Monday, March 20, 2017

Happy Vernal Equinox from Vernal Q. Equinox!

Vernal Q. Equinox in his natural habitat.

When I was in junior high and high school, I created a variety of crudely-rendered characters who "starred" in comics that I would pass around every day in class. Some of the characters, like Iffy the Troll and Margin Man, had dozens of little pencil-drawn adventures. Others, however, only appeared once or twice before being abandoned. Even then, I was sensitive to reader feedback. Only the characters that got the best reaction became regulars. One quickly abandoned character was redneck mechanic Vernal Q. Equinox. I must have heard the term "vernal equinox" somewhere and thought it sounded like a funny name.

I'm sure I was influenced by Jim Varney's then-ubiquitous "Hey, Vern!" commercials, plus the Gomer and Goober Pyle characters from The Andy Griffith Show. The illustration above is my attempt to recreate what Vernal would have looked like. None of his original adventures -- and there couldn't have been more than two or three -- survive to this day in any form. The photographic background is pretty authentic. I used to clip out B&W pictures of things I didn't feel like drawing.

Why do I mention any of this? Well, today is the vernal equinox, and it made me think back to those old comics I used to do. I'm the only person in the world who remembers Vernal Q. Equinox, so this blog post is my way of immortalizing him before he vanishes from even my memory. And what is this blog good for if it can't be a repository of my useless trivia from the past? Enjoy this moment, Vernal.

Incidentally, if anyone feels that Vernal might be a marketable character, I'd be willing to sell him very cheaply. Like I'd take a pack of gum for him.