Meet Zorphbert & Fred
Greetings, humans. Just a little question for you pet owners. Have you ever noticed your pet watching you, very intently, as if they are absorbing classified information about your identity for some bizarre research mission? Better check them for zippers and antennae; you could have an alien-in-disguise on your hands!
Hi, I’m Dawn (100% human, I might add) and I am a graphic designer, illustrator, and cartoonist. Ever since I could draw stick figures with a dusty old stub of what used to be a crayon, I was dabbling in the art form of “sequential art,” or the more glorified way of saying “comics.” As a young adult I had dreamed of one day being syndicated and published in newspapers, drawing a comic strip a day for a living. Nothing seemed more fitting or more fun. That never happened for me, and it’s probably for the best as the newspaper is a dying medium. Like everything else nowadays, comics have gone online— being delivered to email each day, or via RSS feeds, or posted in community sites with open commenting and interaction. These are commonly referred to as “webcomics,” and the glory is that anyone can put their work out there for the world to see…. And as always, the cream rises to the top and a select few earn enough on their “webcomic” money to make a living. So, here I am, going with the flow.
My webcomic is called “Zorphbert & Fred”, and can be easily broken down to “2 aliens, disguised as dogs, here to study (ie: make fun of) mankind.” A young couple, who are modeled after my husband and I, adopts them and they settle into typical suburban life as domesticated dogs. Toss in a bossy manager in a squirrel suit, the neighborhood “weird kid” who knows their identity, and an alien diva neighbor cat, and antics ensue. I often describe it as if “Third Rock from the Sun” the TV show blended with “Get Fuzzy” the comic strip, with a touch of “Ren and Stimpy” and some “Invader Zim” for good measure. Z&F is sci-fi without the overdose of geekery, and social commentary without being preachy. It may also make you laugh. We humans are pretty weird… we just needed an alien to point that out.
(if you’d like a more in-depth intro, check out the “New Readers” page!)
Although the main characters are aliens, there is plenty of dog and pet humor to go around— they do, after all, have to blend in as dogs on this planet. From the start, they have to learn to “assume the position” of household dogs, have to choke down the so-called “food,” and understand the significance of the elusive “biscuit.” All settled-in, Z&F (as I affectionately call them) move on to their main mission of researching humankind with a handy-dandy teleportation device built into their doghouse, going on field trips for an observation at the office or something as goofy as getting the inside tip on Charlie Sheen’s sanity! The adventures are endless, because we humans are a never-ending source of hilarity!
On a final note, being my own boss has its perks– for instance, I can add in a character if I see it fit. So when my husband and I adopted our little fuzzy baby April from a local shelter, I knew she had to become part of Zorphbert & Fred. She is the aliens’ glimpse into life as a REAL dog: the training, the irresistible “head-tilt,” breed testing, and the comical conehead collar. Z&F collects readers of many different breeds, but there’s one thing they have in common: they adore their pets!
Have you ever wondered if your own dog was actually an alien in disguise? Leave us your comment here and we’ll give away a free copy of this Zorphbert & Fred “Prepare to be Analyzed” book to one lucky commenter!