Ultraist Studios Blog Journal thoughts, musings and other rambling…

March 29, 2007

PEANUTS and ANDY CAPP – Archeology Project pt.3

Filed under: Essays,Inspiration,Nostalgia — M Kitchen @ 9:28 am

In 1966 my grandfather bought a piece of land up north on Lake Simcoe and built a cottage. It is the place where my father and two uncles would spend the better part of their summers. Over the years, on the wooden shelf across from the original bathroom, a collection of books accumulated. There were fiction novels, readers digest books, and paperbacks reprinting newspaper daily strips. It was those paperbacks, to my knowledge, that were my first exposure to comics. This would have been around the year 1981. I would read, and re-read these books all summer. And I didn’t realize how much these books effected me, until looking back at them for this Archeology Project. It hit me how much of those books I took with me. The earliest influence in, what I perceive as a cartoon, can be directly linked to these books.

PEANUTS: For many people this remains the ultimate comic strip, and is the first one I remember. Cute cartoons locked in neurotic behaviour and deep philosophical debate. There is a naivety coupled with a cynical, pessimistic overtone throughout the strips, which is something I have always found comforting, and as a matter of fact, drawn to. I didn’t give too much thought to any of this at the time. All I knew is over the summer, I’d eat this stuff up. Looking back at them now, I see all the building blocks that, in my mind, are a prerequisite to making a great comic.

ANDY CAPP: I remember my 7 year old brain grappling with the English slang in this comic. Looking at it now, Reginald Smythe probably influence my “cartoony” art style more than I realized. If you put Andy Capp in a trench coat and oversized sneakers, you would pretty much have Spy Guy. Also, for the longest time, I would draw the police officers in the Spy Guy Universe with their caps pulled over their eyes. Ever since Bootleg, I wondered why I have the need to do this. It was a question I could never answer myself. But looking at these books, I think I have figured out why. Something in my psyche continues to tell me this is the way it’s supposed to be done.

In addition to the comic strip collections on the wooden shelf across from the bathroom, there was another stash of comics. They were in a cardboard box, that smelt of must and mildew and newsprint.

That was the place where the comicbooks were.

3 Comments »

  1. wow. Six days, six posts. People are going to expect this all of the time now.

    Comment by blair kitchen — March 29, 2007 @ 9:44 am

  2. Yeah. And I ain’t done yet… I’ve got enough content stockpiled to last another week!

    Comment by M Kitchen — March 29, 2007 @ 9:50 am

  3. Interesting that Dave Sim lists Reg Smythe’s and Charles Schulz’s as being influential to his writing on today’s Blog and Mail.

    Comment by M Kitchen — April 16, 2007 @ 10:58 am

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