Dude and Dude-the Comic Strip by cartoonist Keith Poletiek turned one year old this month and all Keith can say is, “Dude!”
Dude and Dude centers around the antics, adventures and laidback lifestyle of two twenty-three
year old beach dwellers who look at every day as “Casual Friday,” and strive to carve their niche in society with as little effort as possible.
They aspire only to scrape up enough “fundage” to pay the rent on their one-room converted attic, put a gallon or two of gas in their VW Bus (’72…sweet!), keep a good amount of surf wax around for emergencies and survive on as many fish tacos as they can handle…which is a lot! Throw in a cantankerous old landlord, wise-cracking dog, pretentious cat, good waves and a hot babe or two and you have the makings of cartoon that reminds you to smile because your day can’t be as crazy as theirs. Or, is familiarity the key? Their laziness knows no bounds including not having enough energy to even call themselves by name. All they seem to be able to muster is the call of modern day beach bum….”Dude.” I grew up in Huntington Beach, California, and would have it no other way. When asked by readers the names of two guys I simply reply, “A dude, by any other name, is a dude!” Comics.com thought Dude and Dude were cool names too.
Enough to send out a contract…dude! Dude and Dude was added to the internet cartoon line-up of Comics.com on January 10, 2011, the
online comic website for United Feature Syndicate and then transferred to GoComics.com (www.GoComics.com/DudeDude) in June of this year when distribution rights changed hands from UFS to Universal Press. Since then, Dude and Dude has climbed the subscription charts steadily, adding new subscribers every day. They were also picked up by Yahoo.com in their first month and things keep growing. There is a Dude and Dude page on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/DudeandDude) where fans can follow along, add their own thoughts, stay in contact with me about the future of DnD and/or just be part of the Dude and Dude Community.
I’m also excited to launch the new Dude and Dude website next month which allows readers and fans to follow along on a daily blog, learn about new characters and future themes, and buy signed prints, clothing and other “Dude” merchandise including the first ever Dude and Dude (1 year compilation) book to be released later this year.
I started out as an Editorial Cartoonist because I heard that was one way to break into the comic strip world. I was one of those guys that hung out at the Ivy House in Laguna Beach, CA hoping to get feedback from cartoonist greats like Frank and Phil Interlande, VIP, Wright, Lara and all the others. I allowed them to rip my work apart so I could go home, work hard for week only to return and have them do it all over again. I knew I had somewhat arrived as a cartoonist on the day I scribbled a drawing of Ronald Reagan on a napkin and two of the guys fought over who was going to get to keep it. I'm grateful and humbled to have gone on to become an award winning Editorial Cartoonist having cartoons and graphic art seen in books, magazines, websites, clothing and newspapers throughout California. I was fortunate to become the staff Editorial Cartoonist for the Anaheim Bulletin, in Anaheim, CA in the 80’s and having my work also featured periodically in their sister paper, the Orange County Register.
I longed, for 20+ years, to have my own comic strip. I presented a new packet, with a new cartoon character and slant every month, to every cartoon syndicate out there. It was my dream and I wasn’t going to take no for an answer. I fell in love with Peanuts in the 70’s and I was hooked. Charles Schultz became an icon, Snoopy became my hero, and I wanted to create the next Snoopy and be the next Charles Schultz. After 4 or 5 years of giving it my all, and coming close, as often happens, life got in the way of my dream. I gave up the chase to focus on my new family, a steady career and more substantial goals to help provide for them.
Twenty years later, okay-closer to twenty-five, I decided to send out just one more cartoon idea. This time the syndicates were few, the newspaper world spiraling downward and the future of the comics’ page was in doubt, but I still longed to make people laugh and what better than with two guys who many “dudes” in their twenties and thirties relate to, as well as, “dudes” in their forties, fifties and sixties (I even hear from old hippies in their seventies). The success of Dude and Dude will come, I believe, because there are dudes and dudettes of all ages everywhere. The response has been tremendous in this first year with over 4,300 subscribers on GoComics.com. I’m looking forward to year two and seeing where my mind takes Dude and Dude and who will come along for the ride!
This first year has been nothing but “Fish Tacos and Far Out Friends……………Dude!”
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