When I was of junior high-school age I used to draw my own comic strip called "Moondog." He was an amalgam of Snoopy, Underdog and Hong Kong Phooey. It was never published or printed, I would just draw his daily adventures in an unused cloth-bound accounting journal that my mother gave me and then I would share it with friends at school and family members.
The last day I ever drew Moondog was the first day I showed it to my new step-father. He, being new to the concept of children, didn't know that his intense teasing went too deep. It broke me. I put down my pencils and paper and never drew anything again. Though I know I don't have to keep repeating this, my step-father has more than redeemed himself since then and I am proud to call him my father, and not my step-father.
My re-introduction to pencils and paper came soon after I met Liz. We bought some sketch books at Antigone's in Tucson and took them with us a few places and we would sit down and sketch whatever was before us. We would often paint together too. She brought out the art in me. What makes this more amazing and perhaps prophetic is that I had read her short story "On Pencils and Paper" online before I even knew her.
Last night, for the first time since I was a child, I drew Moondog. Picture a Snoopy-ish dog in a Karate stance and wearing a black mask. The days of doing him as a strip is long since gone but it sure felt good just to reclaim that one lost part of my life.
Some time in the next week or so I'll run down to Michael's and see if I can find a good book on pencil drawing cartoons. Anyone know of any good ones?