For newcomers, all
you really need to know right now about this site are four
different cartoons: Mulberry, Electric Wonderland, Keiki, and
possibly Scrambled Eggs. But because I'm such a completist, I had
to list every cartoon series I've ever done here, dating back to
kindergarten (first I learned to walk, then I learned to read,
then I learned to write, then I turned 3....)
Those Two Boys -- January 1989 to whenever it died
Before this I had drawn comics as well...silly little slapstick things. But this was my first steady, regular series. Those Two Boys were Mark and Alex(no last names). Alex was originally named Jeffrey, but then I saw a Family Ties episode and decided I liked Alex better. In the first issue, they looked for the Baby New Year, found him, and then all three pigged out at Burger King noisily.
You might be thinking, "For a first time, Those Two Boys isn't a bad title at all." Well, you have to realize I based the characters on two loud older kids in the YMCA locker room who kept chasing each other and yelling. Since I didn't know their names, their first comic just said "Those two boys."
And just so the information is complete, their first appearance PRIOR to appearing in their own series was "Fighting Jets," from '88. Anyway, speaking of bad titles....
The Rad Kids -- April 1989
So....what was this? Um, as best I can remember, the first issue was some kid gathering firewood while the other kid slept. This WAS pretty rad. One kid's name was Micah, the other kid had no name.
Mill Park Champs -- June 1989
This was a comic about my first grade classroom. Riding on the success of Honey I Shrunk the Kids, in the issue I've got you had Caitlyn Canales making inventions and testing them out on people. Caitlyn was real(so was everyone else in this series), but don't think my putting her in there was a gesture of niceness...I enjoyed driving her crazy and knew she'd hate this as well.
The series was soon renamed School Daze in Second Grade, then obliterated altogether when I started the "Classroom Volumes," collections of stories that were based on actual events in class, but then exaggerated to amusing proportions.
Rad Matt in Disneyland! -- July 1989
This wasn't really a series, I drew it while my friend Matt Nodurft was at Disneyland, and planned to give it to him when he came back. I never did, but I also lost the comic a few years later.
It's just as well....I recall many jokes in that one revolving around his older sister having an annoying obsession with loud radios. Maybe I just wasn't thinking at the time...HIS SISTER WAS @#$%&# DEAF!!
Brandon! -- May 1989
This was INTENDED to be a series, but went the same way as "Rad Matt." Back in TAG, cool kid Brandon Harer had this military operation going. He was the head, we were of various ranks below him. Anthony was "Sergeant Pallermini," I was "Corpral Funny." (Because....I guess I was funny.) I attempted to make a comic out of it here. I guess if I hadn't, I wouldn't even remember this.
Peter Paltridge's Annual!! -- October 1989, March 1990
Taking an idea from Marvel, this super-sized comic featured Those Two Boys, The Rad Kids and Mill Park Champs adventures, all in one package. The next Easter, I did another one. The intent was for every Annual to have a "new comic character." This one had a comic called "BLAIR!?!?!?!?!!" and that was intended to be a series, but it never became one. Blair lived in the same apartments as me and had about 5 sisters. The jokes wrote themselves in this situation....
Scrambled Eggs -- January 1990 to present
This is my longest-running series. Every time I think it's dead for good, I write another issue. And this is one of the cartoons you need to be familiar with, so listen up and take notes:
The comic was originally based on a book called "Hello, My Name is Scrambled Eggs." There was no way I could resist checking out a book with that title from the library. After I had read it, I attempted to make it into a series, but I guess I did a really bad job, and only fragments of the original book's concept are in there. I guess that's a good thing since NOW I can't be sued. The only things that are the same are the names of some of the characters, and the fact that the Vietnamese kid says "No kidding" to everything.
You had Harvey, the straightman; his older brother Quint, a self-proclaimed genius; and then there was Tuan Nuaghen, their adopted brother. This was the Vietnamese kid and he was pretty much the star of the series. They have two intelligence-impaired neighbors named Tommy and Michelle.
Later additions included Harvey's little sister Julia(I reread the book in 1992 and discovered she had been completely left out. D'oh). The same year, Quint got a pet gila monster, in that years's science fair. There have been several science fairs over the course of the series; each time Quint tries to beat Tuan in projects; but loses to him. This is an ongoing joke in the series: Quint is obviously smart, but he can't beat this goofy kid!
A Day in the Life of Matt Wilson -- April 1990 to September 1990
Hands down, the worst series I ever invented. I absolutely, positively hate this.
