Follow my blog – Signup HERE.
I Love Bad Puns and Gags
My heroes growing up were the members of the comedy troupe Monty Python. I made it home from work just before midnight on Saturday night when I discovered these amazingly insane creators of silliness. I was in the seventh grade and had pulled a double shift at my job at the Algoa Auction Barn. I normally made it home around 9 to 10 pm when I would make it in time for Saturday Night Live. I was a huge fan of that show. To put a better perspective on the timeline, this was 1980. Back then, kids all labored away the weekends at a job. We were a grizzled lot. Tough as nails.
So this one night, I turned the television on just as the ending music played for the famous “goodbye scene” that Saturday Night Live always concludes with. The host pretended to be happy and seemingly proud of his or her performance. The cast acted like they actually loved each other even though you knew they did not. The battles for screen time had the Not Ready For Prime Time Players hating the sight of each other of course. The saxophone solo faded out and usually at this point I am turning off the television set. Back then, to do so, you had to get up, walk over to the set and push in the on-off button. There were no remote controls back then. Of course, usually I was so tired from working the cattle auctions, I would have fallen asleep by the time Saturday Night Live ended, but this time I was wired up from working all day and waited to see what was next on the air.
The odds back then was that the station would just sign off the air. Oh yeah kids, back then, television stations signed off the air around midnight or so. Afterwards, you just saw static until they signed back on the the morning. A few commercials later, some old man, played by Michael Palin, appeared and kept running toward the camera, over and over again. After a minute or so he finally made it to the camera for a close up as he uttered the word, “It’s…” Then a quick shot to a naked Terry Jones playing an organ for a split second and the animated title scene began for Monty Python’s Flying Circus. What the #$%& did I just see?
The episode was so amazing. I never saw comedy sketches like this. This was like Mad Magazine but with real live people. I became an instant fan of all six members… John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Graham Chapman and the American animator Terry Gilliam. I found a few books they had written and purchased them to study their humor. It was so silly, yet so amazing. My writing is heavily influenced by these gentlemen. I will never be anywhere near as funny as any of them.
Today’s comic strip is another example of my Monty Python influence. The quicker the pace and the more twisted the irony…. and of course the sillier the strip… the more I feel I have paid back my heroes for their influence on me. They were the masters of twisting and turning situations around. The prime example is a television show John Cleese produced after he left Monty Python before their final season. John and his wife Polly Booth created a show called Fawlty Towers where every episodes when in one direction and by the show’s end would 180 around in a crazy direction in hyper drive. If you get a chance, you must watch all thirteen episodes of this half hour sitcom.
RENEWED FOR ANOTHER YEAR
Great news, I have been renewed for another year with the Idaho Word News. This means my comic strip continues to run in five weekly newspapers. I wanted to have six papers running my by the end of the year, but I am very happy with five. They are weekly papers though so I am just making enough money to pay for my pens, paper and blank sketch covers. I am breaking even and so very happy. Soon, one of the syndicates will pick me up and this dream will become a reality. When that happens, and I am running in newspapers daily across the country, I will be EXTREMELY happy.
Next year, I am going to slow down on the comic con appearances so I can focus on my syndication efforts. I had hoped doing these shows over the past year would create a buzz and influence the syndicates to pick me up. These shows are not on their radar. I am now hoping that creating more comic books will attract their attention. I have some amazing stories for Charmy’s Army to share with you all. I am also hoping to resurrect my former comic strip, Okrapolis. I have a great plan for that as well. So, as you can see, I am not going to have time for comic cons next year. I have 5 booked and that will be it unless someone throws a free table at me. I will have two shows in Houston, one in New Braunfels, one in Austin and one in Belton. That is it. I will not be returning to Comicpalooza or Fandemic in 2019. I have a family commitment on the weekend of Comicpalooza. Fandemic was a terrible show for me and I cannot risk investing in that show unless they toss me a free table of course. I will do any show if the promoter wants to toss me a free table… lol…. That show had too many celebrities and it killed Artist’s Alley.
I know I have several people wanting me to return to Tyler for the Tyler Rose Comic Con, but I am torn right now. I asked the promoter to contact me when dates are set and tables are up for grabs. If the show remains at the end of October, I may add this show as well. Mt decision will all depend on table cost and where I am with my projects. The last time I was in Tyler, which was just over a year ago, I had an amazing time. It was the first in a long series of “break even” shows for me. After two years of maybe making enough money to cover parking, it was awesome to make enough money to cover table, hotel and gas.
2019 will be amazing. Streamlined and refined. Syndication is within reach.