As you can clearly tell, this strip is different. I feel I need to provide some insight into why there isn’t an actual Alternate University comic strip today. My uncle is very sick and it’s unclear whether things will get any better. Ray is an incredibly talented artist and inspired me to follow in his footsteps to a certain degree. As a kid I just knew I was going to be an artist just like Ray. It didn’t quite work out that way, but I guess part of that dream lives on through this comic. I remember showing him the very first Alternate University comics that I drew and getting his input. I always wished I could capture some of the creative genius that he possesses.
I titled today’s strip “The Birth of a New Legend” which comes directly from the tagline of one of my uncle’s creations called the Hob Nobs. The very general gist is that a kind wizard who falls asleep under a tree accidentally brings to life the pumpkins in his pumpkin patch which he names Hob Nobs. My sister and I grew up with these creatures, and it became a part of our childhood that I still hold incredibly dear. He made sculptures of the Hob Nobs and hand painted each one’s individual expression. Each one had it’s own unique personality. He even let my sister and I make our very own Hob Nobs.
A huge part of who I am today is directly due to the love and encouragement of my uncle. In a way, Ray is the sleeping wizard who brings wondrous things to life. The road ahead looks rough, and I would appreciate any thoughts and prayers for Ray. As a means of coping with this very rough news, I drew and dedicate this cartoon for and to Ray in hopes that his legend truly does live on regardless of whatever may come.