This one was a combination of Archie and Richie Rich, all rolled up into Matt Wilson, the slick teenager who got $1,000 from the President every day(because he lived in Washington DC, duuuuh). His house had to be a million times a million square feet, and I think his car was the same size. He had all the money and all the babes, and he used 60's slang like "Dig it!" and "Groovy." His room had a dance hall for all his chicks, a thought-reading baseball card machine that could give you any card you wanted(I was really into collecting baseball cards--I was a kid in the days before monsters got their own cards), and a BIRD AVIARY. Did I mention I hate this? I HATE IT.
He went to "GEORGE WASHINGTON HIGH!!!" and stored his stuff in Locker #1, including the Honus Wagner Card(the most valuable baseball card in the world). It was at this scene in the story that someone hiding in the shadows said, "I have to get that card! After all, I am Matt's bully!" I think the bully was the only vaguely good thing about the series. The bully would always try to get Matt, but he'd always fail. Reading these later, I rooted for him.
The series ended in issue 3 when Matt brought a shrinking machine to school with plans to shrink the bully, point and laugh, "Yok, yok." The bully stole it instead, aimed it at Matt, fired and stepped on him. That was the end of the series. The only good thing about this was that I had the insight to know Matt should die.
Henry and Jennifer -- November 1990 to February 1994(plus a special story in January 2001)
I already explained Henry and Jennifer in the Henry and Jennifer section of this site. This was, again, my first comic strip. Henry was originally supposed to be this kid with tremendous brain power who could make anything happen that he thought of. Jennifer was going to be this genius who invented miraculous machines, and they would compete against each other. Yeah, this was going to be cool, but that concept only lasted for the first couple weeks of the strip -- then they became normal kids.
My album series -- 1989 to 1991
These were special comics, with folder covers bought from the store that were intended to house college reports. They were book adaptions, adventures of kids in my second grade class, adventures of me and my cousin, whatever.
Peter Paltridge's LUNCH SACK!!! -- September 1991 to December 1992
By now you're thinking, "Geez, this kid had an entire corporation going." Hey, I've always loved to entertain from day 1. Not included on this list are the various radio programs(with tape recorder) I did, as well as the books and the TV shows. If I included everything I did below the age of twelve alone, I'd be typing for days here. You want this thing to move on, right?
Anyway, when I switched from the plastic lunchbox to the paper sack for fourth grade, I saw an opportunity to stage a show on the blank paper. Any blank paper was doomed for ink in my hands anyway. The Lunch Sack became a daily magazine, complete with wacky comics, articles and ads for "Bubble Scum." "Bubble Scum" was bubble gum in extremely gross flavors. Some of the more disgusting ones my chagrined mother took white-out to before I took the bag off to school. "Bird doo!" was one she censored.
One kid really wanted to try Bubble Scum. I mean, he really wanted it. "PLEEEASE MAKE BUBBLE SCUM!!!" he once pleaded, grabbing at my leg. I wasn't dumb enough to put gum and things like mud and bugs into a blender, but I guess my advertising was effective.
Miraculously, I DO have many editions of the Lunch Sack still hanging around, in a drawer in my room. My third-grade teacher, a Lunch Sack fan and collector, still has the other half, however. I don't know if he treated them right...I hope so. I'd like to see that half again someday.
Hobie Hanson -- January 1992 to February 1993
Scrambled Eggs was still going strong, so I decided to find some more books by the same author to see if I could strike oil as easily. I found out she wrote a series of books, the Hobie Hanson series. I read several, then made it into a comic. It only lasted a little more than a year, but I still like several of the ideas in it. Those ideas, by the way, weren't in the books. All you read here I made up, except for the beauty pageant.
For one thing, you had the rivalry between Lisa Soloman and Molly Bosco. Lisa had been crowned "Miss Pre-Teen Personality" at a beauty pageant and now flaunted that around. Molly, who angered easily, was determined to show her up. This was good, because instead of a good person against a vain person, you had TWO vain people trying to outselfish each other, only on two different levels of vanity.
"Well, it's obvious I'm going to win. I always win, you know." *fluffs hair*
"WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT??? IF ANYBODY'S GOING TO WIN IT'S GOING TO BE ME!! ME ME ME! AND DON'T YOU FORGET IT!! YAAAAARGH!!!"
There was Nick, an average kid except for the fact that he had a sideways mohawk and liked to spray-paint things. There was Marshall, the future comedian who was always doing impressions. And there was also Amber...and this has to be one of my most bizarre adaptions....she was the host of "Amberdy!" and always dragged people in as contestants against their will and protests. Yep, that's what she did--she had a game show.
