For those of you who only know me as a novelist, you might be interested to know that my first real job was writing and drawing a daily comic strip. My strip was called Downstown, and it was syndicated by the same people that also represented Doonesbury, Cathy, The Far Side, and Calvin & Hobbes (I love to drop those names because it makes my strip sound more famous than it was). What, you’ve never heard of Downstown? Well, that might be because I retired the strip before some of you were even born—in 1986. Wow—I suddenly feel old.
Producing 6 dailies per week plus a color Sunday required a constant search for material. Holidays were a great source of ideas, and one of my favorite holidays was always Halloween. I never seemed to have a problem coming up with gags when Halloween rolled around, and I’m not really sure why. Maybe it was the clever costumes that always got my creative juices flowing, or maybe it was just the childhood memories of good times blowing up mailboxes—I’m sorry, make that trick-or-treating.
I drew about 2500 comic strips during my cartooning career, and with Halloween approaching again I’m feeling a little nostalgic. For old time’s sake I thought I’d dig out a few of my old Halloween Downstown strips and post them on my website. Why don’t you drop by and take a look?
And Happy Halloween.