Louie and Bruce 001-2022-1020

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I was 9 or 10 when I fell in love with drawing cartoons. I copied everything popular on TV and in the newspapers and comic books. At 13, I began drawing my own “toons.” This allowed me to put on plays between the characters I created. The shows were silly or serious, sublime or nonsensical, whatever I felt in the mood for when I sat down and drew. No other form of storytelling allowed me as much fun and freedom within the realm of a made-up world. The comic strip Louie and Bruce was the result of that fun and freedom. I began drawing it when I was 23 and had learned how to draw a decent toon.

Louie and Bruce worked at a sawmill and were loosely based on people I knew who worked at my neighborhood mill. Louie, my main character, was a goofball, the fool in life, and had a head shaped like a football. Bruce was the artist … a dreamer in a baseball cap, peering out at the world from behind dark bangs of hair. The two needed a boss, so along came Frank. He wore a cap modeled after a naval officer’s hat and was business all the way with a strong will to get things done—and done right. He thrived on order, which made him a great foil for Louie’s mishaps.

Other characters in the cast included Louie’s twin brother Leroy (who sported a rectangular head), Leroy’s talking dog Ernie, Bruce’s girlfriend Gloria, and Louie and Leroy’s Uncle John who was head boss at the mill. These supporting cast members were mentors and best friends, as well as jokers and adversaries.

You would think a hazardous sawmill wouldn’t be the ideal place to put on antics, but life is stranger than fiction. I never had to go far to come up with silly ideas for this cartoon whenever I visited my local mill.

Here is a large spread of their first comic strip that made it into print.

louie and bruce first strip
Pen and ink drawing, copyright © 1981. For this blog post: Copyright © 2022 Steven Leo Campbell at stevecampbellcreations.com – All rights reserved.

And a smaller strip of Frank dealing with winter.

louie and bruce 1989 snowball
Pen and ink drawing, copyright © 1989. For this blog post: Copyright © 2022 Steven Leo Campbell at stevecampbellcreations.com – All rights reserved.

That’s all for now. You’ll find more Louie and Bruce adventures in future posts. Stay tuned … or tooned.

Steve, 10/20/2022

This post “Louie and Bruce 001-2022-1020” copyright © 2022 Steven Leo Campbell at stevecampbellcreations.com – All rights reserved.

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5 thoughts on “Louie and Bruce 001-2022-1020

  1. That is really cool Steve. What I wouldn’t give to be able to draw like that. When I was in my teens I teamed up with an artist I knew and I wrote the stuff and he drew it. I wish I could find that now.

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    1. That’s so cool about you teaming up with a writer. Two guys did the same with me when we were in high school. I know what you mean when you wish you could find that stuff. My mom was always cleaning and threw mine out with the trash after I left for Navy bootcamp.

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      1. So many things were lost to moms back in the day! We did ours with a MAD slant to it. I’m going to ask him if he knows where they are.

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