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Real Name: Tillie Bunt

Identity/Class: Alternate reality (Earth-78423) human

Occupation: Restaurant owner

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Howard the Duck, Beverly Switzler

Enemies: None

Known Relatives: Mr. Bunt (father, deceased), Mrs. Bunt (mother, deceased)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: The Sweet Smell of Success Beanery, Cleveland Ohio

First Appearance: (Mentioned) Howard the Duck Newspaper Strip (June 12th, 1977); (seen) Howard the Duck Newspaper Strip (June 13th, 1977)

Powers/Abilities: Tillie was a normal human without any superhuman abilities.

Height: Unrevealed (approximately 5'8")
Weight: Unrevealed (approximately 140lbs.)
Eyes: Unrevealed, possibly brown
Hair: Unrevealed, black or brown

(Howard the Duck Newspaper Strip June 19th to 20th, 1977 (fb)) - When Tillie was born her father, having paced the waiting room with worry, had a heart attack and died after hearing that his wife had given birth to a girl. Ten years later after her mother spent a decade eulogizing her father in poetry her mother was diagnosed with a rare disease called Edna St. Vincent's malaise and passed away after suffering from terminal couplets. Tillie then spent the next 35 years on the psychiatrist's couch exercising her tear ducts while receiving the same lame advice not to blame herself. After coming across Pop Syke's first best seller, Its All Your Fault, Tillie began feeling better and went on to believe in herself and started a new life following his teachings.

(Howard the Duck Newspaper Strip June 12th to 18th, 1977 (fb) - BTS) - Pop Syke's self-help philosophies provided Tillie with the uncommon sense wisdom to buy a rundown house in a bad neighborhood that she called the house that Pop Syke built and open a small diner she named the Sweet Smell of Success Beanery.

(Howard the Duck Newspaper Strip June 1977 (fb) - BTS) - Tillie, under the mental influence of one of Pop Syke's psycho prosthetic helmets, began sending Pop Syke all her money. She eventually was unable to pay her bills and her diner's power was scheduled to be cut off.

(Howard the Duck Newspaper Strip June 12th to 21st, 1977) - Howard and Beverly crossed the street to eat at Tillie's diner after their dinner inexplicably blew up in their oven. Seated inside, a cynical, Howard insulted Tillie's diner stating that the place served up homecooked wisdom force fed with every meal that prompted an apology from Beverly. Tillie, having a positive attitude, replied to Beverly's apology saying its all right and that some people never understand the basic human need for motivational stimuli or one's décor. While conversing at the diner, the utility company cut her power for non-payment. She then invited Beverly and Howard to her home for dinner. While waiting for dinner to be served, Tillie told Howard that he would be less flippant if Pop Syke had been able to rescue him from a life of stagnation and self-pity. Storming out of her home, Howard left Beverly behind to have tea with Tillie.

(Howard the Duck Newspaper Strip July 4th, 1977 (fb) - BTS) - Tillie gave Beverly a pair of tickets to an upcoming Pop Syke self-help seminar at the Dyspepsia Hotel in Cleveland.

(Howard the Duck Newspaper Strip July 3rd, 1977 (fb) - BTS) - Tillie Bunt became friends with Beverly Switzler and introduced her to Pop Syke's philosophy and self-help teachings. She loaned Beverly all forty-seven of his books to read and she began slowly following them much to Howard's cynicism.

(Howard the Duck Newspaper Strip July 5th to 31st, 1977) - On the day of Pop Syke's seminar, Tillie met Beverly and Howard in the lobby and Howard was impressed about the turnout as well as seeing a few prominent respectable types in attendance. When Pop Syke's theme song began, Tillie rushed Beverly and Howard to their seats. During the lecture Pop Syke handed out free Psycho Prosthetic Helmets to the audience and took mental control of their minds and tested his devices by ordering his audience to stand up, shake and belch and to sing about salmon. Having complete control, he then sent Tillie as well as many other members of the audience out into the city to bring him back money. After Howard was able to deprogram Pop Syke's mental commands, Tillie began to shed tears after feeling sorry for herself in following Pop Syke's teachings and believing in his formulas for success. Angry for no longer believing she could attain health, charisma, and big bucks, she stormed out of the hotel with Beverly and Howard. In conversation, Howard told Tillie that she never felt like a success and hated herself for not living up to the standards that the creep Pop Syke had set for her. Tillie turned down Beverly's invitation to join Beverly and Howard for dinner at a nearby restaurant called Happiness Is A Warm Hamburger. Saying goodbye, Tillie then went home to burn all her Pop Syke books.

Comments: Created by Steve Gerber and Gene Colon.

The name Tillie Bunt is a playful play on the phrase Wait until I show you. It is an expression that is used to express that one is or should be extremely excited or apprehensive about something. In baseball a bunt is a light tap leading to a possible chance to get on base. A total success which Tillie never was able to achieve could be considered a homerun. This was basically her whole personality in a nutshell according to the story and was aptly named for this character. It is unknown if Tillie ever reopened her diner, but I doubt it since later strips Howard and Beverly started eating at a restaurant called Happiness Is A Warm Hamburger and Tillie and her diner were never mentioned again.

The disease Edna St. Vincent Malaise is a fictional disease named after the American lyrical poet and playwright Edna St. Vincent Millay (February 22, 1892 - October 19, 1950).

Profile by AvatarWarlord

Tillie Bunt has no known connections to:

Sweet Smell of Success Beanery

The Sweet Smell of Success Beanery was a small diner owned by Tillie Bunt and was located across the street from Howard and Beverly Switzler's apartment. It was well known for its greasy burgers, chokingly thick and spicy chilli, and strong coffee. After Tillie Bunt became a follower of Pop Syke's self help, she decorated her diner with posters featuring various phrases from his books. Unknown to her, she was affected by Pop Syke's psycho prosthetic helmet and unconsciously gave up all her earnings to him. No longer able to keep the lights on, the diner closed.

--Howard the Duck Newspaper Strip June 13th to 18th, 1977

Images: (without ads)
Howard the Duck Newspaper Strip June 13th, 1977, pan2 (main image)
Howard the Duck Newspaper Strip June 14th, 1977, pan2 (face)
Howard the Duck Newspaper Strip June 19th, 1977, pan3 (birth)
Howard the Duck Newspaper Strip June 13th, 1977, pan1 (Sweet smell of success beanery)

Howard the Duck Newspaper Strip (June 13th to July 31st, 1977) - Steve Gerber (writer), Gene Colon (pencils & inks)

First Posted: 03/25/2022
Last Updated: 03/25/2022

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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