D.B. and I were in third grade. Roger had been invented the year, so we had been making up adventures about him and our stable of other imagined characters for quite a while now. During this third grade year, our teacher took it upon himself to pair each of us with a kindergartener from down the hallway (a privilege usually reserved for the fourth graders). As luck would have it, there were not enough kindergarteners for all of the third graders to have one to themselves. So D.B. and I were paired up and assigned to our new young ward, K.B.
K.B. was a fun little guy – he kept up with our brand of nonsense with ease. One day, he brought something to the table that stuck with D.B. and me to this day; after week of listening to the two of us talk our heads off about characters with long, curly mustaches, K.B. invented his own in the form of Bustache. I am unsure if there were any drawings made to illustrate this new character, but I do know that K.B. came up with the idea of a bus with a mustache named Bustache. Yes, I stole the main character of the story from a kindergartener.
Nothing came of Bustache for years after that. We would occasionally talk about him in same manner we did the rest of our characters, but he was eventually forgotten. Years later, in eighth grade, I grew suddenly interested in the character again and decided the best way to utilize him would be in an animated film. So I began writing a script. I made it about two pages in, which included all of the stuff about Crime Session Rock, Oy Mash Poles, and the playground incident, before letting it fall to the wayside. I even drew some awful looking character designs in Flash. Here are some sketches (complete with my notes as I drew them) and the flash art from that time:
[I pray that I will someday locate the incomplete script and add it to this post]
Eventually it all seemed too ambitious for me, so I abandoned the project for a while. A year or so later, I decided to switch Bustache from an animated feature to a graphic novel, as seen in the first Bustache Files post. Here is the only other page that was ever completed from that endeavor, a scene from young Bustache’s courtship with Crime Session Rock:
I have rough sketches of upwards of 100 pages of what would have been the Bustache graphic novel, which I will put in a future post. It was during this time that I came up with the idea that Guy would make a lot of enemies during the trip, unbeknownst to Bustache. The last page I roughed out of the graphic novel is of Guy being interrogated by Hal Lowmay. I did not have the ending figured out yet.
Many more years passed before I picked up Busache again. After launching this website and writing three stories for it, I realized this medium was the perfect fit for Bustache’s story. So I sat down with all of my old sketches, pages, and notes and got to work on the manuscript. Much of the dialogue is taken word-for-word from my rough comic pages.
The image I’ve included to represent this final incarnation of Bustache is of my rough sketches of the story’s cover. These are my notes I took during my First Aid training from Summer 2012 in preparation for working as a camp counselor at the YMCA. The inspiration for the cover image struck while we were discussing CPR.
That’s all for this week, kids. You’ve got some more gems from my extensive archives to look forward to next week as I continue this series on the history of Bustache (and vamp while I try to get Roger 3 done).