Here’s my buddy, Randy Enos , writing about more of his comic strips …
Over the span of my career, every now and then, I would suddenly get the urge to create and sell a syndicated comic strip. This would happen every 5 years or so. Nothing much came of it except for the Chicken Gutz strip which was a National Lampoon strip and the two strips for Playboy which I’ve written about recently.
I would really get that urge to dump the illustration work for a nice steady job of doing a syndicated daily comic strip. Here were some of my ideas:
“Mabel & Jones” – I used to see this older couple on the beach every summer in Westport. A little short stocky woman with her tallish, skinny, droopy shouldered constant escort. I don’t think they were married. The woman was always frowning and as they walked along the edge of the surf, down the length of the beach past all the young, tanned, pretty Westport bathers, she would be haranguing him about something or other. They were there all the time. When they weren’t walking, they would be sitting, quietly, sadly on one of the cement benches and before long she would start in on him again. He never said a word but would just gaze off into space looking over the vast expanse of Long Island Sound. He always had a droopy hat on. I decided that I should do a strip featuring them and I named them “Mabel” (I always liked the name Mabel. We had a Mabel’s Diner in Westport) and I picked the nice, very common name of “Jones” for my woebegone hero sufferer. I never sold this idea.
“As The Tears Jerk”- This was kind of a soap opera strip. I ran a few in the Lampoon.
“Magnificent Max and the Major”- This strip found publication in “The Electric Company” kids’ magazine.
But, the one strip that I thought was the most creative of my endeavors was:
“Specks-the smallest cartoon characters in the world”- I used it as a space filler below Chicken Gutz in the Lampoon a few times but I also submitted it to all the syndicates. The only one that responded was King Features. The comics editor said, “Wow, this is different for you, Randy. I like it a lot, but, I don’t know, I think newspaper editors would think we were nuts!”
I replied, “Oh, go ahead give it a try… think of it… it would be groundbreaking! Take a chance!”
But, of course… it never happened.
I had a lot of fun doing it though.
“Dux”- At one time, here on the horse farm, we accumulated a whole bunch of ducks. They lived in one of the horse stalls at night and swam on our pond during the day. It started out with two domestic ducks who ended up mating with some mallards and, first thing you know, we had about 15 ducks mixed wild and domestic. So, naturally I decided to do a strip featuring ducks. I named it “Dux”. I never sold this idea either.
Read more more of Randy’s cartooning memories: