October 23 - "Forbidden" WOMP Character of The Day - Dippy the Dinosaur! As a kid, I was torn between two different comics dreams; should I draw comic books or comic strips? I was a fan of both, and enthusiastically drew each. To me, though, there was a world of difference between the two. Comic books are more like movies, with plot and character development. Comic strips are like breakdowns of a stand-up comedian's routine, with just one laugh-line revealed per day. As such, strips can allow for character development, but only over the course of years...and only in cases of success. Usually, however, the characters in strips are broad, static, and quickly grasped. There is more to it than that, of course, but it is still basically true even now. Often, when I'm in a strange city for a convention or something, I'll pick up the local newspaper and turn to the comics section. Invariably, there are several strips inside which I've never even heard of, but I can still read and enjoy them. That's one of the hallmarks of a good strip. How much back-story is needed to understand Snoopy? Toward that end, I "invented" Dippy the Dinosaur when I was about eight years old. I say "invented" in quotes like that because all that Dippy ever became was a drawing of a Bronto-esque creature that I then called Dippy the Dinosaur. He was intended to be a comic strip character, and that's about as deep as I ever delved into the matter. Was he a talking dinosaur? Mm...maybe. Did he have a cast of crazy friends? Uh, sure, I guess. Did he live in the present, or the past, or on another planet, or travel through time, or have adventures, or tell jokes, or what? Well, I never gave it any thought. In fact, after a few months, I stopped thinking about Dippy at all...but that's not why he is now "forbidden." Dippy did make a "farewell" appearance in my Encyclopidia character encyclopedia. Placing his "bio" in the book when I was about twelve, I saw, even then, that Dippy needed some "updating." In my first ever attempt at rehabilitating an old character, I re-imagined him thusly -
Dippy the Dinosaur - was preserved for centuries in a glacier - is missing link from dinosaurs to humans now on side of good.
And, in that...ugh..just horrendous, awful "updating," Dippy took "centuries" of steps backwards, becoming the "missing link" between viable characters with potential, and disastrous childhood creations that are now "forbidden." Still, Dippy helped point out to me that I may not be suited for drawing comic strips. Or comic books. Or anything, ever again. Ugh.