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Above the Clouds


The Beginning. The Start. The Origin.

We’re talking how it all began.

I've mentioned these characters were ‘born’ back in 2009 when Wally (aka Chip) was created. Even then I wasn’t thinking of what I’d do with them since Chip was just part of a cast of characters meant for something completely different (see December 20, 2018 blog post).

The original 2009 drawing of Wally (aka Chip)

The O.G.

Wally, or Chip as he was called then, came to me in a vision. Or was it a dream? Nightmare? Actually, it was just an old clay flowerpot with a dead plant I was getting ready to throw out. The pot had a chip broken off the rim, and holes in the side with roots poking out that gave me the idea. What can I say? My mind works in strange ways.

Wally (Chip) was younger then, so he had less ‘hair.’ As he ages, that may happen again – either from male pattern baldness, or my continual, merciless pranks. Or both.

The First Comic Test

In 2012, I was taking a cartooning class and had an assignment to come up with a strip. By then, I had already created Sid (originally known as ‘Clay’), and Scooter (originally known as Scooter). I also had Rooty in mind, but back then he looked much different. In fact, the original comic strip was called ‘Rooty and the Crackpots.’

The test strip could only have two frames, and the instructor didn’t get the concept of the nonexistence of the background content within the second frame. Even ‘Chip’ falling didn’t seem to register with him. Go figure. Did I mention my mind works in strange ways?

The first comic strip test in 2012

A Disclaimer

If you’ve been following the misadventures of these characters, you’re aware that Tatsu McKay is the illustrator. I did create the characters, including the first drawing of Wally (Chip) and the inaugural strip (both shown here), and also do all the concept and layout for the books, comics and other designs, but Tatsu really brings them to life. Over time, we have developed a ‘shorthand’ that allows me to do much less design work. A few scribbles, some notes, and he’s ready to go. Tatsu is very much my ‘partner in crime,’ and knows these characters, and their personalities, as well as I do.

The Rebirth of the First Strip

The idea of that first comic strip has stuck with me, so I decided to reintroduce it earlier this year, albeit with a few changes. The name of this strip is ‘Falling through Frames’ for obvious reasons. I hope.

Falling through Frames - January 16, 2019

It also gave me a chance to be part of the gag, and to introduce Tatsu. My favorite part of the strip is Tatsu adjusting his glasses. Subtle, but powerful.

Leave your comments below (but please be gentle. I bruise easily)

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