Ask A Cartoonist: In Your Wildest Dreams

By Tea Fougner

Isabella Bannerman, Six Chix:

I haven’t dreamt about cartoon characters since I worked in an animation studio that produced Honey Nut Cheerio ads.
After working for hours on end, I would see nothing but this when I closed my eyes – pretty scary, right?

Then, on a completely unrelated note, about a week ago, I dreamt that I met the pope.


Bill Griffith, Zippy the Pinhead:

Dingburgers always dream about cartoon characters. As Freud said, “Everyone in your dreams is you. And they’re also cartoon character versions of you.” Or something like that.

Rina Piccolo, Six Chix & Tina’s Groove:

“I don’t have any one particular story, but I can tell you that my dreams are sometimes super strange, and yes — I do sometimes dream that I’m either inking, or trying to apply a wash over a wide area. When I have this type of dream, the paper, or surface that I’m supposed to be drawing on is way too close to my face, or — hard to describe— it’s the actual space around me, covering my whole field of vision. And when I ink a line, it’s not with my hand, or pen, it’s a sort of tracking with my eyes. It doesn’t make a world of sense here, but in my dream world it’s totally normal. In one dream that I had like this, the drawing showed people at a cocktail party. Lots of black figures on a sepia-colored background that needed an ink wash. I woke up before I could apply it.”


Bill Holbrook, Kevin & Kell, On The Fastrack, and Safe Havens:

Pretty much every character in On the Fastrack has an active dream life…even Lenore the raven!


John Rose, Barney Google & Snuffy Smith:

Snuffy Smith probably spends more than 75% of his time sleeping! I don’t know what he’s dreaming about in this particular strip, but it’s quite possibly turtle soup or maybe even the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

Hilary Price, Rhymes With Orange:

I had a dream recently where I thought I had a brilliant comic strip idea. It was a cowboy with a really tall hat that was actually a burrito, and the punch line would be– wait for it– “Cowburrito!”
But then I woke up, and it didn’t make any sense.

My dreams are generally the slurry of my brain.

Mort Walker, Beetle Bailey:

Your request reminded me of a dream that had a profound effect on my career. I was at a cocktail party one night and a group of black servicemembers asked to talk to me. The said, “You have a dishonest comic strip. There are thousands of black soldiers in the US Army and you don’t have ANY in your strip.” I went home that night and realized it was wrong to exclude blacks, but most of the characters in Beetle Bailey were not intended to be good examples. I couldn’t make a black lazy like Beetle or stupid like Zero or a sex fiend like Killer. I couldn’t come up with an acceptable character who would represent black servicemen well but also fit in the strip.

Then, one night in my sleep, I dreamed of an officer with an afro haircut and an upbeat attitude. I woke up and made a sketch and in the morning thought of a name, Lt. Jack Flap. When he appeared in the papers, he was immediately accepted. The comic started selling more in foreign countries with a large black population. Later on, I got a nice letter from President Obama and a great visit with Secretary of State Colin Powell. Dreams do come true. Bye! I’m going to bed to have more.

Ron Ferdinand, Dennis the Menace:

Since it’s still close to Christmas, here’s a DENNIS dream from a few Christmas Eves ago that was a real EYE-OPENER for him.

Alex Hallatt, Arctic Circle:

I wish I dreamed about the comics. The only dream I remember this week was about an alien invasion and it seemed very real!