In early summer 2002, Michael Lalonde started a series with a
story, character ideas, and a website design to host his comic strip, Ornery Boy. At the time I started the comic, I was working in web design, and I just wanted to create a website of my own, where I was the boss and didnt have to bow to anyone elses creative constraints. It was also intended as an outlet for me to vent my frustration with, well, pretty much everything.
Michael may not have formal art training, but his experience comes from working in new media, or as he puts it, When I started, it was multimedia. I took art fundamentals in college, but hated it, and dropped out after six months.
Orneryboy and his companion, Dirtygirl, are characters Michael based on himself and his fiancee, Jen. They existed long before I decided to
do the comic, as caricatures that I would draw on cards and gifts Id make for her. Apart from these two and the characters based on their cats, the other characters are inspired by a combination of personalities and interests around Lalonde.
When asked how much of Orneryboy is him, he shares, I still have the same attitude and cynical outlook as Orneryboy, but there are a lot of differences. I rarely drink alcohol anymore. I went vegetarian a few years ago. And I cant even remember the last time I threw a temper tantrum and broke something. Orneryboy is like a snapshot of me in my mid-20s, who became a whole other person. I dont really think of him as me anymore.
The storyline can generally be described as being about a bitter, angry guy with his terminally happy girlfriend, their pet zombie, and
their two cats.
The very first Orneryboy was posted on July 22, 2002. Lalonde tries to consistently post comics on Mondays. Theres been a bit of a break, as evidenced by the archives, and he tells us, Ive been known to disappear for long periods of time... Its not something I plan for, I just get discouraged or depressed, and I cant make comics for a while. Life just gets in the way. Sometimes its only for a couple of weeks, sometimes its much longer. My last break lasted for about eight months.
In the near future, it may be possible to see some Orneryboy shorts. Michael wanted to originally create the series as a cartoon, but ended up making comics since he didnt have the time to dedicate to animation. Over time though, Ive incorporated more and more
animation into the strips, so now I find myself back at the point where I started, wanting to make an animated version of Orneryboy.
I suppose well have to wait and see. In the meantime, you can read the Orneryboy stories at orneryboy.com