While I have been busy working on my latest book project, I come up for air every few days to post here and at Facebook. Today I posted two events from my past. The first is from 1974; the second is from 1984.
It is fun, interesting, and painful to look at works from the past. But it also reminds me of the hard work I have done to get this far.
1982 was a time before cell phones as we know them now. Most of us were unable to afford the monstrosities at our local electronics store, so we settled for talking to friends on our CB radio in the car or waiting until we got home to use the house phone for the long distance calls. It was fairly common to see someone rushing home for an expectant important call, and it was this behavior I based the following Louie & Bruce cartoon.
Based on a true event, this is a been-there-done-that comic strip from my high school days and drawn later (1983), and features Bruce from my Louie and Bruce comic. Here I’ve exaggerated Bruce’s short height with the tall basketball players. There were always those taller, faster, more athletic kids at school who hogged the ball while kids less fortunate waited their chance to “shoot some hoops.” When Bruce gets his chance, the ball has no life left in it. Lifeless is a good description of the basketballs at my school from 1969 to 1975.
Retro Louie & Bruce from May 1982. Here, Frank and Bruce are inside the sawmill. We see them with Bruce’s old radio. Notice the cassette player. Mine was older; it had 8-track.
I recently discovered the following Louie and Bruce strips in storage. They were drawn in June 1982 and published five years later in a local newspaper, then put away as I went on to do other things. Each strip was drawn in blue pencil on a drawing panel, then inked with quills and brushes and India ink. I can still smell the distinctive eye-watering odor of that ink when I hold a panel close to my nose.
I can’t take full credit for this joke. It was a running gag at the sawmill where my Louie and Bruce comic strip was born.
Leroy and his talking dog Ernie were occasional characters in my Louie and Bruce comics. Here, they tell a gag every farm kid knows by heart.
Old, but still able to make me chuckle; this is one of my favorite baseball gags.
The first Louie and Bruce comic I drew in 1981. I found it inside a box and among drawings and papers from years ago, back when all I wanted to do was be a professional cartoonist. But then I discovered the power of painting soon afterwards and I zoomed off in another direction.