I started drawing the “Watson” comic strip in 2006, a little under one year after we got our new puppy – the “real” Watson – in Lewiston, Maine in 2005.
In 2007, although I wasn’t a “tech whiz” I bought the domain WastonStrip.com, started posting strips weekly, and started selling all my weird Watson products. From 2006 – 2010, Watson was just a single panel strip in black and white that I created on Bristol board in pen and ink. I didn’t know anything WordPress at the time, so the organization of the Watson website was very basic.
(In 2006, Watson and Fudgey looked very different from how they look now.)
In 2010, after the strip had undergone a lot of changes I finally created a Facebook account and started posting a few strips on social media to see how they’d go over. As it turns out, I wasn’t very well connected on Facebook at the time so those early strips didn’t get too much traction. From 2011-2015, the strip underwent a lot of changes. I started coloring the strip in Photoshop, started getting more elaborate with my layouts, and also made the strip much larger so I could focus on all the little details that I think make a comic fun (e.g. mugs, bagels, eggs on clotheslines).
I can’t recall how many versions of the Watson website there have been, but I was very sad when my Mac G4 crashed and I lost all my scans and all the original images from the earliest versions of the Watson website.
(This awful haunting shell is all I have left from the website in 2007.)
Although I still have all the original comics, finding time to scan them all in (about 300+ strips) is not an easy thing to do, and is still one of those things I “need to get to.”
(Who is gonna scan in all these old Watson comics from 2006-2010…?)
That said, the new Watson website (designed by the Fabulous Heat Bros) is very good, the strip is now more fun and colorful than ever (says Horwitz), and I’m so glad Watson is still going. Obviously, as a professional cartoonist, there’s always the business side of things to worry about: making money, paying bills, selling products, and posting on social media, but the actual drawing of the strip is what I like best. Although the real Watson left us in 2019 (I miss him every day), I’m still glad I get see him every week in my strip. I get the best notes from readers telling me how much they like the strip and how the adventures of Watson and Fudgey help to brighten their day
It really has been such an exciting adventure.
I can’t wait to see what happens.
This morning I just happened to stumble upon a great, archived radio expose’ about Louis Lunch in New Haven, a national treasure, that was a good, healthy walk from my old apartment (where I was drawing comics) in New Haven. If you listen to the story below (click on the link) you’ll learn that Louis Lunch is a fourth-generation restaurant that has been making its unique burgers in its vertical, gas-powered ovens since WW I. Louis also has a strict rule that no ketchup is to be added to burgers. In fact, they have a ton of rules… and very little seating…. And, it’s great. If you have time listen to the entire story below. It’s a great, fun listen.
Of note, a company offered the Louis Family $5 million dollars a few years back for the shop: He turned them down. More recently, another company offered Grandson Louis, the current owner, $51 million dollars for the shop.
He turned them down.
Because something’s just don’t have a price.