You may wonder why I named a strip MISSISSIPPI SWAMP DRAGONS. Well it’s simply because I can’t spell NANIH WAIYA consistently. It was going to be NANIH WAIYA SWAMP DRAGONS until I realized that I couldn’t spell it the same way twice & no one outside the county I live in could pronounce it right by looking at it in it’s written form….so I went with the MISSISSIPPI SWAMP DRAGONS. Even in this article I’m cutting and pasting the name to make it easier on me.

The main characters are HERMAN THE PSYCHOTIC CHICKEN …. his best friend and neighbor KNOTHEAD THE CLOWN … the Swamp Dragons BILL & BUBBA …. FUZZYWHAT, a short furry something from a pocket dimension in HERMAN’S closet behind his boots. There are also plenty of secondary characters.

HERMAN lives with BILL & BUBBA the Swamp Dragons in a nice and homey cave in the back corner of the county. KNOTHEAD lives in a two story mobile home next door to them. HERMAN & KNOTHEAD tend to get into a lot of mischief, …. tormenting nuns ….. stealing Halloween candy from children …. tormenting nuns ….. aggravating MELVIN the Mailman ….. tormenting nuns …. picking on KILTBOY …..and most importantly….tormenting nuns.

Yes….KILTBOY crosses over and appears in this strip also. Some of the secondary characters are used in different strips even if it’s just in the background. Ironically, MELVIN the Mailman appears in the QUICK APPLIANCE REPAIR strip where nobody believes him when he talks about being harassed by a psychotic chicken and a clown. I also need to point out that KNOTHEAD’s character is a very pessimistic clown.

HERMAN was the first character that I ever came up with that I planned to use in a comic strip. It took me a few years to figure out the strip around him. I originally teamed him up with a chimpanzee. It didn’t work for me. Telling a friend’s sister about the NANIH WAIYA Swamp Dragons one day and how they would jump on children’s beds and make the slats fall out and eat teddy bears and crush easter eggs gave me the idea for some more characters. I figured they were the perfect room mates for HERMAN. HERMAN more or less just sponges off of them. Later I wanted a really pessimistic clown and KNOTHEAD was born. He was the perfect running buddy for HERMAN. They have all sorts of adventures with the ’68 Buick Skylark that they modified into a hover craft ….I used to own a ’68 Buick Skylark and it was my favorite car. It belonged to my grandma, who bought it new before granddaddy died, and when she got a new car, a Buick Skylark, I acquired the ’68 and drove it all thru high school and college and many years after. I sold the car around 5 or 7 years ago and as far as I know it’s still on the road now. You could almost consider the car a secondary character.

The first 28 strips of this title are the first real strips that I’ve ever drawn. Thus they are the worst strips that I’ve ever written. I did not even use them in my paper when I was doing it and they do not appear in my archive. The second month started getting better and the wrtitting was improving. Then came the day me and my brother were talking and the creation of QUICK APPLIANCE REPAIR came about. Ironically, it came about while riding in the appliance truck running service calls. I started working on the character development and writing strips and drawing them. I just completely forgot and ignored the MISSISSIPPI SWAMP DRAGON strip during this time. I worked off and on for over a year on this strip. This was long before self publishing anything or drawing on a regular schedule and I was just stockpiling what I got done for use later. A year or more had past and I came across the strips that I had written for MISSISSIPPI SWAMP DRAGONS and decided I needed to draw some more of them. I never even picked up the original 28 strips to look at them before I went back to drawing them. There is this process called evolution of a comic strip. You can look at early “Garfield’s” or early “Peanuts” strips and compare them to the latest versions and see what I’m talking about. The 28th strip and the 29th strip of this title doesn’t even look like it was drawn by the same person. There is a missing evolutionary link in this strip. That missing link is in the first 150 strips of QUICK APPLIANCE REPAIR. Just to show you what I mean, below is the 28th strip of MSD. I have never published it before.

Now compare it to the strip below, which is the 29th one, and see just how much difference there is.

Now just a reminder about TALES FROM THE APPLIANCE GRAVEYARD that will be starting this Wednesday October 1st at BUBBAWORLDCOMIX.NET .Be sure to check it out.



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