Don Martin, of Mad magazine fame, was the first famous cartoonist I imitated, but in the spring of 1974 I moved on to underground comics. This is when I discovered Vaughn Bodé! I was completely knocked-out by the colors, the characters, the space art, and his total disregard for conventional characters and situations. Soon I was drawing lizards (Bodé's primary characters) everywhere.
Bodé was published in National Lampoon and Cavalier magazines, but the greater part of his work was published in his own comic books. I was becoming bored (at least temporarily) doing one page comics and decided to attempt a complete comic book. As with most of my work, the characters were more important than the plot, which was very loosely sketched out. As a matter of fact, coming up with a cool look and names for my characters was much more important than the plot. I strove to find my own style, but Bodé's influence is still very much in evidence. However, I did make certain that my main characters looked nothing like lizards!
When I began working on Vulgo of Mars, it being my first full-fledged comic, I was very organized and methodical. I cutout all the boards for the pages in advance before I began to draw, and set myself up on a strict work schedule. Everything was going smoothly -- that is, until I returned to school in the fall. Things began deteriorating fast on a social level when the jocks became increasingly more hostile towards my friends and I. We were the artists and the freaks and that made us major targets! It became difficult to concentrate on Vulgo of Mars, because I was so frustrated and became consumed with venting my wrath through my comics. Unfortunately, my attention shifted away from Vulgo, which was a shame, because I was very near completing it. This is when I began my first graphic novel -- The Academy!
Now that I older and wiser, and have a much wider audience for my comics I am prepared to complete Vulgo of Mars. Stay tuned for the conclusion -- Coming soon!
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