Friday, September 10, 2010


Pennywhistle Press July 7th, 1985

Here is the actual cartoon that our
biggest Fan Jodi Savitch has carried
around with her lo these many years~!

Below are the email correspondences
as they unfolded last week:


I’ve been trying to find an Erik McCrea who lived in Wilmington, DE when he was 11 and who wrote a little story about a fish. Would you happen to be the same Erik McCrea? If not, I’m terribly sorry to have bothered you but I had to reach out and ask. If it is you…well, I’ll tell you why I’ve been looking for you if it is you (don’t worry, nothing bad) J


Jodi Savitch

Supply Analyst


Hi Jodi!! It's great to hear from you! Boy, it's incredible how we can get in touch with people nowadays thanks to the Internet!!! I've had a couple of great success stories as well...writing to and receiving responses from a few people pertaining to my hobby (coin collecting) that I really wanted to contact. I am indeed the Erik McCrea who "authored" the story about the fish that appeared in the Pennywhistle Press way back when... There is one other person who was involved in this creative effort: my best friend, Jamie Wilson. I would be glad to elaborate, and to provide more details. Jamie went to Brandywine High School, and I attended Concord High School (we both graduated in 1986). We were always collaborating, writing/drawing various creative projects together. That "letter" about the fish really makes me laugh. I re-read it about a year ago, and I was amazed at how hilarious it is. Wilmington, DE!!! Boy, do I miss it there!! Can't wait to hear back from you! Gratefully yours,

Erik Victor McCrea


Oh my God, I can’t believe it’s you!!!! Would you believe I’ve been carrying that amazing, twisted, wonderful story around in my wallet all these years and now have it hanging on the wall in my office (see attached). I made copies for people I work with and we have a Fish That Wore Hair fan club going on in here. I can’t tell you how much joy that story and picture have brought me over the years, it makes me laugh until I cry every time I look at it, it’s the funniest, most brilliant thing I’ve ever seen! I would love to hear the back story on how you and your friend came up with it and would really love to read anything else that the two of you wrote. I’m in shock right now, I’ve been trying to find you for 26 years, it’s been hideous but I finally found you LOL…I just can’t believe it!!! My friend and I call you The Lord of the Fish…you are an absolute genius! Hope to hear from you again soon, I would really enjoy talking to you!

Your biggest fan,


************************************************************************************************ will NOT believe this. I REPEAT...YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE THIS!!!!! Yesterday I was contacted by Jodi Savitch (see below), and YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE THIS, but she is the biggest fan on the planet of the Fish with Hair story you sent to the Pennywhistle Press. She has been looking for me (only because you put my name on the thing) for years and years. Can you believe that???? I didn't spill the beans in my first reply because I was dying to hear what she had to say, but I just sent her another e-mail and I gave her the true story, and I told her a little bit about the both of us. I also sent her a link to your Hungry Comix site (she is going to have a blast) and to my own site (Nichtsburg, Heliopolis). The way I see it, YOU are probably the one she was TRULY looking for, since the idea was all yours. I had nothing to do with it! I fell like a fraud!! An impostor!!! Man I clicked on her attachment and I couldn't stop laughing. The most hilarious thing I've ever seen. I explained to her that what makes it even MORE hilarious was to read all the OTHER submissions from the innocent/naive youngsters surrounding your submission. Wow, Jamie. The Fish with Hair gag is LOVED!!!!!!!! I gave her your e-mail address, too. p.s. I hope you will be safe from the Hurricane!!! Please let me know!!! Lotsa love, Erik Victor McCrea
Hey Jodi
Other half of the ol' Wilson/McCrea team here.
Here are the cold hard facts:

1) I used to be a Paper-Boy, and delivered
The Evening Journal & it's weekend editions
on Saturday & Sunday mornings circa 1979-

2) Erik & I both got a kick out of the Penny Whistle
Press, Cappy Dick, & the always ridiculous Family
Circus strips.

3) Around this time, we were both in a healthy
artistic competition/partnership, writing & drawing
the same character (Dr. Dork) to amuse our
selves & each other.

4) Erik is originally from Brasil. At the time this
took place, he was a way more evolved reader
& writer than I, with an advanced depth and
command of our language. He also had a
wonderful Cartoonist ability that could
imitate other artist's styles. My intent
was to flatter HIM through imitation.

5) The gag was to incorporate familiar
subject matter into the Penny Whistle's
weekly contest. SO, the prose section
deals with the Amazon, and was
written in a cerebral style to emulate
Erik's writing. The VISUAL gag was
that the fish resembled our
shared creation Dr.
Dork !

6) Oh, yeah~ and~ Erik was not 11
at the time this thing saw print. He
was 17, I was still 16. I had to LIE
in order to have a chance. The
Penny Whistle Press was meant
for kids from ages 2-12 I believe !

So there you have it Jodi. A great honor and lotsa laughs having
this minor prank come back to haunt us both 25 years later !!


ps: I will have to take a picture of the bumper-sticker
on my Boss' work van and send it to you. It is another
funny synchronicity.

Hi Erik and Jamie,
Oh my god...I can't write much now, partly because I have to get to bed and partly because I'm laughing so hard I'm crying. I just saw what you guys put on youtube and I'm absolutely dying!!! I can't believe you did that...and dedicated it to me!!!! That is the most awesome thing anyone has ever done for me...The Fish That Wore Hair lives! I can't breathe I'm laughing so hard...INCREDIBLE!!!!!

Talk to you when I'm coherent,


  1. that's a great fish story and design and I can see why this person wanted to know more.

  2. What an interesting story of the humans behind, and inspired by, the "Fish That Wore Hair." I can't believe you and your bud fibbed about your age to enter the contest! Finally, the truth can be told! And the person that has carried the picture around for years is pretty amazing. I was glad to hear that Jodi's 26 year quest has finally been rewarded!

  3. Thanx Guys~!

    Once again, Truth really is
    stranger than fiction~!

    We never dreamed something
    like this would happen
    those many moons ago~!