In 1991, I was Operations Manager for a post production facility in Anaheim Hills. Despite the fact that this was a very creative facility, my job wasn't all that creative; essentially a controller position with some technical networking.
National Video Service, who owned and operated the facility and they decided to publish a music magazine covering the local music scene in southern California. I had already had experience writing a review column for a similar magazine but that was when I was traveling around the music venues managing the artists that I had under contract. Now I was pretty much in a 9 to 5 position.
I can remember being around 10 or 11 and being determined to be a cartoonist. My Mom and Dad, loving parents that they were, really supported this effort, getting me a drafting table and all the paraphernalia that went with it. I was doing a course in cartooning by mail for sometime. Then, of course, sports, music and girls, in that order, kicked in and cartooning got left in the dust somewhere. Like the piano lessons that my pater familias foisted on me, this skill came back to be of great value in later life, especially in some of the website things I do now. Not so much the cartoon style as much as the sense of art and eye that it got me started with at an early age.
I offered my services to the fellow that was publishing the magazine, drawing up some pencil sketches of what I had in mind. As a member of a traveling band, I thought it would be fun to take on the adventures of a 5 piece club band who had had one disco hit in the eighties and were continuing to eke out a living on it by traveling the highways and byways of the US. I didn't have a name for the band of the strip until Phil, the editor, decided to call it Frets. After 5 episodes I was just getting interested in the storyline of the project and had great plans for the group. I was going to get them back to Los Angeles and involve them with the politics and general shenanigans of the current music industry as near outsiders - never quite getting that big hit but always right in the mix. Hmmm, that sounds familiar!
Unfortunately, the magazine died, as most do, and I only completed 5 sets of panels. I never made an effort to get Kiki and the boys into another gig, though I enjoyed the whole process immensely. Click here to see the 5 panels of Frets.
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