I've been making webcomics for ten years. That doesn't give me any special status or anything ... it just means that I've drawn a lot of stuff.

For the first part of those ten years, I drew a comic strip called Mullein Fields, featuring a cast of anthropomorphic cartoon animals in the southern New Jersey countryside (and yeah, I've heard all the jokes. It's true. We really do have countryside).

From the beginning (and even now), one of my goals as a cartoonist (aside from the obvious desire to drawr good and rite funny) has been to make cartoons which emphasize characterization over dumb jokes and indiscriminate sarcasm. And so, on April 7th 2003, I set forth in my ambitions to create a well-drawn, funny, character-driven comic strip:

*Ahem* Well, I, uh ... hm.

OK, I admit this is pretty bad; the art is dreadful, the joke is wonky, and the characters are cardboard. I plead Early Installment Weirdness.

Fortunately, the comic improved (kind of) over the next couple of months, and the characters began developing personalities.

Here, we see Jerry trying to sell his sister, Loretta, on the existence of subliminal advertising ...

I totally did not have a copy of The Clam Plate Orgy on my desk as I drew those strips. Moving on ...

Now we meet the parents of the anthropomorphic urchins seen above. These characters are named Fred and Maureen (no relation to the Inhuman Relations Fred and Maureen). Rampant development in Southern New Jersey was a recurring theme in this strip ... mostly because it bugged the hell out of me, and I needed an outlet.

Luckily for those reading, I'll spare you the worst of those strips.

Oh hey, speaking of recurring themes ... School days. More like SCHOOL DAZE, amirite? Back me up on this! Ha ha! ...

But seriously. I hated school.

Meanwhile, in cheerier climes, we find the neighbor kids, Georgia and Penny. The gag here is that they're supposed to be twins. And see, it's funny because one's a raccoon and the other is an opossum. Ha.

Don't worry if you couldn't figure it out by the way they're drawn. Most people couldn't.

True story.

Warning: don't read the following strip. Do me this favor. Don't read it. Just look at the pretty pictures. DO NOT read the haiku. Do not.

Argh, you read it! I can never trust you again.

I had to have known haikus followed the 5-7-5 syllable format. I couldn't have been that stupid. I have no idea how I messed it up. All I can do is plead forgiveness, and promise never to write poetry ever again.

Trees look nice, though. I actually used my own photo reference.

2003-11-16-family-favorite 2003-11-18-less-fortunate

These are what I call the Ramblin' Strips. The characters just ramble around a particular location. No story. No plot. Just ramblin'. In this case, Loretta and Georgia wander around the woods behind their houses. Juuuuust ramblin'.

2003-11-19-river-humor 2003-11-20-my-brother-the-river 2003-11-22-we-have-met-the-enemy

My Pogo obsession was in full swing right about here. Not that it ever completely subsided. In fact, this whole running commentary idea was swiped directly from Walt Kelly's own Ten Ever-Lovin' Blue Eyed Years With Pogo.

2003-11-24-takin'-out-the-trash 2003-11-25-just-an-accident 2003-11-26-what's-the-solution  

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