Jeff Millar, RIP

From Dwight comes the sad news that Tank McNamara creator and Houston Chronicle movie reviewer and columnist Jeff Millar has died at age 70. To have some idea of his stature in Houston in the 1970s and 1980s, imagine that Mike Royko and Roger Ebert were the same guy.

His regular humor column was really funny. I remember one about an IRS agents showing up on the doorstep of a nuclear war survivor’s doorstep to conduct an audit. “That whole ‘end of civilization as we know it’ excuse may past muster with other government agencies, but not the IRS.”

Tank McNamara was one of my favorite comic strips as well. He had a hilarious sport trial series presided over by an English-barrister sounding Dennis Rodman. (“Mr. Sprewell, please be so kind as to remove your fingers from the panelist’s throat.”) And I loved the strips with the mad sports scientist Dr. Tszap, with his frizzed-out hair, coke-bottle glasses and hula girl tie.

I met him once, at CollegeCon at U of H, the first science fiction convention I went to in 1980. I have his signature on the back of the program book along with those of Harlan Ellison, Robert Sheckley and George Takei.

He also had a story in Damon Knight’s Orbit 17: “Toto, I Have a Feeling We’re Not in Kansas Anymore.” I haven’t read that, or his mystery novel Private Sector.


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4 Responses to “Jeff Millar, RIP”

  1. Bill Crider says:

    Very sorry to hear this. I was a fan of his column and his reviews. Met him once when he spoke at the college where I taught.

  2. Todd Mason says:

    I never knew him as a columnist, nor as an sf writer…have to look those up. But TANK MCNAMARA has been one of the most consistently funny strips over my lifetime…I wondered why that name was faintly familiar…thanks for letting us know.

  3. Bob's Blitz says:

    Tank McNamara always ‘got it’ and portrayed modern sports as if peering in with a flashlight. RIP Jeff.

  4. […] turns out that I wasn’t the only person in the science fiction community who appreciated Jeff […]

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