Thoughts and illustrations on living on the autism spectrum.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Meet The Characters: Fuzzysnussle

As you know from previous posts, I have a 25-year history in cartooning. The characters I use in this blog go back to those early days. Now that they’re OMG-famous!, it’s high time to give them a proper introduction.

Fuzzysnussle is the large-nosed face of the franchise that is Dude, I'm An Aspie, if you can call it a franchise. When I set out to draw my first post, I needed a character to represent me. He had to be easy to draw, because it had been a long time between cartoons.

Fuzzysnussle was created by my friend Molly in 5th grade in 1986 in a guest spot in my newspaper "Terminator." She supplied the first drawing of him, the name, and a capsule backstory. He had come to Earth from the planet Quirk. And, he liked horses.

First appearance of Fuzzysnussle, Feb. 18, 1986
... And that was the extent of the backstory. I adopted the character and used him as a supporting cast member, managing to give him hardly any personality.

Fuzzy displayed some hero qualities early on, in an appearance in my comic strip “Slick Says Short Stupid Sam Stories.” It was Fuzzy who brought the antidote after an attack by the Mad Moustacher, which was a Robby Spongy Bit. (More effective than shaving cream.) He then helped the crew foil her evil plan.

"The Mad Moustacher," Feb. 24, 1986
Fuzzy had much shorter hair back then. He also spoke in cursive at first, but later in print, presumably as he learned the language of the Earthlings. It was later revealed that he had a cousin named Fussysnuzzle (pictured at far right above), who had even less personality.

Fizzysnussle, Feb. 1986
When you mix a Fuzzysnussle with Pespi, what do you get? A Fizzysnussle.

"Return of the Mad Moustacher," June 1986
Later, a new Mad Moustacher returned to seek revenge, and Fuzzy again joined our heroes to battle her. He had acquired a train at this point, which served as an effective mode of transportation.

In “Piggy Parties, The Book,” set 20 years in the future in 2006, Fuzzysnussle’s cousin was killed in World War III by a graduate of Laser Tag Academy. Overcome by grief and rage, he turned vigilante and swore revenge on the enemy, Khadaffy IV. In a vengeful, yet brave display, Fuzzy singlehandedly penetrated palace defenses, marched in unarmed, and adminstered a fatal head-plucking. He thus saved the world.

"Piggy Parties, The Book," Fall 1986
All that history, to say, the Fuzzy personality was effectively a blank slate when Dude came around.

The Fuzzy of 2010 is much more of a developed character. I use him to represent Aspie traits and point of view. I often use him to speak for myself, though not always. 

It’s been great fun to watch him evolve over the past year and to give him a much greater range of expressions than he ever had. Although he remains easy to draw, it can take several tries to get his expression just right. Fuzzy has his contemplative moments, as shown in “Simply Be,” his hysterical ones as in “Instant Moron-Maker,” and his indecisive ones, as in “I’m An Aspie, Period.”

It is a thrill to think that he’s become an informal icon of Aspgerger’s. Not bad for a fuzzball from the planet Quirk.