In which Johnny Latex faces (very minor) risk to life and limb.

The Amazing Story of Foofles the Cat
(or, “The Kitty What Kicked the Artist’s Butt”)

The “Take a Child to Work Day” mini-arc was one of the earliest arcs I wrote for the strip, several years ago. Once I decided to do the strip in Lego(tm) brick format, I started working on a 3D cat model based on the kitten piece from TLG. I tried and failed several times to get a character that I liked for this sequence of strips – the cat had to be cute, but still seem to fit within the universe of the strip. All my attempts fell prety flat.

Just after publishing the first couple strips, I saw a render of this little 3D kitten, and tracked it down. It was perfect for what I had in mind. A 3D artist in Japan, Wapico, had made this little guy, but had since then stopped distributing it. I was out of luck – I couldn’t get the model.

I emailed the artist, explaining my plight, and respectfully asking – I stopped just short of begging – for his permission to use the Wapico Kitten in my artwork…

International email being what it is sometimes, I got no reply. Last month, I gave up and started on yet another cat model. I made one that was almost passable, and decided to just render the strip with that one. It wasn’t good, but the time had come for these strips to get out of my head, so I illustrated the strips with my own (substandard) cat.

Literally THE NEXT MORNING, I finally got an email from Japan! Wapico-san had heard my request, and had sent the kitten as an attachment to his email reply! I went back to the strip, and without hesitation used his awesome model for these strips. I am astounded at the perfect timing! Had I given up earlier and created the strip when I originally meant to – instead of trying to do yet another cat model – I would have gotten Wapico-san’s gift far too late.

Thank you, Wapico-san!