Yes, I’m convinced we are really all cartoon characters, whatever else we may be.
…All of us. Without exception. Think about it. Look around you. Look in the mirror. Tell me I’m wrong, but smile when you say that, partner. It’s obvious, isn’t it? If there is a supreme being, creator of us all, she/he must be a cartoonist!
Therefore, even being an obscure, unknown, uncelebrated cartoonist, since it’s a reflection of the great Numero Uno in the Sky, must be a cool thing, eh?
Or maybe we are all random doodles created by mysterious forces. Take your pick.
Last time I was reminiscing about my cartooning history. I did try to make comics back when I was twelve years old. I can’t really remember what they looked like, but I’m sure that’s just as well. They were undoubtedly horrible. I did do a decent “I.Q. and SuperFrog” comic in college and shortly thereafter dropped out, worked menial jobs, smoked dope, and did some more comics. Can I blame it all on comics? Robert Crumb and the underground comic boom was in full swing at that time.
When I dropped back into college, it was as an art student and I foolishly put cartooning on the back-burner and delved into “fine art.” Years later after graduating with an M.F.A., unable to find a decent job, then at last getting work in a series of libraries, I finally took up cartooning again.
We got our first computer while we were living in Alexandria, Virginia, thanks to the generosity of my father-in-law. I had been doing cartooning, making a little money selling illustrations, and had taken a brief course on computer graphics at the Corcoran School of Art. When we got the computer, my mind was all abuzz with notions of doing computer-aided cartoons and comics.
I did my first short Asteroid Stu comic then, “Stu in Cyberspace.” This involved a character I called “Virtual Man” –a very different being than the goofy, devil-may-care Virtual Man who stars in “The Case of the Renegade Refrigerator” in Multiverse Comics and Stories. (See below).
This earlier Virtual Man was a sad loser, an anonymous programmer in the dark bowels of the “MicroHard” Corporation. To compensate for having no real life to speak of, he spent all the time he could in a virtual universe where in his Virtual Man avatar he was a nearly omnipotent superhero.
Asteroid Stu, meanwhile is traveling on an asteroid with a very peculiar trajectory. It somehow moves from outer space to VM’s virtual reality. Virtual Man is incensed that his sacrosanct virtual reality has been invaded by this unauthorized intruder and a battle ensues. Since both characters are products of totally different realities, their aggression has no effect on one another. They finally see the futility of their conflict, make peace, and then go their separate ways.
Hey! Why am I talking about a cartoon? I’ll just dig deep into the musty archives of millions of slowly decaying scraps of yellowing paper and see if I can find this comic fossil. Next time –fair warning –I’ll see if I can produce this ancient product of my misspent youth.
Multiverse Comics and Stories, 106 pages, full color, is available from Amazon in Kindle and hardcopy formats.
Asteroid Stu and the Mind-Duel, 54 pages, black and white interior, is also available in Kindle and hardcopy formats from Amazon. Both comics include Edzl, the Nebboid from the Vague Nebula, who will be the lead character in a running feature story, “Edzl’s Awakening: Or, Yes We Have Some Nibbanas.” This will be part of Pause & Reflect Comics, currently in progress.