You've met a number of our creators, via their own words, through our "Meet Your Creator" series. We've enjoyed bringing this addition to you as much as our cartoonists have enjoyed sharing this with you. If there is a cartoonist that you'd like to hear from, let us know by commenting here or reaching us on Facebook or Twitter.
Our next creative mind to bring their words and art to you is Tony Carrillo, cartoonist of "F Minus". Tony's comic panel is clever, timely and plays off of the daily frustrations of today's innovations and interactions. Tony, you're up.
Let me take you back. Way back. I’m talking about when man first etched his marks upon the cave walls. “Who is that man,” I wondered, “and why is he ruining my high school trip to Carlsbad Caverns?” That’s when I first got the idea to do a comic strip.
Funny drawings had always been my thing. It was a way of expressing myself where words, whistles, and offensive gestures failed. I would draw pictures in my friends’ yearbooks instead of writing the cliché, “Don’t change! Keep in touch!” Now that I think about it, maybe that’s why all my high school friends changed and stopped calling me.
So in 1997, I submitted one perfect comic to my high school newspaper in Tempe, Arizona. At some point through the years I misplaced that comic, but I still have the rejection letter. It was the first rejection letter I’d ever received from someone who wasn’t a girl I liked. In short, the editorial staff of the paper felt that my content was “not appropriate.”
I quit cartooning forever for five years. In 2002, my college newspaper printed an advertisement stating that there was a spot available for a new student comic strip.
The rest, as they say, is history. Since everything I’ve written so far is also history, I’ll continue.
I drew up a couple of single-panel comics and sent them in with my application. About a week later, I got a call from the features editor of the paper.
”Now see here, Pachuco. I’m in Dutch over this cartoon vacancy and the chief will have a bean-shooter to my noggin if I don’t get it filled lickety-split, see?” (This was how newsmen spoke in the old days.) “After getting a slant at those dingy doodles of yours, me and the boys have you pegged as the real McCoy. Keep it nobby nickel/seven and there’s a sawbuck in it for you, savvy?”
Suffice it to say, I agreed to draw a comic five times a week. I called it F Minus, and it wasn’t that different from the comic I draw today, except now I draw seven per week. (But the extra two aren’t very good.) The rest, as I said, is history.
Some things have changed since those early days. For instance, I've shifted away from the old pen and paper system into the digital realm. Now I draw all my comics on my phone, often while driving.
Be sure to follow me on Twitter @tonycarrillo and @fminus, on Instagram, and don’t forget to like F Minus on Facebook. I post comics, detailed descriptions of my meals, things I see out my window, and anything new happening with F Minus. Who knows what the future may bring…