The Man Behind The Cloak

People have been asking me when I was going to put up one of those egocentric "About Me" pages that every webpage is supposed to have. Well, here you go :P

Angeldrawers recieving an unexpected $20. We didn't have a cash box for the con, so we used the shark.

Hi, this is me as taken by Tamarik at Conifur 2003. I'm not the purple one, he's just an attention whore. ;) I think when people picture me, they assume I'm some sort of life-hating shade with piercings galore and constantly wearing black with long stringy hair. I hear "You don't look like I pictured" a lot more than I hear "Hey good to see ya!", but that's fine.

You may know me online as either Pepe Val Pew (My more "vanilla" skunk persona) from my art archives, or Driprat (the asshole people love to hate...or just plain hate. I dunno) from the conventions or MIRC.

Pepe as rendered by the great David Pratt, and Drip with his Ruiner form as drawn by me.

I currently reside in Lakewood, WA in an apartment with my wife (Katie), our cats (Lucifer and Minion), our ferret (Farrago) and an assload of artstuff. I'll spare you the long, tiring dramawhore details of my life since I'm sure you don't care and just talk about my art timeline to eat up space.

I've been drawing all my life, but I only took a serious interest long about the time that Tiny Toon Adventures was in its hayday (I had a thing for little purple french-speaking skunks, what can I say?). I couldn't really draw *well* at the time, but I was determined to get to at least a point of coherancy with my work where I could have people look at a particular drawing and understand what was going on. Several how-to books and months of failures later, I decided I would try my hand at comic-making.

My first few lesser-known ventures were The Gerbilnator, Psycho Squirrel (Sister Penny still insists this was one of my best), Lion King Versus Predator, Hobbes Gets Twitterpated, and Dave The Skunk Versus Aliens. I used to have them all listed on my now-defunct personal webpage, but I have since not pulled them out to see the light of day for understandable reasons. If I ever get the drive to actually dig them up, they will be posted at my lesser keenspace site, Everything Else. To those who think I have not improved over the years, please to take a look at that site. :)

My first serious experiment with a comic series was Bruce The Duck. I printed up four issues of it at Kinko's and then took it to O'Leary's, my local and well-loved comic shop (God rest its soul) and sold them for $1 apiece. I was pleased to learn that they sold out fairly quickly even though I'd lost out about $3 on each sold book since it cost about $4 to make them. But hey, people were buying my stuff! To someone starting out in the art field, it was very encouraging.

I then decided I would take on a bigger project. In honor of all of the zombie movies I grew up on, I would make my own extended version of Night Of The Living Dead. After about a year and a half of production, my first furry splatter epic, Rework The Dead, had been completed and put online. While I'd been a fairly underground and unknown artist in the past with only a handful of people aware of my F.A.N. archive, the introduction of RTD won me somewhat of a cult following. Encouraged, I set to work on Rework The Dead 2.

By the time it had been completed, I had gained infamy as "that guy who draws all the kickass violent furry stories" by some, "The Virtual Van Gogh" by one, and "that crazy Drip fuck" by others. Don't get me wrong, it was great being labeled the fandom's resident psycho as far as a novelty item went, but I wanted to do other things with myself.:)

As an experiment, I tried doing a couple of song-comics (Comics set to the tune of a song I currently enjoyed) for some close friends of mine, ranging from goofy romance to tragic. I was informed that the emotion in them was very well-captured and decided I would take it a step further.

Enter "Trixi and Tet".

This comic was done to pay hommage to a couple I had admired the companionship of for years and who I one day aspired to have a relationship resembling. To say I did not cry while writing this comic would be a lie, so I won't say it. ;) When it had been completed, I started to receive an influx of mail from people who were either extremely touched by it, or who were confused as to the lack of guts therein. Either way, I had accomplished my goal. I'd told a story that played on something other than the reader's shock value and garnered my biggest response of all (a whole twelve replies! WOO!).

It was long about this time that my then-online girlfriend Katie suggested I try to pander to a bigger crowd and gave me the address of Keenspace. Truth be told, I shied away from the idea at first. I was used to a small audience with minimal replies and really didn't think it would be worth my time to try and invent a comic epic to regularly update just to recieve a small trickle of reaction from it.

Never the less, I thought it was worth a shot. I threw together "Fnar The Unborn" as the first arc of an idea I had been playing with and put it online, along with two of my past comics, "Angry Brian" and "Trixi and Tet" to run as filler while I worked on other stories and meanwhile awaited the public's reaction.

I checked my forum daily and, for a couple of months, only saw posts from a few friends who were aware of my latest endeavor. It was encouraging that I was at least being read by *someone*, but also disappointing as I'd hoped I'd reach more people and that I'd awaken some sort of interest in my work.

Then, as Angry Brian started to draw to a close, the number of people on the forum suddenly spiked and strangers began to poke their heads in with feedback. By the time Trixi and Tet was in full-swing, I had more readers than I knew what to do with. Jack is, by far, the biggest project I have ever taken on and I have accumulated a huge audience of nearly 5,000 regular readers if my Keenspace logs are accurate.

So...the question remains, where do I go from here? My ultimate goal is to get into the animation industry. With the help of Rafe and Patjade, I have taken the first step to making this happen by acquiring the needed tools and a computer to run them on. I now have the means to start attempting to make my dream a reality and will start to do so fairly shortly.

As for Jack, we are currently publishing hard-copy versions of the online anthology through FurPlanet along with some bonus Never-Before-Seen stories. Issue #1 has been at print for a few months now and Issue #2 is expected to debute soon. Thank you to all of you for your support over the years and it is my hope you will continue to read and enjoy.