The creative process is strange and often times a perplexing thing. From time to time I’ve been asked as have been countless other creative types “Where do you get your ideas from?” The smarmy answer is to say that I have a subscription to ‘Ideas & Concepts Magazine’. But to tell you the truth, I don’t know where they come from most of the time, but in the particular instance of Oswald I do. I believe that’s why he holds such a special place in my heart. At the time of Oswald’s inception, I was either working for CPM or Pioneer Comics on Tenchi Muyo, I’m not certain which.
During that period I had been thinking about writing in prose for some time and I had done some experiments within the form, but it was nothing I considered lasting. So I was on a search for that thing that I could entertain myself with. It was on an early summer day that my wife and I were walking cross town from the east-side to the West-side of Manhattan that I came across that thing.
While on that walk we were crossing Park Avenue and got stuck between lights on one of the many partitions that separate north and south bound traffic. These partitions, or malls, span from one end of the block to the next and are about twelve feet across, with paved cross walk sections on either end. All of them are covered with grass, trees and flowers. It’s a lovely sight on what would normally be a very dull avenue since the avenue is surrounded on both sides by office buildings.
While we waited for the light to change I looked over onto the grass and saw what looked to be about a half dozen flowers that were stripped of their petals, while the stems were scattered about. I smiled at the sight and pointed it out to Daphne and told her, “I bet there’s some fairy who’s really pissed at some troll for eating her flowers.” Daphne immediately looked at me like I was insane, which I couldn’t really argue with. I took umbrage though and said that it would make a good story and not even with a bat of an eyelash I received the same look and some words to back the look up. I gave her my best you’ll see look and we continued on our walk.
From that point on I started thinking about the story and how I would tell it, the obvious answer was the omniscient or third person approach, where the narrator tells and pretty much knows all. I wanted the story to have a bit more character though and I thought back to those old EC comics reprints that I love so much and said, why can’t I have a host to introduce and tell the stories? And on top of that I wanted someone who wasn’t a fairy or even from that world to do it, so that he could tell the tales from his own perspective and even have his own morality while he explored and discovered this new world that has just opened up to him.
And thus Oswald was born with his little bow tie and quill, waiting and wanting to write his own tales of adventures. It’s been fun trying to capture these strange and often fractured concepts and visions, while attempting to give them voice through a mouse, who by all accounts should never have been but who is.
– JD Calderon