Devil Dogs, Episode 1 Picture

Back when I was a senior in high school, many years ago, I was asked to develop a comic strip for publication in the school newspaper, the Sundial, and so over the course of about a week I developed a comic strip called "Devil Dogs." I was in the delayed entry program for the Marine Corps, and for those who may or may not know, a nickname for Marines are "Devil Dogs" (from the German "Teufel Hunden," a title of respect the Germans gave the Marines while fighting against them in World War I.) I was also into military history, specifically the Vietnam War, and so I made up a story based upon what I knew, and other pop culture influences at the time, movies like "Platoon" and television shows like "Tour of Duty." I drew anthropomorphic figures, partly because I liked the Manichaeistic duality inherent in the stereotypical cat vs. dog symbolism...and because I could draw animals better than I could draw people at the time. XD

I drew eleven episodes before I was told that the editors changed their minds about the comic, because they needed to fill extra spaces with advertisments. I was a little heartbroken, and I didn't really pick back up with this comic strip in particular. But I have to admit, looking back, that drawing up this little series was probably the most...passionate I have ever felt in creating any of my art. Ever. Not that I have not felt passion for making all that I have wrought thus far over the two decades since I first drew this series, but I wonder about whether or not I could've done something more with it, or used it as a springboard to becoming a cartoonist or comic artist.

After high school, I completed a four year tour in the Marines, went to college, graduated and became a high school art teacher, and I do not--I will not--regret what path I have chosen in my life. But I wonder if I could still achieve that personal goal, of becoming a published cartoonist. I am not interested in publishing this particular series--Motofumi Kobayashi's "Apocalypse Meow" manga series is a magnum opus which serves as a far more sufficient treatment of the Vietnam War than I could do justice by--and besides my personal interests in that particular conflict are now dormant. No, I want to create a story of my own, creating my own mythology which I hope to share with others who may find it entertaining and maybe even a bit enlightening. I just need to make myself sit down and do it! To quote from Troy Little's graphic novel "Chiaroscuro," "There is nothing so truly terrifying as unlimited potential." Where to begin? What to say? I'm afraid of starting out only to find that I've gone in the wrong direction. It was so much easier when I was still a child, seeing so clearly without the filters that adulthood so effectively places over our eyes. My passion was so much stronger then, my sense of wonder greater still, and ... and I will stop here for now. I'm rambling. Old people tend to do that, you see. XP

I hope you enjoy this series. Eleven episodes in all. And as to the future...well, I have plenty of time, so long as the sun still rises tomorrow. Enjoy the cheese with the wine!!

Forgive the paronomasia...but I do so enjoy puntificating! o.o
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