What’s Going On In Rex Morgan, M.D.? Is Terry Beatty trying to upstage you? November 2021 – January 2022


No, of course not. Terry Beatty might be dimly aware of my existence. But he has other things to think about, including anything. Still, last week he did do a three-day sequence, as though drawn by Sarah Morgan, explaining the current story. This isn’t the first time he’s done a strip that recapped the plot very well right before my What’s Going On In post. So it’s easy to fear he’s decided everyone can do without me. (I would rather everyone make the decision on their own that they can do without me.)

Sarah Morgan's Diary. Sketches, with text explaining, done as children's illustrations on 'lined' paper. 'My old art teacher, who I don't even remember because of my head injury is saying I STOLE the Doggo Twins idea from him! I know I made them up, 'cause I took the idea from our two dogs and my two brothers. I mixed them together and got the Doggo Twins! But I based their look on an old drawing of mine from when I was taking lessons from that guy. Did I copy his drawing into my sketchbook, along with all those drawings of feet he made me do? I don't think I did --- but if I did, I may be in a lot of trouble --- and I think it'll cost my Mom and Dad a LOT of money! Plus I'm getting HATE MAIL from people mad at me for messing up the Kitty Cop books with a 'stolen' idea! How did this happen? I'm just a KID!!!'
Terry Beatty’s Rex Morgan, M.D. for the 23rd of January, 2022. It’s a little surprising that nobody with the publishing house had tried, before publication, to be certain Sarah Morgan was the originator of all the ideas in her story. I suppose we can assume they made a good-faith effort but didn’t think to check whether it was possible she was using something from her sketchbook from before her amnesia.

It’s probably coincidence. He has got to have projects besides “mess with a lower-tier comics blogger’s most popular feature”. It’s 2022. Nobody has time to pointlessly mess with me.

Anyway, this and all my plot recaps of of Terry Beatty’s Rex Morgan, M.D. should be at this link. This essay should get you up to speed for the end of January 2022. If you’re reading this after about May 2022, there’s likely a more current recap there. And now, on to what Terry Beatty explained already, but with more of my words.

Rex Morgan, M.D.

7 November 2021 – 30 January 2022.

I left off last time as Jordan’s old army buddy Griff set off a car bomb, killing Griff’s new boss. This lets Jordan and Michelle enjoy a happy wedding and reception. Rex and June Morgan hear about this on the news and remark how lucky it is such a horrible thing had nothing to do with them. It could pack satiric punch, if Terry Beatty wished to write a harder-edged strip than he’s doing here.

[ Home from the wedding ] June: 'Thanks for watching the kids, kelly. Your mom just pulled up front.' Kelly: 'Okay. I'll head out. They were angels today.' Rex: 'That's because they knew we were bringing them cake.' Michael and Johnny both ask for their cake. Rex: 'Okay, you kids get plates and forks. It's cake time!' As they eat, Rex and June unwind. re: 'Is it fair that they get cake without sitting through the wedding?' June: 'That was a lovely wedding, Rex --- no griping.' Rex: 'Not complaining. Hey, let's check out the news.' News reporter: '... where a downtown parking garage was rocked by an explosion. It's believed one person was killed in the ... ' June: 'Oh my *gosh*. Turn that *awful* news off. That has nothing to do with *us*.
Terry Beatty’s Rex Morgan, M.D. for the 14 of November, 2021. I get that Rex’s endless talk about the food is supposed to be endearing, and to build up how good Jordan is as a cook. Still, Rex says ‘cake’ in each of the first five panels here, to the point it reads like an in-joke being exposed.

The 15th of November started the next, and current, story. It starts on “a brisk autumn day”, intended to suggest that some indefinite time has passed. It’s the delivery of actual published copies of the Kitty Cop book young Sarah wrote for Kyle Vidpa. It’s meant, then, to be months after the previous week’s events. It still seems like a very fast publication cycle to me, but could be kids’ graphic novels move fast. They also have stuffed dolls of the Doggo Twins she created from mixing the Morgan’s dogs and boys together.

Sarah gives a signed advance-review-copy of her book to her friend Edward. Edward can’t resist boasting to his big sister how his friend is the pseudonymous author of the newest book in the hit Kitty Cop series. His sister doesn’t believe him … until noticing she did have an Advance Review Copy. The question of who Vidpa’s coauthor is becomes a media sensation. This may be because Vidpa was already a reclusive bestselling author. So Edward’s sister calls the local news station, figuring she can sell the secret to them. Soon reporters won’t stop asking the Morgans to confirm or deny that their daughter co-wrote this book.

