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 residing in the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey. The strip ran from 2003 to 2006, and at the risk of committing the gravest of internet crimes – sincerity – I remember it fondly.
As a cartoonist, my overarching goal (aside from the obvious desire to drawr good) is to make cartoons which emphasize the natural humor in character interactions, rather than lame jokes and indiscriminate sarcasm.
Unfortunately, this goal was not yet arched (over or otherwise) when the very first strip appeared in April 2003 …
Fortunately, the comic improved 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. They’re twins. And see, it’s supposed to be funny because Georgia is a raccoon and Penny is an opossum. Ha.
OK, it wasn’t funny at all. It’s a relic from the early days of the strip, when the characters were “aware” of the fact that they were animals acting like humans. Mercifully, that schtick was eventually dropped, and the characters became more human than animal.
This next strip isn’t quite there yet, because schtick disposal is never quick and easy.
True story. I failed math class more times than I could count.
Warning: don’t read the following strip. Do me this favor. Don’t read it. Just look at the pictures. DON’T 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.
These are what I call 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.
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.
|Friendly reminder: this site is merely a “general overview” of the comic. If you find yourself enjoying what you see, hey, groovy!|
In that case, you can buy the complete, unexpurgated archive of 570(ish) comics in the form of a rugged trade paperback, appropriately titled The Complete Mullein Fields.
Or … if you prefer pixels to paper, a digital version of the book is also available.
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