Jessica Blockhead -- September 1992 to December 1992
Technically this was part of the Lunch Sack...for its final four months, it switched to a comic strip format and featured the adventures of Jessica Blockhead, a satire on Mill Park Elementary School life. When we went swimming, she did and on like that. Jessica had a bigger following than my old lunch sack format...a pity, because I like my first idea. This ended when I changed schools the following January. I drew one Jessica sack for Atkinson School, but no one cared, and that was the end of the whole sack business itself.
Mr. Weirdo -- September 1992 to who knows when
I came up with Mr. Weirdo during one boring day in TAG. This is the kind of thing smart learning produces. Mr. Weirdo looks like a guy wearing those plastic "funny glasses" with the nose and mustache...only that's his actual face. Weirdo would feel at home on some goofy British sitcom like "Mr. Bean," and admittedly he's not the best thing I ever came up with, but there was one reason I kept drawing him: I drew him for school when I didn't want to reveal the projects I was REALLY into. Mr. Weirdo is still around...he appears in a lot of crowds. Search for him sometime in Mulberry or Keiki....
The Boxcar Children -- May 1993 to May 1999
This is what I meant when I said I didn't want to reveal some things. They just wouldn't understand.
Way back since 1990, I had wanted to do something with Gertrude Warner's The Boxcar Children, but wasn't having much luck. I saw a lot more in them than she did. The basic setup there was, you had four orphans who survived on their own using their own smarts. Then, at the end, they found out they were actually rich all along and then for 18 more books they went around the world solving mysteries. Before you go "Zoinks" at me, hear me out.
I was fascinated with the freedom these guys had. There were no grown-ups controlling them at all and they showed up every adult they met. As a kid this really appealed to me and I felt I could do a lot with them. However, I drew several #1 issues over the years, and all of them stunk. For some reason I couldn't get it to work.
With puberty looming within 2 years, this situation would only fascinate me for so long. In 1993 I tried one more time, and it wasn't going good then either. Then on page 7 Violet said something I thought was funny and it SHOT OFF LIKE A ROCKET. I drew 25 issues over the course of a year, several being double-sized--a record I haven't broken to date. When I took it seriously, nothing worked. When I tried being funny with it, it worked on an unprecedented scale to me. In fact, I now thought using these characters for strange jokes was the funniest thing in the world. Later I would decide it wasn't, but leave me in my naivete...
What was going on was, my writing had graduated a few grades with this series. The style of writing I used for it was non-stop, joke-a-second rapid fire, something I had never tried before due to it being too hard, but now it was somehow easier. This series was the future, a sign of things to come. My humor was getting better with this series and I loved it.
Nobody else would like this idea, however, and I knew that...heck, this even seemed bizarre to ME. (yet funny.) I mainly drew these for my cousin Ryan who read The Boxcar Children(the books) and came over every May. In 1994, I had a lot for him to read....
Peter Paltridge's 1994 Binder! -- Um . . . 1994
Since I couldn't show people The Boxcar Children, this presented a problem...that was where my top-notch writing was. But nobody treated anything I did with respect at school anyway by this time, so I just shoveled people whatever garbage I could come up with. "Spaceguy" and "Chickenman" were two things that appeared in the first month of this weaker version of the Lunch Sack. (The difference was, this was on actual paper, and on one of those binders where you can slide paper inside the plastic cover). To alleviate my boredom, I switched the focus of the binder to Mr. Weirdo in February. "Mr. Weirdo Gets a Pet Lion," a serial running at 2 pages a time(front and back), became the longest story I ever wrote, coming in at 64 pages.
The next school year it would feature the middle school mascot in comic book form....
Billy the Cougar -- September 1994 to February 2000
And this was it. Billy lived in a tree high above the jungle and was regularly terrorized by this annoying neighbor named Lily. He also had a next-door neighbor, a leopard named Sam, and there was somebody named Kay Mart that didn't have much use and disappeared. Sam ended up not having much use either, leaving things with Billy and Lily, and that could only go so far. The first year, this thing consisted of all 2-page shorts from the 1994 Binder...but in 1996, it moved to the back pages of some Scrambled Eggs comics. Eventually I just got really tired of it and wrote "The Final Billy the Cougar Story" in which Lily took off her mask and revealed she was Tipper Gore, Billy found out he had an evil twin, and in the final panel the world blew up. The End.
Olympics Coverage -- July 1993 to present
Not a "regular comic" but worth mentioning in its own right; every time the Olympics began, starting with the Lillehammer Olympics in 1994, I would stage mock coverage of the events using my Video Painter(a device that let you make your own hand-drawn shows) and the star power of anchorman Dan Blather. Real Olympics footage would be spliced with his expert anchoring, as well as whoever nut he had to be partnered with that year. The best one by far was the Atlanta one. In 1999 I stopped doing videos however, because I finally decided this was an unreleasable thing to be working on and paper cartoons were a better way to spend my time. This was before DVDs, broadband internet; etc. made this sort of thing possible to release. It couldn't be done for the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake, which wound up on paper, but the '04 Olympics in Greece returned to video and was shown on the site in screencaps.
