My comic strip in the latest issue of STREET SPIRIT. . . I was addicted to hooping in the park back then, and ran full court for hours just about every weekday afternoon for years (I wasn’t good enough to get much action on the weekends when the local playground superstars showed up). And often we’d play late into the evening until the lights finally turned off at 10 o’clock.
Those were some of the best afternoons of my life. And it wasn’t just the fun and the camaraderie of the games. I think a lot of it — as I pushed into my 30s and all the responsibilities of adulthood — was a way to keep in touch with my childhood self, playing the same game I had been playing since I was 5-years-old. . . I guess I never really wanted to grow up. I played with a ball every afternoon, and then drew goofy cartoons for a living every evening (my previous job had been riding around on a bicycle as a bike messenger, so I guess it was a recurring pattern).
The cartoon character in this strip — Grover Gruntmann — was one of a hand full of recurring characters I had back then. Grover sort of represented the nerdy, loser side of my character (some of you might be surprised to find I had other sides aside from that). . . I always hoped I would eventually stumble upon a really popular cartoon character that would be strong enough to carry a strip all by himself. But most of my characters were secondary, minor characters. Dems’ the breaks.