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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Musical Petey

I just drew a few daily strips about Petey practising the oboe. When Cul de Sac was running in the Post Mag Petey played the trombone. I think he switched because the trombone is too hard to draw. (Try drawing somebody playing a trombone and you'll see what I mean; it always comes out looking like somebody's trying to wear a crutch like a hat) I chose the trombone for Petey because it was so counter-intuitive. Petey's pretty much an introvert and there's no more extroverted instrument than the trombone, it's the most glad-handing of the brass family. But oboes are reasonably funny, and they have that reputation of being the ill wind that nobody blows good.

Below is a sequence from the Post of about 3 years ago when Petey was facing his public trombone debut.




21 comments:

Dustin Harbin said...

This is so good it's making me sick in my stomach. In the good way. Although, as a relatively new reader, it pains me deeply that there are pre-me Cul De Sac strips that I cannot read. Similar to the pain of not being able to look lovingly at a Cul De Sac book on my shelf. Ouch! All this pain!

Mike Rhode said...

Actually - Richard owns the rights to them. How about a book, Richard?!

Josh said...

Actually, the trumpet is the most extroverted of the musical instruments.
My fiancee is an elementary music teacher and and can generally pinpoint, with uncanny accuracy, what personality-types go for which instruments. And while I don't remember the specifics, I'd say trombone seems like a pretty good fit for Petey.
I'll have to ask her about the oboe.

Billy O. said...

Check it out. My imaginary hometown loves Cul de Sac?

http://kitsapsun.com/polls/2007/nov/comix-poll/results/

richardcthompson said...

Dustin! I've got book deal working for the syndicated stuff, the rest may follow. Or I'll just slowly post it all here. Or hello Lulu.com. Did you work with them, Mike?

Josh, that must be true about the trumpet. But the trombone does have the slide, and it's used for the big loud stuff in a symphony. How does your fiance define oboists, can she pick those? How about tuba players.

Billy O, thanks for the good news from your imaginary hometown! It's nice to have the imaginary community in my corner.

Patty said...

As an oboist, I'm thrilled. We are introverts, to be sure. We are also somewhat neurotic.

I've never seen your series (I don't get a paper) but now I'm dying to read it!

Carter said...

the cape! I love the cape!

Josh said...

Oboeists are neurotic, certainly; especially of the straight-A grade-conscious type neuroses.

Trombonists, it turns out, are laid-back types who mostly keep to themselves. They can be a bit egotistical but not overtly so; more of a quiet self-confidence. They're the foundation of any good big-band horn section; they know it and don't really care if the rest of the world doesn't.

Tuba players, ironically, tend to be small. And kinda nerdy.

markheath said...

In my experience, trumpet players tend to be five ten, about 217 pounds, balding, and private. But maybe that's just me.

When I played trumpet in high school, I could have used a cape. Every performance inspired sickness. If not in the audience, at least with me. Every trumpet should come with a distancing mechanism. (one year I dressed as Santa and played Jingle Bell Rock at a Christmas concert. Earlier in the evening I blew my lip, and under the beard I was playing with a blood blister. No one noticed, thanks to the Santa suit. I should probably wear the suit more often.)

I'd agree with Josh, that trumpets are designed for extroverts. Hunt up a video of James Morrison doing his six-gun trumpet spin. That's hard to do with a trombone. But unless you're a lead trumpet, you can live the dream of the shy lifestyle by playing in the third and fourth chair.

Danny Fry said...

The cool kids play triangle.

By the way... Petey's Viking Helmut rules!

Josh said...

Mark ... I thought the trumpet was its own distancing mechanism...?

Sounds as though you and I are both exceptions to the "brash, egotistical extrovert" trumpet-player stereotype.

Though personally, I was never a very good trumpet player, and was more comfortable on the euphonium.

Stacy Curtis said...

Okay, I'll confess. I've played the trombone since the fourth grade.

When my elementary school cohorts and I went to the music room to sign up for band class, we were all asked, "What instrument would you like to play?" When it came our turn, my buddy next to me said, "I'd like to play the trombone." And so I quickly said, "I'd like to play the trombone, too!"

I had no idea what a trombone was. I was just there because I thought all the cool kids went to the band class.

here today, gone tomorrow said...

Is that the same party dress that crinkled so loudly it nearly sent Petey to a mental institution?

Mark Anderson said...

Trombonists in my experience are generally the goofy fat guys in any ensemble. They're also entertaining bowlers and generally good drunks.

As far as being hard to draw, I have an advantage having looked down a slide for almost twenty years. For my money a good french horn is the true test.

Mike Rhode said...

You don't really work with Lulu.com - you toss stuff up and see how it sticks. It's pretty easy - the UPS is releasing a lot of comics collections through there now. I can give you a hand if you decide to go that route.

nolanart said...

Wow, a record number of posts today! Must be the trombones.

...or the oboes.

Will now be waiting for the Cul de Sac book.

richardcthompson said...

Gee, now I'll have to post the rest of Petey's trombone recital (yes, HereToday, you remember correctly). Patty, a horn player told me oboists are neurotic because they have to sit and make reeds ever day, and it awakens in them something obsessive.

I say this as a lapsed bagpiper, and bagpipers are wisely viewed as angry loners, even when they play in a band. Now I'm a mediocre mostly self-taught piano player.

So we've got a professional oboist, a triangle virtuoso, a brass section, a hunt-and-peck pianist and I'm sure the rest of you can sing. Let's start a band!

markheath said...

If Steve Gadd was a cartoonist, we'd be all set.

Stacy Curtis said...

I also have a banjo that sits next to my drawing table. I'm trying to be self-taught, but it's slow going.

pattyoboe@mac.com said...

Might I sing instead of playing the oboe? I don't have a great voice, and I think viritual singing would work well for me. ;-)

richardcthompson said...

Steve Gadd would be a great name for a cartoonist, too. It just sounds happy. But I think a bunch of cartoonists have been jazz musicians, like half the New Yorker guys are.

Jeez, I've got a banjo in my studio, too! It's a four-string tenor "Irish" banjoy my wife got me when we were married. I've learned one lick on it, and I know how to put new strings on it, and how to tune them. Or I did; it's been a while. I need inspiration. And time. And renewed powers of concentration.

Patty, you're welcome to sing. If it's virtual that's fine, that's the only kinda singing I'm capable of. In real life I can barely grate out Happy Birthday to You.