In a town near where I live there are two streets whose names have always caught my eye. I get a lot of character names from street signs and these two just beg to be brought to life in fantasy fiction. They are called Niblick and Mashie. In my mind, they are two wayward goblins with bad luck and a knack for finding trouble. I considered doing a series of short stories about them or even a novel, but I never have. Still they lingered in the back of my mind, much the same way Royce and Hadrian had.
Recently, my wife and I went to the American History Museum where they had an original Peanuts cartoon penned by Charles Shultz. It had his pencil sketch and the inked-in original. Looking at it, I could see that the art was very simple, and could imagine that it would not have taken Mr. Shultz all that long to do once he had the idea. This got me thinking and on the ride home on the Metro, I considered the idea of a Niblick and Mashie comic strip, or rather a single frame comic staring the two goblins that I could occasionally post here on this blog to poke fun at the life of a fantasy author.
The concept really took off the moment I realized I could make the focus of the comics be about writing and publishing from the point of view of an author’s two minor characters. Almost instantly a dozen ideas popped in my head and when I got home I sketched a couple out. I showed them to my wife. She was wholly unimpressed by my cartooning ability.
Now, as it happens my daughter, Sarah, is an aspiring cartoonist. Who, in addition to her day job, is presently working very hard at creating an epic graphic novel that she expects to finish in about six years (she estimates from her present speed.) Robin suggested I ask her for help.
I presented Sarah with four ideas and she promptly whipped them up in her own whimsical style that made mine look pathetic. So here now is the first of the Niblick and Mashie comics, heretofore and forthwith entitled - Plotholes.
I hope you like it. Look for more adventures of Niblick and Mashie in the World of Literature, as she has time to produce them.