Side note: The 2002 Olympics remains the largest feature the site ever had. Part one was 24 pages, and the next week an equal 24 were added, making 48 in two weeks. There were even 4 pages that didn't run. Don't expect anything like this now.
Guava Guava -- September 1998 to March 2002
What a mess this cartoon was. I'll do my best to explain.
First, you may notice the leap in time between my last original creation and this one. I hadn't started a new series in a while; I just made more issues of the old ones. But just about everything was getting tired to me by now, and I thought it was time for something different -- I was growing up, and I wanted to keep drawing. Indeed, this was pretty different. As kind of a cross between Life Goes On and King of the Hill, the situations were more realistic and the jokes were more adult. That was the original intention, anyway.
The original series revolved around the life of Lillian Muck, a homely 12-year-old. She had a strange little brother named Billy and an older sister who had her own apartment that she never saw. She lived in Marin County, Oregon; a fictional city. This was the original frame.
Well, that crashed down somewhere along the line. After a few issues, I decided INSTEAD that this comic should be a testing ground for characters in my future comic strip. Then many many changes kept happening....Lillian's name was changed to Ivy, Billy's changed to Buzz, the town's name changed to Marin Meadow, new characters added, new characters dropped, Lil--I mean, Ivy's older sister disappeared, then SHE disappeared and was replaced with what was intended to be a secondary character but I was really beginning to like. When the series was last seen, it was a cartoon from the eyes of Lana, an Asian girl, and her strange friend Buzz(he's just about the only person that survived from the beginning). Overall, I think the only thing that kept this cartoon surviving through all the chaos was the fact that my favorite story I ever wrote happened in it, from issues 5 through 7. At about the fifth time I felt like reinventing the series, I said hell, I'm better off just canning it and starting something else. (See "Marin Meadow.") The last original Guava Guava story appeared in March 2002.
The Forbidden Cartoon -- January 1999 to December 2000
This is the Forbidden Cartoon. Its true identity will never be revealed. I worked on something here--that's all you'll know. Spooky, isn't it? Moving on...
Riot Act! -- January 2001 to January 2003
Riot Act was a variety series hosted by your ol' Uncle Wiggly(remember him? Sure you do). Issues were only made for three consecutive Januaries, only one of which appeared on the site. The variety format proved unnecessary once I realized the site was loose enough to experiment with new ideas on its own.
Cocktails and Dreams -- July 2001 to November 2001
Believe it or not, issue #12 of the Forbidden Cartoon took place in Hawaii, and...I was actually THERE when I was drawing it! A rare event--my family never goes anyplace. After I got back, though, I wasn't satisfied with just this one story. I was now itching to do something with a tropical theme. I tried several things. I introduced a character with an island background in the Forbidden Cartoon, but decided she wasn't that great. Months later, I came out with this.
Cocktails and Dreams took place on Aibara Island, an undiscovered piece of land. The main character was Trey, who washed ashore as a little kid and was one of the only outsiders the villagers didn't kill or eat. So he grew up there, and his best friend was Princess Riana, the leader of the island since her parents mysteriously disappeared. Other characters included Lessie, a cranky girl; Professor Ripfire, a large lizard; Gorp, a butcher you didn't want to meet in a dark alley; and the Dravidian Republic, a Chinese Communist nation that wanted the island for its oil. Despite if you think any of these ideas are any good, they ended up not working for me. I scrapped this after only three issues. Back to the drawing board....
Keiki -- July 2002 to present
I didn't have many options left for my tropical cartoon; the only thing left to do was actually set it IN Hawaii. But luckily, that apporach finally seemed to work. People tend to think of Hawaii as this wonderful, magical place and they're fascinated by it. Considering it's real, that can't be entirely accurate. I wanted to draw the real thing. Then Disney released the Lilo and Stitch trailer...after downloading it out of curiosity and laughing my head off, I knew the direction I wanted to go.
First I came up with Keiki, a smart 11-year-old girl, and then a cast of other wonderful characters sprung up in no time, by pondering what kind of people most assume don't live in Hawaii but probably do. Unsurprisingly, Queenie was the first to come out of that question.
World of Nester -- October 2002
The first thing I ever sent out to a business corporation with intent of purchase was a proposed revival of the "Nester" cartoons in Nintendo Power magazine. But I was told in a letter back that only one man was in charge of changes to the magazine and he didn't accept any ideas outside of his own.
