Yes indeed. Christmas time is a celebration I grew up with in my family. I realize that many people the world over do not celebrate Christmas but around here, most do...and that's ok because to me it doesn't matter if you're a 'believer' or not, you can appreciate the general feelings of family love, joy and good cheer. These are some thoughts I had while living in Vancouver, far from my Newfoundland & Labrador home.
As an aside though, this is a true story: see in panel 6 the tree shatters? Well, I remember as a child, Dad would bring home a tree and go to work repairing it. Reason being, that in Labrador West, in late December, everything, trees included is frozen solid. The branches would break under the force of a breath almost. Once in the house Dad would drill holes and insert the branches that had broken off! Honest!
So, I'm still trying to get the story to stretch along...Clarence comes back to Buchans and promptly starts to research we 'humans'. I must have been working a lot during this period judging by the reading material...for those of you who may not know, 'UIC' was the Unemployment Insurance Commission, the fore runner of the 'EI' Employment Insurance scheme but the name needed some political spin.
More and more I'm researching along with Clarence. Poor Guy Fawkes! Ouch!!
That little girl talking about Holly is just the cutest thang! This is before I had a little girl of my own.
Closing out the month, is Remembrance Day. I actually was one of those Bugle Boys standing at attention during the ceremonies in Labrador City. We would keep the mouthpieces in our pockets until it was time to play so that our lips would not freeze on the metal. I always try to put a plug in for our armed forces, and everybody that is affected by the insanity of war.
Still in theme for a sort of continuing story I had Clarence go back to the children of Buchans...but on Hallowe'en Night. That gave me an opportunity to experiment with her head: a full on back of the head shot and a frontal primal scream shot! This sort of drawing is fun...my world and I can draw what I want!
Again, in the new word category, 'Guruabou'. I am certain that this word has never been seen before, or since.
My world, told ya.
Year two brings another twist. I envisioned that curious caribou would want to learn about we humans. Taking many ideas that I had knocking around in my head I started to list them as possible topics to look into...things that held significance in our lives...like 'pickles'.
Another first for me as well as far as I know...'Barmp' being the sound an automobile's horn makes. I had never seen it spelled out anyways...still haven't!
So by now it's the end of the first year that the strip has been running. I'm still sort of following a story line but mostly freestyling. It's fun making up a world as I'm finding out as I imagine caribou partying their hoofs [hooves?] off as they gnaw lichen off rocks in a gorging orgy of eating...I'm also developing a style that's reproducible in both Clarence's appearance and the other caribou in general...doesn't matter to me that they don't actually look like real caribou! Hey, did Micky look like a real mouse? 'nuff said.
...and I start writing about weather again! Seems like any writer worth their salt in these parts has got to discuss our unique form of climate punishment, and I'm no different. So here it is rain, heat, wind, flies, a couple of seagulls and one thing I'm pretty sure of...I'm almost certain that I am the first to coin the phrase "Cariboogie"! Certainly in the context of a musical gathering of caribou!
Graduation! Summer holidays! I dug deep into my past and tried to come up with some popular summer 'doings'. Baytona Beach came into being around that time (formerly known as 'Gayside' - because of the homophobic connotations of the name the residents voted to change it...so the story goes).
Gravel Pit Camping at one time was very popular but a few bad apples messed it up for everyone by littering, dumping sewage and leaving fires burning, etc. The Province had little choice but to make it illegal. There was a good band that came out of the passtime though...The Gravel Pit Campers! Look 'em up!
A cousin of mine actually had a job one summer flying around in helicopters, pitching down to count Spruce Budworms. I thought that was pretty neat...oh, and unemployment was rampant!
I also decided it was time for Clarence to visit her Roots once more.
Once again, the little stove makes its appearance!
The Vikings have long been an interest of mine, ever since the discoverers of the site came to my school when I was a kid. Newfoundland and Labrador were 'discovered' long before my schoolbooks said they were. It was only later that the teachings were modified from the Columbus & Cabot stories by proof of the Norse settlements!
I really had a lot of fun doing some of these strips, and inadvertently learning some more of our history. Aside from the total BS I was making up, the strip was well researched.
As I'm reading this now, I am alarmed at how so little has changed since I drew this strip. I'm speaking about the conflict of Creationism and Science - this was done long before I even had my own 'Japheth'! I still grin when I see the knitting circle and the evangelist because I've actually been in their company in one form or another. I've also started to research some Newfoundland topics, like the Vikings.
On another note, that wood stove is a model that I had while living in an old country farmhouse south of Ottawa. Lovely little stove!
I tried to imagine what the effect of Clarence's teaching the kids would have on their teachers...and specifically the librarian! The subject matter is real and so is Mr. Castle, the Physics teacher (in real life myself and 'Mr. Castle' have had a good many discussions around a cold Blue Star). I invented Naggie Burt as a person who follows the tabloids (like the National Enquirer ilk) and so would immediately think aliens. The other teachers of course were 'regular' folk. You will notice that there's a confidence in the drawings that wasn't there in earlier strips...I'm starting to get in the groove.