Leoby Evan Whittington
About the author
Three months ago, if you'd told me I'd be here typing this, I would have told you in no uncertain terms that you were a certifiable loony. Who am I? I'm just an ordinary guy that's all. A guy who, through an unexpected turn of events discovered a hidden talent.
My art background is short enough it doesn't even warrant it's own paragraph. I have 1 year of art in high school (and I don't even really count that as all I did were some crappy still life's). That's it. I didn't drawn anything until 14 years later (March 2005).
I have always had a passion for animation and comics (particularly antro-art). I always thought I was weird because of it and just sort of kept it to myself. About 4 years ago I discovered web comics. I started out reading Sluggy Freelance and quickly branched out to others (my links page will have the rest of my favorites). I lurked on the internet as a fan of comics for years, but never participated in any of the forums or in any way made myself known. In fact, the only way I'd express my interest was with a collection of desktops that I'd put on my PC at work. I got some nice comments and was able to introduce some of my co-workers to those comics, but still wasn't entirely comfortable.
The previously mentioned unexpected twist began when the powers that be cracked down on web surfing at work. No more catching up on my favorite webcomics with my morning coffee. One morning, the phones weren't ringing and it was too early to call customers back. Basically, I was bored out of my mind. I picked up a pencil and sketched a character off my current wallpaper. I figured it was better than the alternative (falling asleep). It didn't look too bad....so I did another, and another and before you know it I had 3 or 4 pages full of character sketches. My coworkers told me that they were great and one even mentioned doing a comic. 2 months later, Leo the comic strip debuted.
At the same time and completely by coincidence I was asked by another coworker about a shirt I was wearing (it has a wildlife landscape on it). We got to talking and I showed her my sketches. She informed me that her daughter was an artist as well and asked me if I was a fur. I had been asked by others and always denied it (mostly because I knew by their tone that they would group me in with the freaks that they had seen portrayed on television, particularly that very damning episode of CSI). Anyway, I joined their group and just recently went to my first meet and greet, had a great time and as far as I know fit right in.
So in the past 3 months, I'd not only begun to participate in the fandom, but have gone from comic fan to web cartoonist.
Edit added 8/8/07:
Just over a year after the start of the comic, my world would come crashing in around me. Without warning and without any interest in compromise, I was lead into Human Resources and fired for publication of this comic. Another reason was found to make the paperwork legal, but all that was discussed was the fact that my comic was "slamming the industry". For months to come, I struggled financially, but never gave up on the concept. I now have a better job with better pay and quite frankly better co-workers and bosses and now that I'm back on my feet, I have the added benefit of writing this thing free from any fear of retaliation. This comic strip is semi-autobiographical and I change the names as a favor, NOT a requirement.
Evan Whittington (aka: Dimitri Lev Leonine), Leonine Comics