Why on earth I had the dumb idea to put the ‘Birds in college, I have no idea. But there you go. Chuck’s not real focused on his lessons, but on what to do after class.
I guess I tried to make my cartoon relatable to readers at the time.
There was no set model for Lucille, but her name does come from the character Ellen Barkin played in the movie Made in Heaven, in which she appears with Tom in his amazing cameo.
In college, when my mind wandered in class,I would often draw my ‘Birds.
Chuck T., Otis, and Spike ponder what to do after a baseball mishap.
My pal from high school, Rebekah, or Bekah as most people call her, has seen it all, regarding me and my creative endeavors. And she was there at the beginning when the ‘Birds first came along. I scribbled lots of little drawings for her in notebooks we passed back and forth in school, and on letters we sent all through college.
We’ve been Tom Petty fans together through all the ins and outs and ups and downs, losses of band members and additions of new ones, good albums,sad songs, you name it. So if there’s anyone else on the planet who knows the ‘Birds really well, it’s her. Happy Birthday, dear friend, from our Little Red Rooster and Big Shy Bird(Who I also switched back to his original beak and foot coloring).
Here’s Bekah and me on a trip to Panama City Beach with her family. I have just gotten Chuck Rooster airbrushed on a shirt, which I am wearing!
Did you know that Chuck T. Rooster once met Oscar the Grouch, and Oscar said he was a “good looking turkey”?
Well, it happened!
So here we have Bob Dylan, George Harrison, and Jeff Lynne in their birdie cartoonn personas: Lucky, Spike and Otis. This drawing may be from the early 90s.
I’ll get a better pic of Spike going eventually, but at the time, George had a rather magnificent sometimes-spiked black mullet that was so very eighties and at the same time looked quite good on him. So while Lucky and Otis get their names from the Wilburys in their first incarnation (The album Vol. I), Spike’s name comes from the names they gave themselves on the second album(Vol. III). And he became a black cockatoo, with a spiked ‘do on top.
Jeff Lynne was very difficult to peg; his head was, and still always is, sort of a big mass of bushy hair with sunglasses and a nose peeking out of it. But the more I looked at that nose, the more I kept thinking of a duck’s bill. So he became a bushy-headed duck. hey, there are ornamental breeds of all kinds of domestic waterfowl–I am sure there’s gotta be something that looks like this! 😀
Lucky I simply modeled on those big, bad-attitude farm roosters that you see in every farmyard that will attack you if you get too close.
Did you know that Betty’s Bodacious Birds went to college? They sure did! In 1992, I got to have some cartoons published in the newspaper at Georgia State. I had to really, really squeeze everything together to get in there, but I have learned a good bit more about laying stuff out since then. Enjoy my very green, but hopefully funny,efforts.
This shows Chuck T. and Mike in their dorm room! Oddly enough, I don’t see any guitars.
(notice Chuck T. is holding the phone receiver upside down…I also don’t know where Mike’s legs are; I should have drawn them hanging way out the end of the bed. )
This drawing is a vintage original, straight from an old sketchbook from my teen years. I am pleased to say that although my drawing skills have improved over thirty years, this particular drawing looks like it was on the improved side and Lucky didn’t look any different from this when I did a little practice drawing the other night.