In researching "Marcus Traille, International Woodlands Detective" (see last Super-Fun-Pak Comix), I came across this gem from the wholly unrelated comic strip "Mark Trail."
"Mark Trail" is known for its meticulously realistic depiction of, and keen insight into, the natural world. For example, Mark knows that beavers work tirelessly to maintain their dams and dens. This 1/28/13 comic shows a couple hard at work.
Only sharp-eyed devoted readers will recall that back on Earth Day, 2008, "Mark Trail" had the same beavers working on the exact same spot, in the exact same positions, thus emphasizing the endlessly repetitive nature of their toils.
(Of course, for Super-Fun-Pak comics, I have also been known to recycle images, in the spirit of Earth Day and every day.)
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Almost without exception, I do not sit down to draw a comic unless the entire script is written and panels are laid out.
This week's comic was an exception. I had a short trip scheduled, and planned to get the comic done before I left. A few unexpected circumstances had me finishing the comic on a much tighter timeframe that I anticipated.
As I rushed to draw the comic strip, I kept putting off one piece of writing. I knew the title to the "Slappy & Gonko..." strip would include lots of absurd, nonsense elements, but I hadn't actually written them. The deadline became so crazed, I ended up with the comic done, except that title -- and the car that would take me to the airport was waiting downstairs.
In my entire career, I never found myself in this situation. I had seconds to come up with the title while I typed it into the artwork, so I could send the comic to my editor and run down to the car.
I had a sinking feeling about that title my entire trip, and actually considered changing it for the online version of the comic strip (which has a later deadline than the print version).
But when I returned and showed the comic to my kids, that title was instantly their favorite part, and they giggled about each "character." That gave me the confidence to leave in the results of my one and only experiment in improvisational cartooning.
P.S. I'm also relieved and delighted that most of the Boing Boing comments this week riff on that ridiculous title.