A collection of doodles with a bit of commentary by RICK GREEN - your cartooning friend

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Sully Over the Years

Recently I picked up again the pursuing a dream that I've had for many years—the publication of a children's book using one of the many story I've shared with children over the years. As stated in my previous post, I finally illustrated a story which I entitled, Sully Wants To Be a Rabbit. I can't remember when I first made up and illustrated it. It was probably some 30 years ago. Over the years the tale of Sully has taken shape and developed into the story that I tell to children today. I have probably drawn and redrawn this character more than any other of the characters from my "catalog" of tales. Originally Sully's name was "Wilber." But, I figured that was already pretty well owned by a pig.

When I finally decided to change his name I decided to name him after a guy that was... well... quite a stinker. This particular Sully would make an appearance at my office door on occasion and would rant and rave about various things that he thought was important and that I should (according to him) consider as important. He could easily eat up an hour of my time. The truth be known, he was one of the few people that I've met that got me so upset that I kicked him out of my office. I later apologized for my rash behavior. He seem rather fine about the whole event. (Something similar had probably happened with other people he had bother.) So, when it came to choosing a name I thought Sully was the perfect choice, and thus he has been Sully for over 20 years now. (The original Sully no longer walks the earth. I figure he's giving the angels fits in heaven.)

Below is an illustrated history of the various incarnations of Sully—the skunk that wanted to be a rabbit...

My first depiction of Sully drawn on a transparency for use with an overhead projector. Kids now days have no idea what an overheard projector is. I still like using them and I've had children literally ask what it is when I set it up.

This is the version of Sully I have used the most. I can't remember when I first drew him this way, but it has stayed with me many, many years.

A quick pencil sketch of my of my first attempts to create an illustration that I felt was worthy of publication. 

I got busy and decided to create an illustration with a full background. I later backed off that idea—maybe because at the time I felt it wasn't necessary. I'm sure that if a publisher felt that I should fill in my illustrations I would go to work. But many of the illustrations in children's books that I look at aren't filled with a lot of details. 

I kind of like this guy. Not sure why he didn't make the cut. 

A sick Sully. I was trying for more sadness, as oppose to anger.

 A worried and depressed Sully.
This is the version I finally settled on. He's basically unhappy about his life situation. Many people are like that and would rather be like someone else—thus the premiss of the story.