My earliest characters
Submitted by RyanEstrada on October 25, 2008 - 11:24
I cannot get this post to format right. Sorry if it looks like crap on your friendslist. Just for kicks, I drew some of my own earliest characters from memory.
My first comic series was Paw Prints. This is the strip I started pitching to papers when i was 6. To the left is Dewey D. Dawg, and his brother Einstein. When it was turned down by several newspapers (as well as Simpson's Illustrated, years later) I developed it into a series of graphic novels, filling countless ruled notebooks that probably still exist in a garbage bag in my mom's garage or something.
In junior high, I developed a new strip for the school paper called "Wendell The Wasp" featuring a pair of adventurous insects. However, the principal decided he wouldn't let the paper run the strip, in case the word "wasp" offended white-anglo-saxon-protestants. Without my knowledge, the strip was retraced and renamed "Harvey the Hornet". I quit the paper in protest.
For the rest of my time in Junior High, I did a daily comic strip called Ob, about an undiscovered marsupial and his family living in the Outback. However, this comic only had one reader, as it was drawn in the margins of my math homework. My math teacher, Mr. White, was a big fan.
My first webcomic happened while I was in high school, and before I even had internet. In about 1995, with a free Juno e-mail address, I started posting comics about my parrot to the Quaker Parakeet mailing list. other members started posting these comics on their breeding company websites.
Then finally, when I was 15, Hi Hunter evolved into Pet Peeves, the comic that got me my big break in The Oakland Press. (the same paper I had pitched Paw Prints to 9 years earlier). When I was drawing Pet Peeves, I decided to pay tribute to all of the newspaper cartoonists who helped me on the way by decorating my character's house with pictures from the backgrounds of their comics. There was that creepy smiley face thing from Funky Winkerbean. The cow picture came from Vic Lee's I Need Help, the wolf from Foxtrot. The only cartoonist who ever said no was Pat Brady, who said I couldn't use those blank frames he draws in Rose is Rose. So while I don't use any of the ones I got permission for anymore, nowadays I often draw Pat Brady frames in the background of comics just out of spite.