How many comic strips are possible to draw?
Charles Schulz created 17.897 Peanuts’ stories, 15,391 of which were daily strips and 2506 were Sunday tables (source: Schulz Museum, The Peanuts Comic Strip). It’s a really big number.
It’is also true that Schulz has drawn and published his strips for 50 years. I can no longer reach that number, by now, unless I live at least a century and continue to have strength and imagination to create my comic strips. But I doubt it.
But there’s another problem: how many comic strips a cartoonist can be able to draw in his career? Bonvi created about 6,000 of his Sturmtruppen, but he disappeared prematurely. A number however big.
The secret is in the characters
If we look at the Peanuts’ strips, there’s no single protagonist. They are, precisely, the Peanuts: a group of children interacting with each other. And then there’s Snoopy the dog and Woodstock the canary, which give life to many other adventures.
Schulz found the way to be prolific: heterogeneous characters who could guarantee a continuity of short stories.
The same with the Sturmtruppen: some soldiers are anonymous, others have a name, others are very well characterized: the ideal environment to write and draw comic strips without problems.
My comic strips of Schifik
In the past years I created about 40 characters from the Schifik world. Initially they were only names, then I drew 2 or 3 characters. Two years ago I decided to create some model sheet of each character, so as to have them clearly in mind (and on paper!).
The first editorial calendar I planned foresaw the adventures of only Schifik for the first 60 strips. Too many, I thought later. Readers will believe that no other characters exist. But above all it would have been a rather monotonous publication.
So I decided that only about fifteen strips could be dedicated to the protagonist of the comic and then, slowly, others would appear too.
I hope that this whole coprozoos masnada allows me to draw strips at will. But the secret is not only in the characters, but also – and perhaps above all – in the creativity of the cartoonist.
Will I have enough creativity at least to get to draw 1000 strips of Schifik?
Time will tell.