Ethiopia explained.

I must admit it took some courage to post some stories about a boy named after a country in Africa who enjoys killing his mother just by saying the word “Saturday”. Truly, it feels like I just took my blog way off the beaten path and well outside its comfort zone, in addition to mine. Actually this is something I’ve been doing for years but I’m just now beginning to share the details.

My Ethiopia character does have some very interesting origins. When I was a kid, I loved to draw. Many times I got in trouble for drawing cartoons in class but that hardly put a stop to my artistic ambitions.

I did a lot of experimenting with my drawing, including drawing entire comic strips and writing the letters of the dialogue upside down. When I was finished I just rotated the paper to admire the bizarre results.

It was from this upside down drawing style that I came up with the boy named Ethiopia, his bald mother and his mutant friends. The interesting part is how I just don’t see I could have created such unusual characters from drawing normally. I can’t help but wonder why. Maybe I’m utilizing a different part of my brain when drawing upside down as there’s more concentration involved, especially when writing the letters. I’m beginning to think that there’s a whole new source of ideas and a vastly different approach to creativity on this other side of the brain. This calls for further exploration and experimenting.

I close with a song from one of my comic strips that Ethiopia sings to drive his mother insane. It too was written with the letters upside down.

Oh mother of the mine
So heaven, so divine
I wish that I were nine
So I can at least grow a spine

You say, what’s it to you?
For I know it on the bayou
Stinky mud and closet kazoo
Does love reach out to you

But I pause and reflect
As one of nature’s rejects
Nothing planned, no special effects
Yet I pause for collect

Alas comes the day
Everything goes your way
What can I do
What can I say

Any given Sunday
Follows that day Monday
Then Tuesday and Wednesday
After which is Friday comes then…
(mumble mumble mumble mumble mumble mumble)

And boom went his mother.

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