Off Campus

14 March 2005

Where's my Sharpie?

Where's my Sharpie? Have you seen my Sharpie? My special, magical Sharpie? This is the question I'm asking people. This is the question I'm obsessed with. This is the actual reason I'm not drawing the strip right now, and this is the reply I've sent to the elevens of people who wrote in asking why I'm really taking a break from the strip:

Dear kind sir or madam (circle one)

Thank you for your recent inquiry as to what's going on in the now presently unanimated world of OC. You see, I can't find my Sharpie. My special, magical, bottomless well of comic inspiration housed in plastic with a black felt tip. Why can't I just go down to the art supply store or use one of the myriad other drawing implements at the drawing board? Well, I'll tell you.

Back in 1994 I had the pleasure of interviewing one Mr. Steven Wright, king of the monotone one-liner (this is completely true - I have witnesses and video evidence). He is a shorter man than you'd expect, but large in comedic talent. I also have in my possession an autographed head shot of him from that encounter. I also have, or had, the Sharpie he used to sign it.

Back on that fateful evening, I didn't feel the earth shift. I didn't know that his great talent could be channeled into an inanimate device. I just didn't know what I inherited - a magical device that seemed to tap into the collective unconscious, possibly even the raw power of the greatest comedic minds of all time. One doesn't just draw with this Sharpie, you simply watch with wonder as it channels pure comedic brilliance onto the page. It moved me to create pure comic gold for the world to enjoy. I felt honored and privileged to bring this joy to the masses, and I was afraid it wouldn't last, but even after 10 years it never dried up, its inkwell sprung eternal. Until now.

Now it is gone, and I'm lost without it. Sure I've learned a little about being funny along the way, and can pass the time spinning the written word, following in the footsteps of a poor man’s rendition of Steve Martin, Woody Allen or Douglas Adams. A Bill Watterson, Gary Larson or Berkley Breathed wannabe no more. It is a sad day for those without the attention span to read even half this far. Those poor busy souls that need everything spelled and drawn out for them to see, lest they miss it in their busy, busy (or distracted) lives.

So, if you've seen my Sharpie, please do me, the world of comedy, humanity in general (but mostly me) the biggest favor I can think of and bring it back home. Otherwise I'll have to get on with all those chores I've been putting off. The house is a mess from a month’s worth of frantic searching and my wife's getting pissed.