up to her and stroke her, fondle her big legs, or even sit on her. She liked that. I'm telling you, it was sick! I had to put a sheet over her.
Alex: Is that why you stopped the Hup series? You'd had it with her? Or were you tired of Mr. Natural and Flakey Foont as well?
Robert: I don't think I ever made a conscious decision about it. I had plenty of ideas for Devil Girl stories, more ideas of things you could do with her, you know? But the formula, where she always gets hers and all that, I couldn't get away from that. That's just part of the fantasy, and I think most people have seen enough of that, they don't really need to see any more, the same fantasy, the same thing over and over again. You know, she comes in, she's really obnoxious and loud-mouthed, striding around, making demands, clomping around in her big high heels, and then she gets hers, gets sexually done, put through some paces, ravaged while in totally passive trance states, by either Mr. Natural or Flakey, and they have their way with her. Yeah, it was fun to draw that stuff. It gave me a real charge.
But that one story about the headless Devil Girl, where Mr. Natural brings her over to Flakey's house and her head's not there, that came out of a vivid dream I had. I felt compelled to make this powerful dream into a comic story. So I started laying it out and then I thought, "Oh no, I can't do this. This is too sick." So I threw it in the wastebasket. Then I mentioned the whole episode and the dream to Aline and she said, "No, no, you have do it. You can't throw it away. You have to do it." [Laughs]
But I really enjoyed drawing her. I really enjoyed drawing her, her body, her facial expressions. I guess there's a little bit of Aline in her, that strong Semitic type, you know. Although her name, it's unclear whether she's Jewish or what she is: Cheryl Borck. But she's totally a male fantasy. Women can't relate to Devil Girl at all. To them it's just another male fantasy of the bad girl like Tura Satana in Faster Pussycat! Embarrassing but there it is.
But there are some females, and I've known some like this, who are really loud and obnoxious, and at the same time want a man who will put them in their place, subdue them in the arena of sex play. They want the man to push them down into some kind of subjugated and annihilated state. But temporarily annihilated, you know, so that the personality is subdued. Even Aline has some of that quality. She's a very bold woman and she likes the man to do that to her in the sexual act, but absolutely not in the rest of her life. In the rest of her life, you better look out and not try and subdue her. [Laughs] But sexually, she likes that. And I've known others who are more extreme than Aline. A couple of them were actually too extreme for my taste, wanted violent actions enacted on their bodies that I couldn't bring myself to do.