[ Kyle Vidpa posts a video to the Internet ] 'You know me as Kyle Vidpa, author and graphic artist of the Kitty Cop graphic novels. But until today, none of you have ever seen my face. I'm going public today in response to recent events regarding my collaborator, Cynthia Ivy. There has been much speculation about her real identity, and recent news reports have made that public. The truth is that 'Cynthia' is a nine-year-old fan who sent me a *wonderful* story --- a story so good, I convinced her to let me use it for my new book. She wasn't looking for fame or attention --- she just wanted to give me a gift to show how much she loves Kitty Cop. *I'm* the one who decided to publish her work --- and she and her family, understandably, wanted to remain anonymous. But a curious public and the media have revealed her identity. We can't undo that, but I'm going to ask you Kitty Cop fans a favor. Leave her alone. Don't bother her or her family. She's just a kid, and has *no* interest in being famous. Like Kitty Cop says, 'It's the right thing to do --- so let's do it right!''
Terry Beatty’s Rex Morgan, M.D. for the 19th of December, 2021. He goes on to suggest that if fans leave Sarah Morgan alone he’ll do regular video sessions with the fans, so it’s endearing to see how he thinks this is going to make his life easier.

Vidpa does what he can to lift the media siege. He posts a video, his first ever, asking for privacy for his co-author and offering his fans regular media events if they’ll be nice about it. It’s a deal the fans are willing to take, at least, and things settle down.

That is until Rene Belluso reenters the strip. Belluso’s had a string of various scams, both before and during the pandemic. He came into the comic as an art tutor for Sarah Morgan several years ago, when Woody Wilson wrote the scripts. This was part of a story where Sarah Morgan was revealed to be a superhuman art prodigy and might become one of the all-time greats. When Terry Beatty took over the writing he dialed that back. This included giving Sarah a car-accident-induced amnesia which dialed her art skills down to “good but plausible for a kid that age”. It also eliminated a year’s worth of her memories. She couldn’t remember Belluso except as someone her parents sometimes got tense about. … We have always thought.

Belluso hold a press conference alleging that the Doggo Twins were his creation, that Sarah saw when she was taking art lessons. And … it’s not impossible that he’s being honest here. I mean in the same way it’s not impossible that Slylock Fox will find Reeky Rat did not steal Rachel Rabbit’s soda pop.

Sarah, looking through her old sketchbooks :'Here's the dog drawing. I sure did draw different then. I don't know why the dog is so cartoony when the rest of the drawings are more realistic.' Rex, looking over the sketch, which has a cheery cartoony dog labelled 'Doggy!' next to a realistic foot sketch: 'This is from when you were taking lessons with Rene Belluso?' Sarah; 'I guess so. It's a cute dog, isn't it, Dad?'
Terry Beatty’s Rex Morgan, M.D. for the 11th of January, 2022. While I know, c’mon, it’s Rene Belluso, I do appreciate that at this point there is a serious uncertainty about this. Might she have copied the dog from, as Belluso claims, work that he had been doing? If she didn’t, what was it doing in the middle of a bunch of more photo-realistic work?

Sarah can say how she thinks she had the idea of the Doggo Twins. But it’s impossible for her to say she didn’t see it before her amnesia and unconsciously swipe them. They find the sketchbook with the first drawing of something like a Doggo Twin. It’s from when she was taking lessons from Belluso. It’s a very cartoony drawing on a page of more realistic sketches. The Morgans get a lawyer involved, to gather statements that could be useful in a court of law. Belluso hasn’t actually filed suit yet. And he has a long track record of running scams. But, after all … sometimes Reeky Rat is the wronged party, you know?

Next Week!

So how did that sports hypnosis work out for the big game against Valley Tech? I check in on Neal Rubin and Rod Whigham’s Gil Thorp next week, if all goes well.

Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there. He/him.

6 thoughts on “What’s Going On In Rex Morgan, M.D.? Is Terry Beatty trying to upstage you? November 2021 – January 2022”

    1. Yeah, kind of a jerk move on Rene’s part, but on the other hand it’s nice that Terry Gilliam should have a project filled with arcane rules and daft objectives again. Gives him something to look forward to, screaming.

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