Sam and Fuzzy Q & A: Serious Business Edition
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"How does it feel for you taking Fuzzy into a more story line? Was it difficult or did you hesitate moving someone so goofy and funny into something more personal and serious?"-Aaron
Definitely! For the longest time, Sam and Fuzzy's golden rule was that every character was allowed to grow and change except Fuzzy, who was almost more of a... I don't know... force than a person. (Or bear.)
But the problem with that, I found, was that old Fuzzy became increasingly sidelined. The entire three-year Noosehead volume really centered primarily around Sam's story -- a lot of the time, Fuzzy wasn't much more then a sort of snarky background presence.
It was all well and good for that volume, but as I approached the half-way mark, I started thinking that I wanted my next big story to bring Fuzzy back to the forefront. The Memory Lapse chapter was the place where I started setting everything up and testing the waters. (It was also a sort of stylistic trial-run for the kind of stories in Fix Your Problem, where Sam and Fuzzy would be tackling various similarly supernatural and science fictiony "missions".)
Putting Fuzzy front and center in such a personal story was a bit nerve wracking at first, but I'm really glad I did it. (I think I've managed to flesh Fuzzy out without sissing him up!) I loved writing the flashbacks with Hazel, and I'm really looking forward to building on them in future stories.
"So, are Paul and Art supposed to look like Hitler split in two?"-Jessica
No... but I like it! This is canon now. You all heard it here first!
"What happened to the stand-alone strips that used to be? Or, rephrasing; do you miss the stories of old... the times where you could just put in anything that was funny at the time and never think about how it might affect it later?"-John
Honestly? Not really! I mean, don't get me wrong... if I ever did miss the one-off gag strips, I could do some! No one is stopping me. But longer stories are what I find the most satisfying to write, and what I think I'm best at. To be honest, sometimes I just feel like I used all my one shot gags up! That's probably not true, but I do suspect that if I forced myself to switch back to writing gag strips, the end result would probably not be very good.
"Did you name Paul after Paul Fusco, creator (and voice) of ALF?"-Dave
Absolutely! I also named Max after Max Wright, the man who played Willie Tanner. I find the whole story of ALF's complicated and troubled production incredibly fascinating, (I am a dork) and when the time came to write about "Teddy Knows Best", I couldn't help but draw some inspiration from it.
Bonus feature: check out this YouTube clip of Paul Fusco and his wife having to use an oxygen tank because all the dry ice was making it almost impossible to breathe below stage! Puppets are serious business, man.
That's a wrap for this week! See you on Monday, team.