This simple drawing was my way to say good-bye to Peanuts creator Charles Schulz. If I remember correctly, I drew it up the night that I heard he passed on...and it was on the web site the next day, which was the day Mr. Schulz's last original Peanuts strip was published.
I was never really a big Peanuts fan, but I admired Charles as an individual. His strip started out with a lot of social satire and commentary before settling into the cookie-cutter plots it developed. As many know, he kept writing and drawing the strip until he was literally too ill to continue, and I had known for quite some time that he did not want anyone to continue it after he was gone. He didn't feel the need to drag his children into the "business" and force them to follow their father's example. There's too much of that crap going on now anyway with Hagar the Horrible, Ziggy, and the nauseously prehistoric Family Circus. I didn't realize there was a need for comic strip "dynasties."
I just hope that when I eventually do something really worthwhile, that my kids will have absolutely zero desire to inherit my work. And if they wanted my work to live on, then I would point them to Noel Blanc, who instead of continuing his dad's work is keeping his father's legacy alive in his own unique and creative way. And if I may be permitted to say, Noel's a pretty nice guy!
But back to comics, it just baffles me why some creators are trying to ensure that their strips will live on beyond their years. It's definitely not to insure the character's legacy, since it seems the only strips that are taking these precautions are ones that are already licensed out to three hundred different product companies. Is there a fear that someone will one day open up the comics section and notice that Ziggy is not there to give a light-hearted piece of optimism? People are smart, right? I think they would understand if Tom Wilson.....you know, died, like everyone else will one day. Not that I wish that on Mr. Wilson, of course. Bil Keane, on the other hand....
Seriously, is there anyone on this planet who will miss the daily thinly disguised elder white male fantasy and conservative affirmation known as Family Circus? I don't want to waste my time pointing out every obvious flaw in that strip, but I can't imagine anyone born after 1955 who finds it to be anything remotely related to relevant or entertaining. Just let it go, already, Bil. Nobody will care about lil' "Jeffy" after you're gone...let alone now.
Do you know who I have the utmost respect for? Comic creators who know when to leave their audience wanting more, such as Bill Watterson, Gary Larson, and Berke Breathed. Would it be any wonder then that my all-time favorite strips are Calvin and Hobbes, The Far Side, and Bloom County?
During the last week that Calvin ran in newspapers, I clipped a comic in which Hobbes is commenting on Calvin's newest artistic work, a "generic" snowman. Calvin's view is that creating his older unique works was too time-consuming, and unfortunately people don't know the difference between art and mass-produced copies of the norm.
"And what good is originality if you can't crank it out?", he concludes.
Truer words have yet to be spoken. That comic is still saved next to my computer.
As for the above drawing itself, it was done on the fly, so I can see problems galore. Greg's design looks good until you get down to the waist, then it's a proportion nightmare. I thought Snoopy's doghouse looked all right, mixing in its original design with the My-Life look.
I was originally going to leave it as a black and white drawing, with the doghouse done in red as the only color. But I wanted it to stand out from the My-Life artwork that is usually seen on the web site, so I colored the background. I've done this "approximate" coloring effect on other projects and it usually works.
Return to The My-Life Vault....NOW!
My-Life and its related characters are the exclusive properties of Dohtem Arts, a Catra-Dohtem, Inc. company.