At the time, NP desperately needed help. In 2005 they got a major revamp and now the mag is respectable, so I think they'd be less open to a return of Nester now, though he did reappear in the 20th anniversary issue. Despite being rejected, this series was sequeled with the feature cartoon "Nester and Wiiner" and its followup.
Marin Meadow -- January 2003 to January 2004
"Marin Meadow" was basically Guava Guava in comic strip form, with Lana as its main character. The strip was started in response to people who said they'd remember to visit my site easier if something on it changed more than once a week. They lied -- they still didn't remember. I also figured I could start work on something that I could sell to syndicate editors, and get in newspapers. Unfortunately, it wasn't that good, and I was kind of forcing myself into it. 100 strips were produced within the timespan of a year, and I was disappointed with many of them. The original idea was to make the strip kind of like Rocko's Modern Life in that you had only one sane character, and then everyone around her was annoying and nuts. But I couldn't really control the direction the strip went, and ultimately, Rocko was way better.
Random Codes -- January 2004 to August 2004
In October new Marin Meadow strips stopped appearing, and the thing went on hiatus. One new cartoon in January appeared, and then I entered a contest that a major website was running. They were looking for a comic strip, and I sent a completely different idea than what Marin Meadow was. It won, the strip was picked up, and in my opinion it was leagues better than MM. That was the gunshot that killed it. Many of my failed concepts expire this way--they get weaker, but they don't truly die until something takes their place entirely.
Why Random Codes stopped after only 17 strips is another story in itself, and quite longer.
Mulberry -- May 2004 to present
Not many people remember, or were here to remember, but in the final ten Marin Meadow strips, Mulberry Sharona showed up for the first time. One was not responsible for the existence of the other...I came up with Mulberry independently and tried her out in the strip. You already know the fate of Marin Meadow, but Mulberry lingered on in my mind. Her cascading flow of hair, fiery red shirt and general attitude made me wonder about her...and the end result was a ten-page preview of a possible "Mulberry" series, which appeared in May 2004. In September '04 "Suddenly Mulberry," the first "real" Mulberry story, appeared, but it wasn't as good as the preview turned out to be. I consider the May ten-pager to be the true debut of Mulberry as we all know her today, and she only grew bigger from there, becoming the site's mascot and central character within one year.
Randy 'n Sandy -- May 2005
This is the shortest series I ever made -- it was only seven pages long. Throughout my time in community college, I was told over and over that I should submit something for their paper, but I never did. They had a dumb rule that all their comic strips had to be about college, and there was also the fact that nobody read the college paper anyway.
Of course, I would act if I had one good idea that would change my mind, but one didn't come until the eleventh hour. I suddenly thunked up a strip that would devilishly combine every bad college teacher I ever had into one character -- the "Sandy" of the title. I just had to do that, so I wrote up 7 "Randy 'n Sandy" strips and E-mailed them to the college paper.
This, however, was my final semester, and they never seemed to get any of my E-mails, nor see the strip when it was whacked down in front of their faces at the office itself. I left community college with "Randy 'n Sandy" still not published, and if they ever did print it, I'll never know.
Scary News with Natali Marmalade -- January 2006 to present
For Portlanders Only is the sister site to Platypus Comix -- a place I created in which to dump all the locally-themed material I discover that wouldn't be as interesting to anyone who hasn't lived in Portland for their whole lives. To garnish the bottom of the main page I started a comic strip starring Natali Marmalade, a character based off a real anchorwoman. She had appeared in Keiki before, as Hawaii's anchorwoman, but this time she was in a more correct continuity. Scary News is usually there to make fun of local news practices like germophobe reports and fear-based sweeps stunts. I rarely have time to devote to it with my other site and all, so new strips are rare.
Electric Wonderland -- October
2007 to present
During the summer of 2007 I came up with an irresistible idea -- the Internet of the future. A lot of humor comes from people at their worst. And where are people always at their worst? On the Internet. I envisioned it as a virtual three-dimensional world, with everyone represented by avatars. Electric Wonderland is the first series created with an online audience specifically in mind -- Mulberry was created to be a comic strip character. I still want her to be that, but the prospects for newspapers are looking bleaker by the day.
There is actually more to the stories of how Keiki, Mulberry and Electric Wonderland came to be, but to find out the rest, you'll have to purchase the books that contain the material they debuted in. (Note: some have not been made yet at the time of this revision.)
Are you still here? Geez, you must be more bored than I thought. Well, if you ARE still here, then that means you care about wanting to know what's going on behind the stories shown on this site. Thank you very much. Now go stretch--you've been sitting here for a long time.