The Klyde Saga, part 2

Sketched within remarkably small frames and done totally in pencil, the strips were crude and contained both off-color language, and sometimes humor that only Wes could understand. The story was that of a miniature submarine and its crew of ants that sailed from the creek that ran behind Wes’ house in the farm-town of Freeland, Michigan to another creek that ran near his old neighborhood on the east side of Saginaw, Michigan. Interestingly, if you follow a map, it is indeed possible to connect the two locations by way of water, so long as you can sail in depths of less than three inches. Once back in Wes’ old neighborhood, the submarine ants engage in a fictional havoc.

Once Wes began writing his cartoons, it was like opening a flood gate, and his pencil began producing a number of off-beat ant adventures as his style began to improve. In fact, he produced such a large quantity of cartoons that soon even his own family grew tired of reading them. Eventually, Wes was making cartoons that would be read by no one but himself! These early works are a bit painful to read. Wes’ primary fault being a learning dysfunction which caused him to be “over-phonetically” trained in the first grade. As a result, he tended to spell nearly every word the way it sounded right up until he went to college. Of course, being a product of the public school system, having such an English dysfunction was seen as no obstruction to his completing high school. By the time Wes was ready to go to college, he had a scrap book pasted full of cartoons that no one had ever read.

On August 28th, 1977, Wes stepped onto the campus of the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for the first time. The school was over-flowing with students that year, and Wes along with several hundred other students had to be housed in the Royal Scottish Inn, or translated into aviation terms- “the R.S.I.” which was a motel converted into a dormitory. During that first term at college, he drew a number of large single-frame cartoons depicting life at the R.S.I. These cartoons were used to decorate room 182 where Wes and his two roommates Jeff and “Chuckles” were housed. Soon the cartoons caught the attention of other R.S.I. residents, and one in particular, Dan “the man” Karger encouraged the cartoonist to bring his scrapbook back with him from Michigan after Christmas break so that the guys could see all of his cartoons. Wes did just that and the book was passed around the R.S.I. the following spring and gained far more laughs than the author had expected.

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