It's hard to believe that I created my amateur detective, Rene C. Clayton during my senior year in high school. He didn't get very far, but he's still in my head. My badly written, not to mention hand-written novel, was inspired by a Margot Kidder (Superman: The Movie) & Robert Hayes (Airplane!) Disney movie called "Trenchcoat." It also included elements of "Cloak and Dagger," a movie with Henry Thomas (E.T.) and Dabney Coleman (9 to 5). One of my classmates loved it, so I just kept feeding him chapters. (Thanks, Mike Morsy, wherever you are!) It was SO badly written. But, the character eventually evolved. I subscribed to the Sue Grafton school of writing just like a lot of people back in the day. He got a personality. He got gay. The stories became first person novels, more character driven than anything. Harrison Caldwell, Rene's ex and mostly useless, not to mention goofy, side kick added the necessary sexual tension. Rene became nosy. He learned how to pick locks. And, swim. Plus, he knew how to find trouble for a quick buck. This is the picture that depicts Rene the best.
When I stopped completing stories, I just started doing drawings for story inspiration. Here Rene and Harrison are at a party. A suspect is gliding away noticeably.And, now they're in somebody's cellar searching for clues. Above, they haven't even noticed the approaching footsteps. I was "experimenting" with a new drawing style. The early 90s were wretched. Look at those boxy shirts and huge shoulders.
Couldn't have a mysterious drawing without a secret panel. I just couldn't get away from the Nancy Drew-esque cliches. This drawing was actually sketched with a green pen. I was "experimenting" again. Plus, more early 90s fashions. Rene's pants were probably green or burgundy. And, he has a tail! Remember those!?!