Comic Strip

Betty Zapat and Yorrick

In December 1996, I was in Corsica looking after my first wife, who was ill. At this time I started a comic strip called “Betty Zapat and Yorrick“, from then until the middle of 1998, I created 127 episodes. Most of them have disappeared but I have rediscovered a few of the early episodes that I scanned and put onto a memory stick.

Betty Zapat and Yorrick Episode 10

Betty Zapat and Yorrick Episode 10

This episode features most of the major characters. It started with a cat “Betty Zapat” (which was an anglicized version of the French “Betises à Pattes” (which meant a silly thing with paws)). The cat was modelled on our own cat “Feline”, who was always doing crazy things. Her sidekick was Yorrick, modelled on a toy fox cub, named after Hamlet’s friend. There was also Rugbyman, a rugby playing macho man, Carolina, the sensible one, she wore a headband and played rugby, too. Trev was a baldheaded fashion victim, Eddie was a human sized rugby playing elephant.  Carolina had a dog called Fang, which looked vicious but was friendly.

Betty Zapat and Yorrick Episode. 11. The cast meet Fang

Betty Zapat and Yorrick Episode. 11. The cast meet Fang

It is giving me goosebumps seeing looking at these closely again after nearly 18 years. When I drew the following episode, back in 1997, I hadn’t been on the internet….

Betty Zapat Episode 21: Surfing

Betty Zapat Episode 21: Surfing

Comic Strip, Cartoon

Reading “The Diary of the Wimpy Kid” and about its creator Jeff Kinney, has given me an itch to have a go at drawing some cartoons or comic strips again. In the book the protagonist Greg Heffley tries out for the post of cartoonist on the school magazine. He got to work with his buddy Rowley…

We banged out a bunch of characters real quick, but that turned out to be the easy part. When we tried to think up some jokes we kind of hit a wall.

Back in 1997 I drew a comic strip called “Betty Zapat and Yorrick“, it was to amuse  my wife who was ill at the time, I had a cast of characters and eventually drew 127 episodes. I don’t have them today, maybe I can find a few on a memory stick somewhere. I also drew a strip for a football fanzine the “Leyton Orientear” called “Leyton’s O”, a surreal strip imagining a letter signing up for a football team, about eight or nine of them were published.

I’ve found a few early episodes of Betty Zapat that I scanned and put on a memory stick:

800dpi colour

I seem to have a problem uploading them….this one is upside down…maybe it will be okay for Australian audiences. I think the problem is the files are .bmp files which aren’t allowed for adding. Just looked at WikiHow…to convert .bmp to .jpg… through the paint program….I think I might be getting somewhere…

Betty Zapat and Yorrick Episode 8. Rugbyman is critical of women's rugby and gets no sympathy when he trips and falls.

Betty Zapat and Yorrick Episode 8. Rugbyman is critical of women’s rugby and gets no sympathy when he trips and falls.

I want a new strip, I’m not sure what yet. One idea is “ენოტი და ანა” (Enoti and Ana) based on my granddaughter Ana and her toy raccoon.

ენოტი და ანა

ენოტი და ანა

My favourite comic strips are Calvin and Hobbes, Footrot Flats, Peanuts, Lucky Luke and The Far Side.

It has been dangerous for cartoonists lately with the Charlie Hebdo Massacre. I don’t think I will create a strip around the Prophet Mohammed, it wouldn’t be a sensible idea, and Jesus had better jokes…”did you hear the one about the camel passing through the eye of the needle?” (Mark 10:25)…although it is probably a whole lot funnier in the original Aramaic.

ენოტი და ანა

ენოტი და ანა