From the creator's website:
I was born in Lincoln, the capital city of Nebraska, on November 5th, 1951. My father, Jack, was in men's clothing (he worked in the men's clothing business -- he also wore men's clothing), and Rosemary, my mom, worked in a bank. My sister Susan was born in 1954, and Lisa joined our family ten years later. Midway through my first-grade year we moved to Hastings, a town of 25,000 a hundred miles to the west. It was there that I discovered comic books around 1960. I lived in Hastings throughout my grade school, junior high and high school years, returning to Lincoln to attend the University of Nebraska in 1970. Lincoln has been my home ever since.
At the age of eight I developed a lifelong (at least so far) fascination with comic books. The first two superhero comics I encountered were Justice League of America #4 and Detective Comics #275 ("The Zebra Batman!"). I was permanently hooked. I was exactly the right age to experience at first hand the renaissance of comics that fans now call the Silver Age -- the resurgence of DC heroes like the Flash and Green Lantern, and the incredible explosion of energy created by Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Stan Lee and others at Marvel Comics. I must have been nine years old in 1961 when I bought Fantastic Four #1 and Amazing Fantasy #15 (the first Spider-man story) at our next-door neighbor's tiny mom-and-pop grocery store.
I was always an avid reader. The first book I ever bought for myself was cartoonist Jules Feiffer's The Great Comic Book Heroes, which introduced me to Jack Cole's Plastic Man, Will Eisner and The Spirit, and opened up to me the entire world of Golden Age comic books. During my junior high years, my best friend Mark and I were lucky enough to discover a local second-hand store called The Commission Shop, where we found a back-issue bonanza priced at a nickel or a dime apiece. It was there that we discovered the EC Comics line (both the beautiful science fiction and the grisly horror titles), and -- via the Ballantine paperback reprints -- the world-shaking satire of Harvey Kurtzman's MAD. What junior high school kid could ever be the same again after experiencing a dose of that anarchic irreverence?
The first drawing I remember being proud of was a head of the Flash a la Carmine Infantino. By the 8th grade I was writing stories and drawing comics to entertain my friends. I was an artist and editor on the junior high and senior high school newspapers, and later an editorial cartoonist and comic-strip artist for The Daily Nebraskan at the University of Nebraska. Of course, my college years were also the heyday of the underground comics movement, and former Kurtzman assistant Robert Crumb became my new idol. I became famous (or infamous) locally for my character Telegram Sam, an ineffectual mad bomber whose name I appropriated from a T. Rex tune. Sam appeared in the alternative paper The Lincoln Gazette. My art at that time was influenced not only by the underground, but by comic-strip greats like Winsor McKay, George McManus, Cliff Sterrett and Bud Fisher (but mostly Elzie Segar and George Herriman). Eventually I self-published two comics: Telegram Sam (1974) and Comix Trip (1976). Later mini-comics featured original material and reprints of assorted strips.
Around the Bicentennial year the underground cartoonist joined the establishment by taking a full-time job with the local public library, eventually joining the Reference department. I've kept my hand in at cartooning through the years, doing comics and designing posters, t-shirts, promotional materials and whatever comes along.
For ten years I taught a course every summer on Comic Book Art for a local supplementary education program called Bright Lights. I still collect comics, and have added (way too many) action figures and original comic art to the list. I'm a fan of pro wrestling (for the humor value, he said defensively). I've had a low-key career as a singer/songwriter, and still perform occasionally at local venues. I participate in several Internet in groups relating to comic books, comic art and the Firesign Theater comedy group. I'm also a huge fan of the girls' athletic programs at one of the local high schools, Lincoln Southeast, and do websites for their volleyball and basketball programs (Go Knights!)
Date of Birth:
November 5th, 1951