Tuesday, June 27, 2006

In the beginning.......

I finally found the very first rough drafts for Mad Tom's Farm, previously known as The Funny Farm. I'll put them up over the next few days as there's quite a few of the little blighters!

There are notes dotted on them all over the place and at first I was tempted to Photoshop them out but upon thinking about it (over a nice glass of Merlot 1869 and smoking my pipe) I decided to leave them in as a testomany to how close the strip nearly turned into a more adult aimed comic then what it finally morphed into!

You'll notice the names GOF and NIB here and there, GOF was my 'cartoonist' name (which I still use to this day but altered to Goth or Gothtwinz) and Niel's was NIB. You'll also see 'Picturebox' on most of the examples. This was the name of our former business (it was Niel's really....but that's a story for a long winters night dear readers) which Niel and I ran for a year or so, producing amongest The Farm, the Daily Sport's strip 'Flasher Mac' spot cartoons for the Sun and the Star, our baby, the comic 'Over the Edge' and various other arty related shenanigans.

If you can read my coffee induced scribblings, you'll see that the core characters were basically set up (but NO rabbits) the only major difference is the role of the daughter. Our first idea was to have her as a sex interest for Rufus (at one point she was a milk maid!) she was to be named Nurse (which I think we 'borrowed' from the nursey character in BlackadderII) We soon realized that the Farm should be for a wider audiance and so any 'adult' references were dropped and eventually, Nurse became Flossie, our much loved mini version of Bernard, her mother, with a taste for violence and revenge!

The funny thing that I noticed but never thought about before, is that above the name of Rufus are two characters a dog and a cat (called Dog and Cat....we must have been tired) These two never made it after our intial brainstorming session but instead, over time, were replaced by Dalton and then Cool Bob.

There's some of Niel's first designs for Tom, including his straw hat and bit of grass hanging from his mouth and my first page of very rough roughs mainly of Tom and Rufus. The geezer shouting 'DIE' must have been me venting my anger after a hard day at the office! There's about 2 or 3 of the Tom drawings where you can really see the beginnings of the soon to be fully designed character.

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