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A Wayback Playback

Banes at 12:00AM, Dec. 7, 2023

I have a handful of hobbies that mean a lot to me - from an early age, reading, and music (drums at first), and drawing were all important pastimes.

The other day I found an old workbook dated from when I was eight years old. It was an A to Z of animals, mostly pictures cut and pasted and then colored by me, with a sentence for each.
But on the blank pages left over after the assignment, I'd added my own material:

First it was Batman, picture above. An early favorite of mine.

And then it was the Universal Monsters, each with their own page and sort of a mini-comic above each one, showing a sequence of transformation. So, this might be my first effort at a comic (or the oldest surviving material, anyway).

Looks like I couldn't figure out Frankenstein's mini comic so scribbled it out.

It occurs to me after the fact that I might have drawn these monsters later, and may have been older than eight. Just used some blank pages to satisfy my drawing urge. I have no way of clarifying exactly when these monster pics were drawn.

I'm not sure how I knew about the Universal monsters at such a young age. They had cameos on some of the cartoons of the time - maybe that was their intro into my life. At some point I was a big fan of the book collection that told the stories of the movies, along with a bunch of pictures from the classic films. I knew those very well, years before seeing the movies.

The final picture, on the inside back cover of the workbook, is some kind of comic but I'm unclear on what's supposed to be happening there. This looks VERY similar to the working and planning pages I do these days!

Ah, baby Banes! Where'd you go? There's just this withered old husk left, now.

Have you got any early artwork of yours kicking around?

See you next time!


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Ozoneocean at 7:34PM, Dec. 7, 2023

More from baby Banes. He needs his own account and to continue with his Universal Monsters comic.

plymayer at 4:42PM, Dec. 7, 2023

@ paneltastic "so it's been preserved" That was fun to see.

PaulEberhardt at 10:52AM, Dec. 7, 2023

On the condition that they did the task well enough, that is. It works pretty well that way.

PaulEberhardt at 10:50AM, Dec. 7, 2023

Word of mouth among kids does a lot. I remember how at that age I tried to figure out what fascinating characters like Frankenstein and Godzilla look like. We all know who superman is, even if nobody had ever read any of the actual comics. I know my own very first attempts go back even further to the age of four or five or so and involved volcanoes and cats and smurfs and very strange creatures. Practically all of what I drew from that tender age up to my twenties has been lost to mice nesting in the box, but there's still an English workbook I defaced at age eleven. Since as a bilingual kid I was always much better at English than my peers, so I'd quickly get the tasks done (zero mistakes in the entire thing btw.) and then wreak havoc among the didactic characters to pass the time. My English teachers regularly got nervous breakdowns because of my antics. When my students try this kind of thing, I don't - instead I applaud and give them a few comic drawing tips if they want to.

JohnCelestri at 5:59AM, Dec. 7, 2023

It's great to see your earliest drawings; too many lose the evidence of their childhood enthusiasm for creating. My mother kept all my earliest drawings, so (for better or worse) I learned by her example to keep samples of everything I worked on.

marcorossi at 5:52AM, Dec. 7, 2023

I think the first attempts to do some characters would be my early D&D character sheets, when I was 12 or 13. I first had the idea of trying to draw comics when I was 18 or 19, when I was part of a group of comic fans. On the other hand, I've been told that when I was a kid I said that my dream jod was to write mikey mouse stories.

Ironscarf at 4:09AM, Dec. 7, 2023

I always loved comic strips but was led to believe I would never be able to do things the clever and talented people do. Later on a teenage girl showed me how you could look at a picture and draw it and I haven't stopped since. Everything would have been thrown away, but I might have one example, around age 11. Definitely nothing up to the standard of that last comic you posted - I would be framing that one!

paneltastic at 3:42AM, Dec. 7, 2023

Sadly most of my stuff from childhood is lost to time. The earliest stuff I know I still have is a comic I did in high school. A friend of mine who used to love reading it encouraged me to pull it together into a book because he wanted to read it again so it's been preserved.

plymayer at 12:35AM, Dec. 7, 2023

Thanks for sharing. I eat this stuff up.

plymayer at 12:35AM, Dec. 7, 2023

There is very little left of my early drawings. A tablet or two in a box. Sometimes I dig it out for inspiration.

bravo1102 at 12:10AM, Dec. 7, 2023

I have a portfolio box and a filing cabinet with all my old stuff. The other day I went through the little note book with the first Last Straw comic I did back in 6th grade.

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