Thoughts and illustrations on living with Asperger's Syndrome.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Meet The Characters: Dinky Doughnuts

Dinky Doughnuts is the doggie of “Dude.” Often he provides a level-headed counterpoint to the more excitable and angst-prone Fuzzy. Dinky is an NT who is friendly, yet mellow. He does not always understand Fuzzy’s Aspie behavior, as shown in “Noodle” and “Cookies and Cream.” His origins are quite extensive.

Dinky first appeared in January 1986 in “Slick Says Short Stupid Sam Stories,” my comic-within-a-newpaper. He did not have a name at this time. In the comic, Dinky repeatedly interrupts Slick mid-story with his scenery-chewing walk-ons. Slick finds this adorable, but Sam gets annoyed and plots to kidnap Dinky. Sam then frames Q-Bert for the crime, but a secret video captures the whole thing, Q-Bert is cleared, and Sam is sent to jail.
First appearance of Dinky Doughnuts, January 7, 1986
Dinky Doughnuts opens a can of whoop-ass on Sam, Jan. 7, 1986

Dinky became a regular character and was quite a ham in his early days. He had a unique quality of breaking the third wall by sitting on top of the other characters’ speech bubbles, or inside them.

Defying the laws of cartoon physics, Feb. 12, 1986

Whooz Whooz on Dinky Doughnuts, Feb. 18, 1986
However, his own dialogue was limited to thought bubbles or different creative spellings of “Woof!” (Ironically, he would have made a very good Aspie.) His Whooz Whooz entry refers to him as “Slick’s Doggy,” and lists his weight as 1 doggy and his height as 1/4 doggy.

Contest announcement, March 13, 1986
Eventually, I held a contest for my readers to name the doggy. The winning submission of Dinky Doughnuts came from Molly, who supplied the name Fuzzysnussle as well.

Dinky began to show some very specific personality quirks, one of which was an extreme appetite for Doritos. Another was to spontaneously break into song. These two traits came into play in a subplot to the story “A Challenge From Coily,” in which Dinky Doughnuts and Slickette try to occupy themselves while the other characters take part in a Q-Bert game. Dinky auditions with a group of singing Doritos and joins them onstage for “Dinky Doughnuts’ Dorito Disco.” It has also been established that Dinky Doughnuts is a dachshund. Is that enough D’s for you?
"Dinky Doughnuts' Dorito Disco," May 1, 1986

I have retained Dinky’s singing talent in his 2010 incarnation, as you can see in "Cinnamon Bears" and "A Dude’s Thanksgiving."

Dinky also makes a cameo in the original Dude, I’m An Aspie! Can you find him?

He is probably my easiest character to draw, since he has barely noticeable arms or legs. However, this also makes it hard to convey action and expressions with him, so you’re most likely to find him laying on the ground, chillin’ out, and observing. I have never had a dog, but if I did, that’s the kind I would have. The laying on the ground kind.

I have great fondness for Dinky as a character, although I think he needs some further development. I feel like I’ve toned down his eccentricity a bit too much. You can surely expect he’ll pop up now and then in future cartoons.

4 comments:

  1. I wish my dog were more like Dinky.

    It's so fun to hear about the evolution of your characters.

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  2. I'm glad others enjoy reading this - after all, it is my special interest, so I could go on and on about my characters whether you all listen or not! :)

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  3. :-) I agree with Stimey; it's fun reading and interesting! I love the drawings and the changes over time, along with the continuity.

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  4. Thank you, Kim. One more installment to go!

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