I am thrilled to be part of the graphic novel panel at the NCS 2020 Reuben Awards, and to be cartoonified by Tom Richmond. But, oh to have a time machine to go back and tell my Garfield-obsessed, eight-year-old self that someday, I would not only would I be a cartoonist (my childhood dream come true) but I would end up on the cover of a brochure next to Jim Davis, my childhood idol, with our characters only inches apart.
When I was a kid, I would STUDY every Garfield book the second it came out. All I wanted to do was be a cartoonist. I also used to like hanging things on the wall like my Sandra Boynton poster and Annie doll. Armed with Fun-Tak, I would hang literally everything I could. I had a wall covered with stuffed animals, sunglasses, a Rubik's Cube, magic markers and whatever else that wasn't already nailed down. I loved my sculpture wall until it got really hot that summer and the Fun-Tak melted, turning the wall into an homage to Salvator Dali, ripping off the paint as it got even more surreal. (My poor parents.)
I also have what was I think might have been an early vision board with words like "Travel" and "Hooray." But then I cut out some really random stuff like: "Save a lettuce's life", "Isn't it time your plants take a stand" and "Put some Snap, Crackle, Pop into your life." I have no idea was I was thinking. (I still don't.)
And to make this situation even more meta than it is...the character "Cat" from NAT ENOUGH was based on my childhood cat, but the whole reason I had an orange cat in the first place was because of Garfield! (My poor parents.) To top it off, much of the inspiration for NAT ENOUGH was taken from the entires in my Garfield diary.
I met Jim Davis at my first Reuben Awards in Las Vegas in 2013 and my eight-year-old brain exploded then too.