Today is my pop’s birthday, the man who most influenced me to be a cartoonist even though he may never have realized it.
When I was a kid, my father loved comics. He’d come home from his job in the business world, and we’d get down on the floor and he would read the newspaper funnies to me every day before I knew how to read. He loved comic strips like Nancy, Peanuts, and Beetle Bailey.
What my dad liked, I liked. Back in January of this year, I came across this great piece I created in my youth. I love how this image of Sarge, a character created for newspaper comics, is surrounded by a background of newsprint. I also love how it looks like it wasn’t finished, yet it looks kind of cool in this unfinished state.
Due to becoming a cartoonist myself as an adult, I ended up becoming friends with Mort Walker, the creator of Beetle Bailey, and was able to introduce my pop to the legendary cartoonist. Dad enjoyed meeting my cartooning heroes. Maybe, in a way, they were Dad’s heroes, too.
Dad passed away last September, but his influence lives on. I’m still a cartoonist.