10 March 2013

This week, no Mr. Squish. Instead, the Angriest Freshman.

After my revelation last time that I and Warren Nicht were the actual guys behind the strip The Angriest Freshman in the World, fellow Sac State Hornet cartoonist Wayne Kunert went digging round his back copies and sent me a few examples. So I’ve provided them here for your viewing pleasure.

A little recap. The Angriest Freshman was based on the David Lynch strip (yep, that David Lynch) The Angriest Dog in the World. Our idea was to make it funny, rather than odd. But since I already had Mr. Squish in the Hornet, I knew it’d be tricky to have a second strip in there. Plus, since we were planning to heavily ridicule frat boys, we knew putting our own names on it would get us a bit of grief. I already got enough grief for simply having Randall Macfloon as a character in Mr. Squish. He was a fraternity member. I had, to that point, never ever made an anti-fraternity joke. (Well, unless you count this one. I don’t.) Yet I still got crap from frat boys who were convinced his very presence in my strip was so I could mock them. And that’s not counting all the crap I got from frat boys for no reason whatsoever.

So late one night, Warren and I came up with the lines, I drew it, and we submitted the first strip, along with the following letter to Wayne, signed “Philip Anders” in what is so very obviously my handwriting. Between that, and how much the drawings look like the other stuff I drew, my fingerprints were all over this thing, and I’m surprised I wasn’t spotted. But then again, if nobody even suspects a fraud, I suppose nobody will catch it.

To Wayne Kunert, Opinion Editor, CSUS Hornet

Dear Wayne:

Maybe you are familiar with David Lynch’s comic strip, “The Angriest Dog in the World.” I have seen it once. It sucked. David Lynch may be a great director, and he may write a great T.V. series, but he can’t draw a cartoon very well.

I noticed you have a lot of really interesting comic strips in your paper. I’m a big fan of your strip, and especially Mr. Squish. Tell Kent Leslie he’s going to make it big some day. I’ve been collecting his strip for a while, because they’re going to be collector’s items some day. I named the fraternity house based on his initials. I hope he doesn’t mind.

So, I thought I’d create a better strip than the one David Lynch has done, but with the same idea. I think it’s a good idea to have a running joke like this, but the metaphysical bulls--- doesn’t make sense.

Anyway, here’s the cartoon. I hope you like it, and I hope you’ll run it. If not, thanks for giving me a fighting chance.

Sincerely, Philip Anders

No really. Warren wrote this. Yeah, I signed off on patting my own back really heavily. At the time I actually thought it wasn’t a tip-off of my involvement.

Anyway, Wayne found it the next day, and Warren and I both told him, “Yeah, the dude came by last night and put it in your box.” Wayne found it amusing, and showed it to our editor-in-chief, Dave, who also found it amusing. And there y’are. We submitted Angriest Freshman strips for the rest of the semester.

Wayne scanned these three strips and sent ’em to me. I don’t know their publication dates, but they all ran in Spring 1991.

Like I said, I just drew one original strip, then photocopied it. The only thing that changed were the lines… and sometimes I’d add to the art, like that strip above where the Angriest Freshman was getting puked upon. (Again. I’d already done a strip where somebody mistook the basement for the bathroom, and got sick all over the Angriest Freshman.)

Like I also said, some of these strips wrote themselves. The Greek Sing strip was based on a the politically incorrect skits that went on at one year’s Greek Sing: Students in blackface (hence the line, “Do I look dark enough?”) singing inappropriate things. No, they didn’t sing the “I’m a frat boy / I drink beer” song. That was something the fraternity members sang in the privacy of their own houses. Between the two of us, we had overheard plenty of frat boy conversations. Sometimes we’d deliberately have Arts & Features staff meetings (or lunch) in The Pub, the on-campus watering hole, so we could overhear those conversations, and walk away with five or six strip ideas. But that was never an easy task: We had to stifle a lot of laughter, lest we tip off the frat boys we were listening in.

Anyway. Many thanks to Wayne for sending these. He sent more stuff, but I’m saving that stuff for when I tell the story of a very stupid feud that arose between Hornet cartoonists. Stay tuned for that one.