When I was a tween (which I think was technically before the word “tween” was used), I loved the Anastasia Krupnik books by Lois Lowry. In retrospect, I think that might have been part of my inspiration for keeping a notebook of some kind or other ever since, as Anastasia has her secret green notebook where she writes down her favorite words and lots of lists. In that first book of the series, every chapter ends with Anastasia’s ever-changing side-by-side lists of Things I Love and Things I Hate.
It’s really no surprise, then, that there’s a set of lists just like that in the first of my Warner Bros. composition book journals.
(Okay, Thirteen, we’ll list the whole thing, and I’ll keep my comments to the footnotes. But I’m putting this behind a cut, and it’s your fault if people’s eyes glaze over and they stop following and nobody reads this blog ever again. Just so you know.)
Anyway, I became hooked on the show. And then one day I told Amy and Sarah — that’s Amy Crosby and Sarah Creef — about it. Then, all of a sudden, all of us — Amy and Sarah and Heather and Amy P. — were watching the show. (Of course, now the whole school, almost, is watching it, but I’m still ahead of myself.)
I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t drawing, and I barely remember a time when I wasn’t reading and making up stories to write and illustrate. Besides coming up with my own characters, I was always trying to draw the ones I loved from movies and TV: Brain from Inspector Gadget, My Little Pony characters, Thumper and Bambi, Roger Rabbit.
Now I had new characters to draw, and the first ones I chose were my favorites, Buster and Babs. As always, most of my drawings were on notebook paper with a #2 pencil — not because I didn’t have tons of sketch pads and things at home, but because it was easier to draw (read: get away with drawing during class) at school when you were using something you always had in your bookbag anyway.
This time it was at lunch, sitting at our table in the cafeteria.
I started drawing this picture of Babs and Buster. It was supposed to look like Babs was dancing, but by the time I was finished, Heather noted that it looked like Babs was dancing the hula, and so I jokingly added a grass skirt for Babs and a Hawaiian shirt for Buster. Then I added sunglasses and leis, as well as a beach towel and sand. Finally, I added a title to the picture: “Buster and Babs Go Hawaiian.”
Which wound up looking like this:
And where did I come up with that title? Well, I didn’t realize it at the time, but that went back to 1988 and one of my favorite characters then:
Yep, “Garfield Goes Hawaiian,” the Garfield and Friends episode where Garfield contracts the Hawaiian Cat Flu. (My husband and I actually owned this original title card for a while but sold it on eBay a few years ago when we winnowed our animation art collection.)
Somehow or another, I got the idea to write a story about Babs and Buster taking a vacation to Hawaii. Very needless to say, everything would go wrong on their trip.
Hey, Thirteen — you’re going to need a lot more notebook paper.