My earliest favorites were Charles Schulz's Peanuts, and Marvel Comics' The Amazing Spider-Man. As I grew older, these favorites were replaced by Jim Davis' Garfield, and the various Conan comics, also published by Marvel.
I liked Garfield so much at the time that I started doing my own slightly twisted version of the strip, in order to show to my friends, who really seemed to enjoy them. Doing this really helped hone my cartooning skills, I believe. And if I may go off on a tangent here, I'd recommend this to any aspiring cartoonist out there: i.e. if if you haven't got any ideas for a comic strip of your own, then why not take your favorite comic strip and do your own version of it for a while? Some people may be shocked by my suggesting this, but I liken it to how many rock bands get started. They learn their chops by performing cover tunes from their favorite artists, until they are ready to create their own original material. Well Garfield was my "cover material" for several years, until I was finally ready to do my own thing. A word to the wise, however: just don't try and sell your "cover material", or try to pass it off as your own creation, or you could very well get your sorry ass sued!!
Now where was I? Oh yes... for most of the '80's, I wrote and drew my own version of Garfield. I drew my final Garfield comics in late '89, a series of 8 strips that set out to answer the burning question "What if Conan was Garfield's owner?" These strips were a lot of fun to draw, and they practically wrote themselves.
The reason these were my last Garfield comics was because after I drew them, I knew I was on to something. I had put a swords-and-sorcery character in a moden day format of sorts, and I liked what the results were. I had to explore these concepts... but in my own comic strip. Yes, thes strips were the spark that ignited Bruno. And now, here they are, for all to see.
(Note to anyone connected to Garfield or Conan the Barbarian: The following is a parody! I haven't earned any money off it, nor do I even want to . Please don't sue me!)
Click here to see the cover