Normally, when doing this kind of work, it is best to have more than a passing understanding of the subject matter in hand; ie: if you wish to do a cartoon about classic cars, it would be a good idea if you have either had a classic car, re-built one or at least attended classic car rallies as a genuine enthusiast.
That said, if your mind is as fertile as mine, and you are willing to research with diligence the subject of your choice, then any specialist strip is not completely beyond your grasp; one such case in point is the Towy strip below---a new strip that I am about to start touting around all the specialist horse and countryside magazines world wide.
Now I have never owned a horse and only ridden one briefly, and even then not very successfully---due largely to the fact that the saddle wasn't properly strapped on---and after a few short minutes in the saddle, neither was I.
Anyway, that was a long time ago and since that day I have had nothing to do with our equine friends---other than to admire them in fields as I pass by on my way from point A to point B via almost every other letter in the alphabet and a few stray Greek ones---but all that was to change when I met Jayne.
|Jayne and the real Tywy|
Anyway, after spending much time with these two beautiful horses and their crazy owner, I began to see the comic possibilities in them, and a the gags began to write themselves.
Initially Towy was going to be a full page cartoon with no words, but after completing them I decided to re-do the lot only in the more traditional comic strip format. I did this as space is always at a premium and a big issue for editors, and if they liked the cartoon and were teetering upon the precipice of buying my strip, I didn't want 'space issues' to be the door by which they escaped from. I also changed Towy's colour from black to brown, simply because the horses expressions would've been too confusing if produced in black.
Towy then became the independent, free thinking, mind bending, vet hating, farrier flirting, none-fool suffering, free spirit she is now. She has an owner, although that is a laughable tag, as any horse person will tell you that when you own a horse, the last thing you are is their boss. At best you are their cook, masseur, exerciser, unpaid slave and producer of Polo Mints and other tasty treats; and Towy personifies all these traits and many more in my strip.
Anyway, without anymore preamble, I give you the six sample strips I will be sending out to any and every market available to Towy.
Okay, so on an extra note, and purely for your whole behind-the-scenes-insight-into-a-cartoonists-working-patterns-and-mind-set thing, here's a few of the full page, pantomime (techie word for 'silent strips') pages.