The Buddy Boy Chronicles - An Illustration
by Rory Hinchey
By friends and family alike, Buddy Boy* was always regarded as a hard worker. At the age of 15, undoubtedly a gifted illustrator (albeit without formal training) Buddy Boy decided that he would put his God-given talents to use, and try his luck at freelancing. Buddy Boy's efforts at this time did not allow him to reap large monetary rewards, especially as many of his creations were, by the nature of the contracts, both disposable and intended for very specific purposes. He was, however, successful enough with his visual creations (in conjunction with occasional part time jobs) that he was able to put himself into university. Buddy Boy's fortunes persisted at more-or-less the same level until February of 1981, when one of his industry colleagues provided him with information regarding a potential work contract. This particular job offered by a struggling German studio promised only a small amount of financial compensation, but did allow Buddy Boy to retain the rights to the illustration when it was completed. He cared not for the latter offering, but with the scarcity of work that year, Buddy Boy was certain that even a few extra Deutsche Marks would not go astray. Both the description and expectations provided by the firm had been vague, but they had done enough to state the general context and "outrageous" demeanor of the character Buddy Boy would develop. Creating such a drawing was an arduous task for the mild-mannered and reserved Buddy Boy, but the loose framework that the studio had presented him with was an opportunity within which Buddy Boy could truly apply himself. And so, through many drafts and much careful consideration, Buddy Boy delivered what was requested.
The result was a rakish, anthropomorphic male wolf, that (in the numerous mock-up poses) lustily eyed cartoon ladies, losing its cool in the process. Although Buddy Boy took little pleasure from the illustration itself, he obtained great enjoyment from the acclaim that followed. The drawing was so vibrant, so luminous and sensual, that the struggling studio which had commissioned Buddy Boy for this task began to generate large dividends from the motion picture projects which featured the cartoon animal. From that point onwards, the character was much sought after, and in demand.
For Buddy Boy, this entire experience spoke volumes. While hundreds of hours of busywork would provide a modest living for a man, here he witnessed how one focused and well-executed idea could prove far more valuable.
(The Buddy Boy Chronicles continues next month with Leisure Time)
* Names, personal details, and certain details have been intentionally obscured in order to preserve the anonymity of the individuals discussed herein.