Last night I had an odd dream:
In my dream, I was a down-on-my-luck comic artist. I had once had a readership that dwarfed that of all other artists out there, including such giants as Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert. My most famous strip of the series was my hilarious rendition of a pun about someone who mishears "Don't burn your bridges" as "Don't burn her britches" (don't ask, I don't recall how the punchline turned out, let alone what the setup was).
Anyway, in my dream, I came across a homeless waif (looking suitably Dickens-ish) begging on a street corner, and took him home to give him a good meal and a warm place to spend the night. He saw the many comics I had framed and hung on the wall (I guess I was pretty egotistical in this dream) and immediately came up with a spinoff strip idea. He was spouting plotline after plotline, and punchlines to match – I had trouble scribbling them all down before they were lost to my faulty memory. We ended up staying up half the night developing the characters and hashing out together the first dozen-or-so strips.
When I awoke in the morning, I found the boy gone, with only the word "THANKS" carefully printed in a childish script across a blank sheet of paper on my drafting board. I remember spending the following years basking in the glory of my new strip, which almost immediately overshadowed the popularity of my previous comic. I spent a decent portion of my income the first couple of years hiring detectives and other investigators to search for the boy to whom I owed my success, but never found hide nor hair of him. After I gave up on finding him, I started donating part of my revenue from the comic strip to various foster homes and shelters in an attempt to pass on what the boy had given to me. I awoke this morning with a bittersweet emotions: happiness for all the people that orphan (through me) had helped, combined with a wistful regret that I wasn't ever able to be more help to the boy himself.
Read and post comments | Send to a friend