- Jesus, for reminding his Dad that when I cuss at him, that people can keep their hands in ice water longer,
that way - "It's the pain talking, Dad." And thanks for turning my Dad back into a great guy, and not letting
the church turn my brothers or my sister into pains.
- Dad and Mom, for being big fans of my drawing, always, and for getting me up in the dark, warming my coat on
the oven door, and sending me 30 miles by carpool to a catholic school, so I wouldn't learn "the
four R's" in schools that had just stopped
- My second grade art teacher, who once each week gave us art tips, and encouragement to stretch ourselves.
She taught me basic perspective.
- Sister Monica Maureen, for being a sweetheart, when all the other nuns at Walsingham Academy seemed simply
angry and critical. She could see I wasn't starting anything, and only felt picked-on.
- Walsingham Academy, for the school-wide art show where my drawing of The Last Supper was mistaken for senior
high school work. This let me know there was at least one thing really special about me, and not in a "short bus"
way (That was revealed decades later).
- Bill C and Lee, for inviting me to join the VCU Science Fiction and Fantasy Guild, which it turns out has
pulled my life out of a ditch, where I was wheels up
- (Roughly in order of appearance) Mr. C and Lee, Donna, Jon C, Greg, Jen, Laurel, Don, Bill K, Jim, Jon S,
Rocco, Fred, Brian; Matt and Kym, Maryjane, Joey and Mike; Brian and Rykna, Susan,and Ron; Sean and Trin, George,
Brandon, and Brian; Eric, Rose, Chloe, Paul, Graham, Josh, Chris T, Jason, Matt H, Larry P, Larry W, Andrew, Ray,
David G, Donny, and Nathan; Ed, Matt G, Will W, Li, Neil, and Peggy;
… for making me laugh more, louder, and longer than I ever thought possible, and always enough to keep me going
- James D, J Sargent Reynolds art professor, for what formal training I have, and that one assignment
- Velocity Comics, for the “Kitty-Cats in Peril” theme art contest, that prompted me to first draw cats getting
in rather little trouble, making pizza
- The VCU Commonwealth Times, for needing me, appreciating me, and
giving me the opportunity gain experience and grow (a little) as an artist
- Curtez E. Flush (You know you are.) I owe you, big time. You have some company, but you are definitely one
of the people without whom I never would have created my first comic.
- Greg, Jennifer and Wayne, Jamie and Mandi, for welcoming my comics into your homes, and letting my nieces and
nephews read them
- The Village Cafe on Harrison Street, and Jason's Deli on Willow Lawn Drive, Richmond, VA, for letting me camp
out and draw. I never would have made deadline without you.
- Dr. Walter G.Griggs, for being such a big fan and encouraging me to believe in my work and to dream big
- Dr. David J. Bromley, for showing me from where comics have come, and where mine can go
- Dr. Randy Sleeth, for requiring my best efforts, for tough, specific feedback, and thus for high praise
- The dozens of people who helped me choose cartoons to send in for the Charles Schulz College Cartooning Award. Too bad only three judges didn't have time to look at them all.
- All the people who have given me the beginning of an idea for a character or a comic
The following are individuals, groups, and their works that have inspired me, from my earliest days, some
of whom now provide me the cheery accompanyment to my creative process. From earliest to present:
- Comic strips, first in newspapers and now also on-line:
- Bil Keene's "Family Circus" (When I was little, I was always disappointed in doctor's waiting rooms,
when copies of Family Circle magazine didn't have the comics I expected.)
- Mort Walker's "Beetle Bailey," for being so cartoony, and for being about the military, always a part
of my life
- Hal Foster's (and others', over the years) "Prince Valient," because for some reason stories of knights caught
my imagination, very early on
- Walt Kelly's "Pogo," for all the wonderful animal characters; eventually I even got the stories charicatured
by the stories in the strips
- Milton Caniff's "Steve Canyon," for great stories about pilots (like my Dad)
- "Little Tales," now my first comic stop, on-line, for a funny look at life, and (on Fridays past) a great look
at a classic story
- "A Domain of Our Own," which the creator has ended; it used to be my first stop, among on-line comics.
It really looked at life.
- "Faux Pas," for showing how classy, how professional a daily, online, animal comic can be, and for being
friends (Thanks, Robert and Margaret.)
- "Penny Arcade" (I will probably never dare play most of the games on which they base their strips, and they
include some of the raunchiest material I've seen (such as that juicer), really
inappropriate for most pre-teen children, but I always get a smile, I always get some cheer, and nothing else
makes me laugh so hard. You guys are real life-savers, and I mean that.)
- Cartoons, on TV and in theaters, that were like magic
- "Beany and Cecil," for being a kind of funny that I mostly understood, as a pre-schooler
- "Clutch Cargo," for comedy and drama that, again, I could follow pretty well
- "Space Angel," that was more magical and dreamlike - partly because I didn't always get it, at age 4
- "The Mighty Hercules," a super hero before most, but I thought they were singing about Mercury
- "Popeye," for always beating up the bullies and always winning in the end, the way I wished I could
- A.A. Milne's "Winnie the Pooh," both in books and in cartoons, for being ideal for me, when I was at the age
for Dad to read to me
- Comic books that have taken me up to the present day
- Walt Disney's Comics and Stories, for one-shot comedy and the occasional dramatic serial (I will always
remember the story of the costumed hero, The Red Wasp. I daydreamed for years on that story.) (and my
Dad's parents, for providing a subscription by mail, so even the mail was exciting)
- Marvel's "Peter Porker, the Amazing Spider Ham," for good stories and hilarious, hideous puns with all those
- Steve Gallacci, for showing anthropomorphic stories could be so dramatic and intricate
- Antarctic Press, and then Radio Comix, for bringing us all these years of Furrlough, the longest
running anthropomorphic anthology, ever
- Comedy, of all kinds (and sometimes only the wildest will help)
- Mystery Science Theater 3,000, its descendents (Very glad to see you all still finding work you enjoy.), and
the talented people they've inspired to follow in their footsteps
- Steve Harper's internet comedy radio station, "We
Play It for Laughs, and his web site for the Musical Depreciation Society, and its
This Week in History section,
that goes with the themes for which the week's cuts are chosen (Warning: some content not suitable for all ages.)
The "four R's" are "readin','ritin', 'rithmetic and race," where the race they teach is
"Yours is far better."
"Massive Resistance" was the action of (variously) southern state governments and
local school boards that closed schools, rather than follow federal court orders to racially integrate students.
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