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Hey fans, here are two dumb gags from my sketchbook that should hold you until I get back from France. I’m going to Paris and Annecy for the Annecy Animation Festival for a SpongeBob special that I co-wrote. But while I’m there, I’ll also be doing an Underworld book signing – my first one ever in France. So hang on – next wee will see a brand new Underworld comic strip. Woo!
Sometimes you just want to see what something looks like. I’ve had this comic strip in my sketchbook for a while in a different form (originally I had Creep Rat sliding on butter down a sidewalk with a sharp knife). But the butter knife made me laugh and then the gag came to me.
Pouring over the Taschen book, PALEO ART (a collection of dinosaur paintings and prehistoric scenes) I got inspired by the early dinosaur art where the artists did not have much scientific information to draw from. So they just made stuff up (like lizard men, etc.). I decided to make a prehistoric diorama of my own using the cartoon creatures from my imagination. And here it is: KAZAZZIC PARK. One fun thing that happens whenever I push my design is that I often find new characters that then get up and walk onto future Underworld strips.
This one is about dreaming. Whenever I dream that I’m flying, I often become aware that I’m in a dream (Lucid Dreaming) and suddenly I’m awake. I designed the second panel so that the tree seems to “lift” or “boost” the bird higher up in the panel. In panel three I’ve got the bird almost as high as it can go so that the sudden short drop in panel four sets up fall back down to Earth in panel five. Using an extra long word balloon stem also helps to create the illusion that the bird fell from high up.
Order “The Underworld: From Hoboken to Hollywood” the omnibus collection of the very best of the strip’s 23-year run, with annotations, photos, and other surprises from the author (along with a foreword by Mutts creator Patrick McDonnell).