February 30

Continuing down this path of sharing strip concepts that never made it to the mainstream, I’m pleased to present February 30th: The Secret Life of Reluctant Holiday Heroes.

And before you scroll down for the alleged laughs, a mea culpa: I committed a major cartoonist sin in this strip: I did not hand-letter the bubbles. I used a font. I don’t know what I was thinking. Oh, the horror and shame. Please check out Fitzpatrick the Rat and Pocket Lint for assurances that I can hand-letter…

That confession aside, this strip is a mashup of two ideas:

  1. We’re all familiar with the people who have birthday’s on February 29th, and who claim to have gotten married when they were 6, had their first children when they were 8, etc. I love the idea of a “hidden date” that only comes around once in a while. What if there was a day that was “more hidden” than February 29th?
  2. What exactly do all of our holiday icons – Santa, the Easter Bunny, etc. – do “the other” 364 days of the year, when it’s not their moment in the sunshine?

So I created February 30th as this wrinkle in the space-time continuum where those holiday celebs spend their time off. I also loved the idea that, in their off hours, they aren’t quite who we think they are. This was an ensemble cast, consisting of:

feb30cast

  • Punxsutawney Phil, the leader of the group (with hints of Fitzpatrick)
  • Paddy, the unlucky Irish guy
  • Libby, the wishy-washy Statue of Liberty
  • Pete, the hip-hop Easter Bunny
  • Link, dishonest Abe
  • Nick, the greedy capitalist
  • Edna and Jack, Halloween characters who couldn’t be nicer
  • Romeo, the cupid of mischief, and
  • Mr. Gibbles, the neurotic Thanksgiving turkey.

I probably haven’t completely sorted out the nits and nats of this strip, but I really like the concept, and might play around with it in the future.

This sets the stage for the "alter ego" concept: Santa as a cut-throat, competitive bastard.

This sets the stage for the “alter ego” concept: Santa as a cut-throat, competitive bastard.

Tickle me Elmo was popular when I first drew this.

Tickle me Elmo was popular when I first drew this.

I was quickly trying to introduce several characters here: Paddy, Jack and Romeo.

I was quickly trying to introduce several characters here.

I'm not that politically astute to be trying stuff like this. I think I still had the King Features call on my mind.

I’m not that politically astute to be trying stuff like this. I think I still had the King Features call on my mind.

I needed to get out of this cul-de-sac, so I employed a common exit strategy: transferred profiling.

I needed to get out of this cul-de-sac, so I employed a common exit strategy: transferred profiling.

A little closure, and a chance to introduce Abe.

A little closure, and a chance to introduce Abe.

The idea of a talking pumpkin and a vindictive cupid intrigues me. Plus, who remembers Tom Cruise bouncing on Oprah's couch? Blech.

The idea of a talking pumpkin and a vindictive cupid intrigues me. Plus, who remembers Tom Cruise bouncing on Oprah’s couch? Blech.

Apparently, Cupid is a lush.

Apparently, Cupid is a lush.

I wasn't sure about traipsing into this territory. Being a white male, I'm never sure how much my empathy counts for anything. But I was attracted to the chance to poke fun at this topic.

I wasn’t sure about traipsing into this territory. Being a white male, I’m never sure how much my empathy counts for anything. But I was attracted to the chance to poke fun at this topic.

This gave me a chance to introduce Pete AND make a dumb Easter joke. Bonus.

This gave me a chance to introduce Pete AND make a dumb Easter joke. Bonus.

I think all turkeys get neurotic around Thanksgiving.

I think all turkeys get neurotic around Thanksgiving.

Mr. Gibbles had a solution though.

Mr. Gibbles had a solution though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *