One of the first characters I ever came up with was a cartoon dog, who I never really did come up with a proper name for, though he’s been the most constant thing I’ve ever drawn in my life. Some time in late grade school I was inspired when I found out I was born in the year of the dog, so, logically, I decided to draw one. I liked the character enough to continue doodling him all throughout my middle school and high school careers, all the while refining his design as I got better at drawing. Luckily, I kept a lot of the better sketches of the guy, so you can see his eventual evolution in this handy chart:
There were two major influences on the character. One of my all-time favorite cartoons was, and still is, “Rocko’s Modern Life.” It doesn’t take a lot of effort to see the two of them have the same head. Yeah, I stole it, but I really like that head.
The other influence that came later, and was even more important in shaping how I draw in general, was Bugs Bunny. I always liked Bugs, but it wasn’t until I saw a model sheet of how he was constructed and drawn, that I was inspired to add more dimensionality, volume, detail, and anatomy to my characters. Even now, I don’t consider a character “fully” designed unless I figure out those kind of things about it.
Over the years, this character’s personality and back story have changed a bit, but here’s him in a nutshell: He grew up in the pound, and as a result, knows the whole place like the back of his hand. Ever see the show “Parker Louis Can’t Lose?” It’s kind of like that, but with a dog, and in a pound. He knows everybody there, can get out and in at any time through an elaborate series of secret tunnels, and is always operating crafty schemes without the dog-catcher’s knowledge. Also, about the name. I spent so long not giving him a name, it’s hard to come up with one now, but I have two options I’m thinking about: Jinx or Boomer. I think Jinx fits him pretty well, mostly.
In the last few years, I haven’t drawn this guy much, but I thought I’d bring him back for a new and improved finished piece: