INKTOBER 52 2023 Day #36: CHILDHOOD.
“Okay, there’s a few things to explain in this one. I tried to cram as many different little references to things that were a big part of my childhood as I could. In no particular order:
1. The overall composition is a reference to several Bill Watterson illustrations of Calvin and Hobbes reading comics or drawing together. There likely wouldn’t be a Plunger Monkey without the influence of Calvin and Hobbes.
2. There’s a book on the floor between Kid Toby and PMD. It’s ‘Weirdos from another Planet”, one of the Calvin and Hobbes books that I read countless times in my youth. I also paid homage to the cover in an illustration I did for my graphic novel project ‘Revery’, with me holding PMD like Hobbes is holding Calvin, reacting to Adarax the Cobbly the way they are reacting to a tentacled alien.
3. There’s an X-Wing and two action figures (who are supposed to be the original Obi-Wan and Luke from A New Hope), as well as a first generation Darth Vader Lightsaber. It was the hard plastic version of dueling with wrapping paper tubes, and mine (which I still have) has lots of dents and creases from impacts. Star Wars was a major part of my youth, it fired up my imagination and made me want to create.
4. PMD is reading the first comic book I ever chose to buy (or asked to have bought for me): Marvel Comics’ The Transformers issue #8, which introduced Grimlock and the Dinobots. I was already a huge fan of the cartoon and the toys, but that comic ignited a life-long love for comics and reading in general, as well as got me thinking about someday making my own comics.
5. Kid Toby is wearing a pair of shorts with white stripes on the sides. I don’t know how often I wore shorts like that, but when I think about what I wore as a kid, I always think of those shorts.
6. Kid Toby is also wearing a CHIPS (as in the police tv drama starring Erik Estrada and that other guy) helmet. It had a fold down visor with a green plastic face shield. You would be hard pressed to find a picture of me at certain ages NOT wearing it. It was really darn cool, I tell you.
7. Finally, Kid Toby is doing what I spent a lot of time doing: drawing.
I had an amazing childhood with a loving family. I was spoiled with toys and comics, love and experiences, encouragement and support. There were so many things I wanted to represent from my childhood that I just wasn’t able to, but I think I managed to capture a few of the core elements that capture the essence of my youth and shaped who I am today.”