autobiography Blog comic

from the sketchbook: raymond’s rabbits

In the fall of 2000 I headed for northern Scotland. Nothing was going to stop me. I spent the next three months doing what is known in some circles as “studying abroad.” It was here that I met Slider K. Shaftacular and was saved from eating pasta alone every night in my flat. Our adventures are the subject of another post, though. This post is about the comic strip I attempted to run in the Aberdeen University newspaper.

I had been drawing Atticus and Glen in my college’s weekly paper for the past year and a half. I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to ‘get’ Aberdeen quickly enough to draw a comic strip about that college, so I attempted a less ambitious story about a weird kid who liked rabbits.

I drew up two strips and took them to the newspaper’s office, located in the basement of an academic building. (Why are newspaper offices always located in the basement of buildings? That seems to be the case with every college paper I’ve encountered.) My plan was to see if they ran before I drew more. Although the guy I talked to was quite friendly, the paper ended up running neither strip and I never heard back from the newspaper, so these are the only two episodes of Raymond’s Rabbits.

When I found these recently I remembered drawing them in my small dark flat. I had been drawing Atticus and Glen as a two row (usually 8-panel) comic and it was fun to draw the classic 3- or 4-panel comic strip I knew I always wanted to do. This was also the last time I tried drawing my strips this small. They are about 10 inches wide by 4 inches tall – not really enough room to get the detail or line quality I like. The next semester I began drawing Atticus and Glen on full sheets of 11 x 14 Bristol board. The boost in drawing quality was immediately apparent.

What would have become of Raymond and his rabbit friends had the comic continued? That is one of the many mysteries of my life. My sketchbooks are full of corridors untraveled. Perhaps one day, when I am very old and wise, I will revisit Raymond and figure out exactly what his deal is.

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