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Thompson talks about his new Rip Haywire strip

Tom Mason over at Comix 411 has an interview with Dan Thompson about his newly launched comic strip, Rip Haywire.

TOM: Can you trace the road from development to acceptance with Rip? How did it get from your desk to UFS and how long was the journey?

DAN: Once I came up with the idea of creating a humorous adventure strip, I came up with the names of the characters. I knew the lead’s first name was going to be “Rip” I always liked those cool names like “Rip,” “Chic,” “Gig” and “Dude” that men had back in the 40’s and 50’s, and it was also a hat tip to Alex Raymond’s Rip Kirby. Then I was always a big fan of Frank Robbins’ Johnny Hazard, and I always wanted to create a character with a dangerous last name, so I pulled out the old thesaurus and found “haywire,” and it was like I dipped chocolate into peanut butter. So, after working on it for about four days I mailed it out (I work fast) and it got the best rejections I had ever gotten. So, I tried again and I resubmitted in the fall of 2007 after totally reworking the style and characters. Two days later Ted Rall called me and said, “What are you doing for the next 30 years?” I told him I was free, and we started talking about moving forward with getting “Rip Haywire” syndicated.

TOM: What kind of input did they bring to the strip?

DAN: The one funny thing we changed in the strip was that TNT was originally a Pomeranian. The editors wanted me to change him to something else so I made him a collie. I thought to have a really tough guy whose sidekick is a Pomeranian would be funny, but now I’m glad we changed that. I didn’t get a development deal, the syndicate felt the strip didn’t need it, and we moved really fast as I was at the sales meeting in NYC in the fall of 2008, and launched in Jan 09.

I’ve received the press kit and will be posting my review shortly.

Community Comments

#1 Alan Jones
January/15/2009
@ 1:20 pm

Sweet! Congrats Tom. I love to read about new strips getting launched/syndicated. Even better when the artist gives a rundown on the process that went into getting it launched — sorta the same satisfaction seeing pics of artist’s studio/drawing board on their blogs. Looking forward to Alan’s review.

#2 Alan Jones
January/15/2009
@ 1:21 pm

woops, I meant DAN.

#3 Jason Nocera
January/19/2009
@ 9:42 am

“It’s time to drop the Haywire Hammer!” I give that 3 months until every kid in the schoolyard is using it. I’m excited for you, Dan – I hope 2009 is a successful one for ya!

#4 John DeAngelis
March/28/2009
@ 4:56 pm

I have had the privilege of emailing and
getiing to know Dan a bit for several weeks.
It is refreshing to finally see unique and
classic cartooning in today’s generation of
mostly sad and lame junk. There is hope for
the world of cartoons, and newspapers will
survive with great stuff like Dan’s. Rip H.
is original and funny. One of the best toons
on the planet, hands down. In my opinion,if
editors would enter themselves into thorazine
rehabs, and get on a steady diet of Cartoons
by SCARY GARY (Mark Buford), Rip Haywire, (Dan Thompson) the industry would recover.

My motto is; “You go to work, to work. You go to the comics to laugh. You shouldn’t have
to go to work to laugh. JD, Arizona

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