Phil Frank, creator of Farley was recently invited to speak at a local librar in Napa County (CA). There’s a good article about how his feature has evolved since it was first created back in 1975.
“Farley was a kind of a wandering individual who was going from place to place as an interesting way for me to talk about interesting things in the United States,” Frank said.
That concept of Farley worked well for a bit, but then Frank said he started getting letters asking what Farley did for a living and how he was able to maintain his vagabond lifestyle.
“One (person) thought he was selling drugs,” Frank said. “Another thought he spent money from a trust fund.”
After receiving numerous inquiries about Farley’s source of income, Frank turned him into a park ranger for Ashpalt State Park, tallying another similarity between character and creator. Frank worked as a ranger for Yosemite National Park and also serves on the board of Yosemite Association.
The character made another career move in 1985 when Frank decided to sell the comic strip to the San Francisco Chronicle and focus on the issues and happenings in San Francisco and Marin Counties. Together, with his pet raven Bruce, Farley took a job as news reporter and shacked up in a small apartment south of Market Street in San Francisco. Frank also changed the name of the strip to “Farley.”