The one thing I knew is that I was always a good storyteller. Coming up with a beginning story for the boys was the easy part for me. I knew the Boys would be like the neighborhood kids I grew up with. Running around, fence-jumping and always getting into trouble was their trademark.
The characters were going to be a group of neighborhood dogs along with a few alley cats. The two main characters were the two dogs, Droops, the comical hound dog and Butch, the sensible bulldog. They of course had a villain, the dog catcher, Officer Shagnasty. I still needed one more character to make the troupe complete and that was the alley cat, the cool cat, Scurvy.
Understandably, they were not drawn as refined as they are today. In the beginning I was homing in on my craft. I also could draw but in the beginning that was a challenge. I knew my drawings would never make it in the professional arena, but it allowed me to show others what I was after.
Getting them out into the public was also a challenge. I had limited resources which make things even tougher. They tip-toed out in the public in 1980 when they were published in a local Cable TV guide.
After several weeks of the strip was published, I needed to find an artist to refine the characters. I also wanted to make a MEET AND GREET Event so the kids could meet the characters. I found a local artist to design the new version of the characters. We used the new design on our promotional material for the MEET AND GREET. There was another challenge, I had to get costumes made. I found a local seamstress to make the costumes and a few local neighbor boys to fit into the costumes.
We then decided to rent a local theater where we showed a Peanuts cartoon and introduced the characters there. It was more of a “The Bowser Boy Presents” event.
The event was not the greatest success but at least we pulled it off. It also featured another guest cartoon character I had been working on, C. U. Later, the Alligator. (His story will come much later.) The whole experience inspired me to move forward. I looked at finding a character artist with the same ambitions that I had. Several years later, I found one. He lived in the city next to mine. His name was Chris Hanson. Together we refined the drawings, expanded on some ideas, redesigned the cartoon strips, and began to look at making a short-animated feature. In 1985 we had a new local publication that love what we were doing, and they place our new redesigned cartoon strip in their publications. It was great because we even had sponsors.
We pulled together a small group of artists and want-to-be film makers. We began writing a script entitled, “TROUBLE ON THE TROLLY.” It was about a little cable car in San Francisco who wished he could be like the other grown up cable cars. The Bowser Boy were the featured characters. Butch was one of the Cable Car Conductors and Droop was the comical Maintenance worker. It also featured a few new characters. Chris started drawing out the Storyboard. It was an exciting time. We even redesign the Droops costume.
Unfortunately for me, it was a financially difficult time. I had to put a halt everything pertaining to the Bowers Boys. It would be decades before my dreams would make a comeback.
Coming Soon: Part 3