Wednesday, May 11, 2022

A Year in the Life (or Do Reptiles Like Snow?)

At last, we've come around to the first anniversary of the Furble comic being published. I'm not sure if I truly had any concept of how long I intended to do the strip, or if I had even given it a second thought. It was something that I truly enjoyed. It gave me a creative outlet that was not related to my current school experience, separate from the bullies that tormented me daily. The money that I was paid for it each month (though not much) was nice to have to get snacks and what-not during off-campus lunch hour, or to plunk into the arcade games when I would find myself at the youth center or the bowling alley. 

But, beyond that, it gave me a sense of importance. I was providing content to the local paper that, I hoped, people were enjoying each week.

Anniversary blurb

It made me feel happy.

It made me feel useful.

I'm forever appreciative that my home life was largely normal. Two parents who loved each other. Three of us brothers who, while we did have our sibling differences, were by-and-large fine with the existence of others. I had a friend whose mother was divorces, so I wasn't completely unaware of that aspect of some kid's home life. But, for the most part, I was largely unaware of the darker sides of family dynamics. And I came out remarkably well adjusted.

A normal home life and a creative outlet helped me survive my high school years at Kiester. And I'm grateful for both.

Strip 53/166 - A happy (and snowy) anniversary!

My guess is that FC has some sort of internal chronometer that would alert them to the fact that it had been a full Earth year since they first landed on Earth. Although, without somehow observing the planet first, how would they know how long a year was on Earth? Is it the same length as a year on Furbulia? Do they keep track of years the same way on Furbulia? Will I stop asking questions to which only I would know the answer? What do you think?

Strip 54/166 - It snows in Minnesota. A lot.

Turns out that I actually did mention Minnesota by name as the place where Furble and FC had crashed. For context, I drew this group in January of 1988. At the time, we were in the midst of a massive snow storm that dumped over a foot of snow on the area, so snow was most definitely on my mind. I don't think our snow came quite as quick as shown in the strip, but sometimes it certainly felt like it, as I would look out the window, not being able to see more than a few feet through the heavy falling snow.

Strip 55/166 - Introducing a new friend

I always strived to do whatever I could to keep the strip interesting and fresh. In pursuit of this end, I decided to introduce a new character to, at least temporarily, make our duo a trio. Bitem (Get it? Bite them? Bitem? Because he's a snake? Eh?) is a snake that is, somehow, surviving in the frigid Minnesota winter, despite being a cold-blooded reptile that should be deep in brumation at this time. He's cute, though.

Strip 56/166 - Actually...

Snakes don't store food for the winter. They wake from their slumber occasionally to forage for food and water. I suppose that might actually be what's happening here, especially given how the story unfolds in the next few strips. But I'm fairly certain I hadn't put that much consideration into it. I was too busy having fun creating a comic strip, at least for a couple more years.

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