The Avridge Farm
(© Jeff Wilson 1987)
Reach beyond yourself, then reach a little bit more and one day you may achieve something like I achieved with "The Avridge Farm".
To this point, I was drawing and submitting to syndicates with typical daily 4-panel gag comic strips, except I was drawing characters with huge eyes. I remember sending a batch of my strips to Charles Schulz (creator of Peanuts) and his comment that "the large eyes are very unpleasant to look at." His other significant comment was that it looked too much like most of the other strips already in the papers.
When I created 'Avridge Farm', I determined to lose the large eyes, revert to an art style closer to the fifties and sixties (when I was first enamoured with comics) and otherwise do things that would make it stand out from other features. It first ran in the Durham Citizen and Barrie Advance as "The Avridges", then later in the Dundalk Herald, Flesherton Advance, Wainwright Star Chronicle, Haldimand Press, Voice Of The Ontario Farmer, Mildmay Town Crier as "The Avridge Farm". It ran as a weekly feature in the Owen Sound Daily Sun Times from 1995 till 1999. It presently still runs in The Middlesex Banner of Ailsa Craig, Ontario and The Creemore Echo.
I remember sending it to a dairy publication in Wisconsin and while they replied they were not interested in carrying the strip, revealed they had been following it for a long time in Canadian publications.