Fitzpatrick the Rat

This was the comic strip I mentioned in So close and yet so far… the one King Features Syndicate call me about in the mid-90s, and the one I couldn’t really figure out how to make work. Looking at the art now, with the benefit of 20+ years of practice, it needed work (Pocket Lint was better art). And so did the story line. At one point they were colored in, but I’ve since lost those. I found these old drawings in a bin last summer and decided to scan them in.

I still have a fondness for this character. He doesn’t look like a typical rat… I don’t know why. I didn’t give him mouse-like ears… his tail is too fat. I don’t know why I made those design decisions but I did and they are canon now I suppose.

The samples below are from all over the place in terms of setting. Probably done over 5 or 7 years. Sometimes the supporting cast changes (I tried so many different configurations). I obviously had a thing for the rat beating up the cat. I really like animals, and I imagine some of this physical abuse wouldn’t fly today. Looking back I can see why they turned it down I guess. But then, Garfield used to kick the tar out of Odie too, so go figure.

I might try animating some of these one day.

Anyway, sharing with some commentary if appropriate.

This was back in the 90s when “Chainsaw Al” Dunlop was in the news. It sort of made sense back then, and reflects another (failed) attempt at me being topical.

Remember when the Thighmaster was popular? Me neither.

Playing paddle sports with the cat was a recurring theme.

LOL. Tab. Get it?

This was an attempt to introduce a “Dear Fitz” series.

Ross P was actually sane compared to today’s nonsense.

I hand-painted a paddlecat mug. It still sits on my art desk today.

This was during the NFL strike. It made sense back then. A little.

I sense a theme.

More cat abuse.

90s joke.

This was one of the first times I experimented with changing the drawing angle.

I like this one too…


I always liked this one.

Old joke.

Remember Chicken Soup for the Soul? I thought Fitz would write an alternate title.

More cat abuse. I actually like animals…

MJ and Lisa Presley were a weird couple.

Artie was a bird character I had for a while.

Celebrity divorces made more news back in the 90s.

This looked really good in color… I remember it being one of the first ones I colored and loving it.

Another one of my favorites.

This was from a completely different set up, and the only reason I like it is because of the “good swimmer” punch line.

I was trying to serialize the AOL disk story. Ended it pretty quick.

Remember AOL disks? God I’m old.

Another weird one that I liked because of the punch line.