Did you know they were cartooning classmates? Neither did we. Wonder what they talked about — if they ever did.

There was a handful of artists and we had a really big comics page for a college paper because it’s the second biggest college in the country and they have a great paper. Berke Breathed came out of there. He graduated from UT, and everyone wanted to be the next Berke Breathed. I wanted to be like Berkeley because his comic Bloom County was still running in our local paper, but syndicated. They would run it because he was a former student there. So that was our inspiration, but what a lot of people don’t know, the first four or five books that Chris put out, those were all the things that he’d done in college. That was his college work and it was so great. He would come in with these huge boards and he made all of us better artists because we had to be on the same page and he was just head and shoulders above all of us. Right around the time my art was getting a little better actually, I did [the movie “El] Mariachi” and got into moviemaking. His stuff was amazing. When I saw his first few books, it was like, “Yeah. That’s good.” He was already doing world-class work in college.


  1. Ware drew a comic strip at the Daily Texan (the student newspaper at the University of Texas in Austin) when I was at school there in the mid-to-late 1980s. One strip he did was called “Floyd Farland, Citizen of the Future” that was picked up and reprinted by Eclipse. Given the prices that book goes for now, I should have saved the original strips.

  2. heidi,

    i should’ve told you that a long time ago back when we met for the first time. robert’s cousin alvaro was the “composer” on el mariachi and my comics editor for my college paper. he’d bring back daily texan pages for me when he’d go up to austin to visit robert on weekends. a lot of the cartoonists that shared space with ware and rodriguez on those daily texan pages went on to do amazing things in comics and animation… walt holcombe, lance myers (animator), shannon wheeler, tom king (worked on futurama and spongebob), jeanette moreno, john keen (mtv animation). those guys were my heroes and a HUGE influence on me as i continued to cartoon through college and beyond.

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