I introduced this rather ominous character "Dirk" to give both my readers and myself a break from the "sweetness" of the Patterson family. I wanted to inject a bit of creepiness into the mix.
I also wanted the challenge of dealing with teenaged stepkids. This wasn’t something I knew about from experience, so as soon as I began to do some research, I found myself in over my head!
Wordplay like this made my work difficult to translate, so it was not seen in foreign language newspapers. This problem was pointed out to me on several occasions. Still, I couldn’t resist having fun with English.
With friends who were dealing with step-children and new, mature marriages, I had plenty of material to work with. The tricky part was in keeping the identities of the moms and children who talked to me openly about their lives secret.
All of the Remembrance day strips were done for my mother, my dad, and his brother who were all veterans of the Second World War. My dad was an instrument mechanic and my mother ordered all the parts for the aircraft. They met in England and had some wonderful stories to tell. Uncle Joe was a motorcycle dispatch rider. He never spoke about the war.
How lucky my generation was to have grown up in the post war era. My children, too, have lived in a peaceful environment. I worry about what’s happening now, however. Every day the newscasts are full of unimaginable posturing by powerful men with nuclear weapons who are sounding and acting like children.
This scene was done with reverence and gratitude.
I am always profoundly moved by this ceremony.
This strip was done when certain 4 letter words were rarely used and never in mixed company. Now, they are commonplace. How sad. There was a time when we were proud of our language, and now we are working hard to protect it.
My mother did this. She bought my brother and me each a thesaurus and we were to learn a new word each day. Far from resenting this project, we enjoyed it. If you want to express yourself well, you need a vocabulary!
I really liked the Brad Luggsworth character. Too bad I rarely included him. Maybe he was too mean to be believable!
I can’t write anything about this strip. I would get crabby about it all over again!
I had a lot of fun with Michael and Martha. Through them I went back to my own giddy and hopeless schoolyard relationships—the ones that make you as high as a kite, but never quite get off the ground!
I did this and said this. Didn’t you?
This happened to me, too.
Our dog Willy would wait until we had finished eating before he dug into his kibble. If there was the smallest chance of leftovers, he wanted to be sure he had room. I did this strip with compassion and understanding—I wouldn’t want to eat the same thing everyday either!
Interesting to see the word "like" becoming an essential and repetitive part of a kids’ vernacular. This strip was done in the 80s! I had no idea "like" had been so annoying for so long.