Thursday, January 15, 2009
It's still dark out, and the snow is falling quickly, almost like rain would fall. It's early, and the kids are still asleep. This almost never happens in this house, in which a single creaky footstep awakens someone, if only the noisy cat. There are seven deer outside of my window right now, and one has stopped and looked up, as if my quiet typing is alarming him. And the most miraculous thing about this morning is that it is snowing, and the schools are still going to be open today.
Tim began writing a comic strip named Three Feet in 2001. It had three little girls as the characters, although it wasn't really a "kids" strip. The humor was all Tim, aimed at us grown-ups, for whatever being a grown-up is worth, when it comes to humor.
If you knew the kids, you could easily recognize who was based on whom, but the strips didn't really so much come from what they did, as from who they are.
A little while into drawing Three Feet, he added two more characters. Two more little girls. It was a big day for my kids when he first wrote them in.
I am always impressed by three things about Tim's cartooning:
1) he is an excellent draw-er. He says he's not so great, and that anyone can learn. But I know better. He's way good.
2) he is an excellent writer. Now, I say this in light of the fact that I know he can't spell to save his life, and has a shady understanding of the rules of grammar. But I think the writing on the strip may just be his strong point. He's very smart, and astute at "getting" people and situations.
3) he's obsessed by it. He is always thinking of ideas for the next strip, he is always sketching out little scenes and story-boards. Sometimes, while he's lying in bed, waiting to fall asleep, I hear him chuckle, and I know he just thought up a cartoon.
A year or so ago, he started a new strip, Milton 5.o. The kid characters from Three Feet show up occasionally, but it's mostly about a duck (Milton), and a robot, named CPU. If I was pressed to explain, I would say that they are Tim's two alter-egos. But no one asked me.
We've sent the strips in to the syndicates a few times...we're just about ready to send them again. So far, no takers. But we did get a really nice handwritten note from one editor. So that's something. And Three Feet is published monthly in our local (very local) paper.
Anyway. Just in case anyone is wondering what those cartoons are in the picture today. And I promise, if you can just bear with the narcissus bulb pictures for one more day, I'll have gotten it out of my system.
More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.