July 18th, 2008
Who is Lola, you ask? She’s a quick-witted, independent, grandmother with equally quick knitting needles. Twice a month, we feature Lola comic strips in the Lion Brand E-Newsletter, but she also stars in her own daily comic featured in 125 papers around the U.S.
Lola has a new book out–called Gimme a Break!–so we checked in with cartoonist Todd Clark to find out a little bit more about our favorite knitting grandma.
Lion Brand: How did you get started drawing/writing comics?
Todd Clark: I’ve drawn for as long as I can remember. My Mom was an awesome artist. My plan was to be the next Salvador Dali, but as soon as I got to college I realized my art skills were sorely lacking compared to others. I’d always been able to make people laugh, and could still draw these glorified stick figures, so I started telling everyone I was going to be a cartoonist. At some point I had to back up my claims. I had some great encouragement early on from some pretty big editors and got a few breaks writing jokes for some pretty well-known comic strips.
LB: Who or what inspired the character of Lola?
TC: Lola is based on my former partner Steve’s great-aunt Lola. She’s real. A WWII veteran and fantastic lady. The actual Lola is much sweeter than her comic strip alter ego. Steve and I did a book signing years ago in her hometown of Augusta, GA, and Lola came with us and sat at the table. It was very cool. She had contacted her entire church and they all came by. She wouldn’t let them get away with buying just one book. They all had to buy several.
LB: If Lola were to knit you something, what would you like it to be?
TC: I’d probably have her knit something for my little 4 year old girl, Rhiannon. If I was forced to choose for me, I’d have to say something blue and orange, maybe a scarf, the colors of my beloved Boise State University Broncos.
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