Creating the characters for my comic strip took some time. A lot of time in fact. My first character I designed was the scarecrow (at the time I didn’t have a name). I wanted to create a cartoon character reminiscent of something you would see in Peanuts, or Calvin & Hobbes. Something that was appealing to all ages, but still simple in its design. So, I doodled in my notebook, showed my wife and she liked him. From that point on it has been a constant exercise in redrawing and slowly refining the character until it is something I am satisfied with. But, I’m not too concerned. If you look at all other comics, there is a design curve between the earlier strips and the strips that were developed much later. This is part of the process.
Outer Field Backstory
Outer Field Characters
Mostly cluelessAce is hopelessly naive about his surroundings. He is dedicated to protecting his field and doing his job, although he will continuously look for better ways of improving his craft. He also is an endless stream of bad ideas, but provides entertainment value for those around him. The first sketch of Ace was done in a spiral bound notebook back in 2003. The outfit remained the same, because, honestly, what else would a scarecrow wear? Over time, and with much practice, I’m getting to where the character should be/look like.
Sleepy and SnarkyDrake is the snarky, insomniac bat that literally hangs out with Ace. He is long on criticism, and short on empathy. Little surprises him and nothing really gets past him when it comes to quick-witted responses. Drake was my third cartoon character I came up with for the comic strip. He was really hat-tip to where I grew up for my high school years—Bowling Green, Kentucky. Bowling Green and the surrounding area is home to many caves including Mammoth Cave. At dusk during the summer time you can see bats fly by in the twilight. So, as reminiscent of those days, and I was at the time living out west, I created Drake. Drake was the only character that I had a name for in the beginning of the idea process.
Marooned with moronsAl is an alien that happened to crash into the field that Ace watches over. Unfortunately, Al is stuck here until technology gets to a point where he can refuel, repair, and replace the damaged parts of his spacecraft to return home. No one is sure what species he is or what planet he came from, but we do know that some things found on Earth is universal to all life. Al spends much of his time studying the planet and helping Drake make fun of Ace. Al, who was unnamed back in 2003, was the second cartoon character that I created for the cartoon strip. Originally, the alien was to be more robot-like than what he is now. The headphones are based on me, and an ode to how I spent most of my college years listening to music on large headphones. The antennas are an ode to Boba Fett’s helmet.
Business Analyst of awesomenessStanley is a field mouse turned Business Analyst that works to bring about meaningful change to field life. Stanley is an expert in the technical knowledge of business analysis, but lacks the basic social skills to get along with others. He is dedicated to his job, but finds working with others to be a challenge. Stanley was a cartoon character that I created many years later. Actually, he was created as a result of myself becoming a business analyst back in 2010. He is a relatively new character and was mainly created for my special commission I did with B2T Training. He was featured in their corporate blog. Since I am not much on killing my own cartoon characters, I still make strips with Stanley that mainly relates to workplace humor. The last name was a twist on Kowalski, a character I liked from the TV series Due South. But rather than totally rip off the name, I changed it to Hemski.
Mr. FuYour Content Goes Here
Middle ManagerFormerly Little bunny Fu-Fu who has since retired from his thug lifestyle in exchange for a life in middle management, Mr. Fu runs all aspects of the field. He is Stanley’s immediate supervisor, and often is found in his office. It is not clear who Mr. Fu reports to or what is job description is aside from watching Stanley. Mr. Fu, unlike Stanley, was invented with the original characters, although he hasn’t or isn’t featured much. Originally, he was a cartoon character designed to be the boss over Ace. But, as Stanley was created, he took the role of middle-manager for Stanley.
Jay, Edgar, & Poe
Just crowsCrows that are incessantly seeking their fill of the spoils from the field. They also enjoy making Ace’s life extraordinarily difficult. Jay leads the group due to his intelligence while Edgar and Poe follow Jay’s instructions. These characters were created a couple years after Ace, Al, and Drake, but I honestly still haven’t figured out what to do with them yet. That is why these cartoon characters don’t appear much. I am particularly fond of their names though.