Alfonzo The Wonder Ninja: Origin!

While I’m open to any edge I can get with the ladies…I never set out to create a comic strip.

Especially one about a ninja. It just sort of happened.

A few years back, at Edge 102.1 I was still Lunch Boy but I’d evolved. Still assisting behind the scenes like Batman’s Oracle only now I was getting into the mix. I was on air and adding my two cents…for whatever that’s worth.

(And no I wasn’t Lunch Boy because I made or sold lunch, rather I showed up every day AT lunch. Get it? Clearly these were much simpler times back then. You can read about the end of my Lunch Boy days here).

So I’m Lunch Boy and every now and then you can hear me crack wise on air. Great.

That experienced coupled with a conversation I had with Barry Taylor one of the Edge radio djs lead to Nerd It Up.

Nerd Cultre barfed all over the mainstream’s shiny shoes. The comic book movie Iron Man was a hit with girls, old people, kids; the box office success revealed more than just traditional nerd repeated viewings. Nerd Culture with its comic books and video games and phrases and cons was crossing over.

I was noticing an abundance of civilians at cons, trying to enter and engage a strange world that may not want them. You can tell they were equally fascinated by this strange BO filled world and yet repelled; the way a NO TRESPASSING sign tempts your imagination.

So Barry and I decided to host a radio segment called Nerd It Up. It would translate Nerd Culture into layman’s terms, in a sense inviting everybody to join us round the campfire. Not a lot of people were familiar with Iron Man before the movie so we provided some helpful explanations. We talked about cons and comics and other glorious nerd elements. Hopefully you can see where the ninja part is coming up.

(This idea of translating Nerd Culture to mainstream is something I’d like to explore again, maybe as a podcast).

One Saturday morning for the Nerd It Up segment I discussed Toonlet. Toonlet as the name implies means you can easily and quickly create your own comic strip…without drawing! The robots do the work for you (like a helpful Hal 9000 instead of the evil Hal). You are now free to express all kinds of hidden desires in glorious sequential panel format.

So I dashed together the first strip, we threw it out to the listeners to name this wacky ninja and I believe Brian E (a fellow nerd and official S’up Cuz photographer for FanExpo 2011) came up with Alfonzo. I later added “The Wonder Ninja.” And that was that. Barry and I did the segment, the audience at home had fun, Toonlet got some press: all around good day.

Only…Alfonzo wouldn’t let go. There was something engaging and endearing about the character. I’d find myself in meetings or on the subway…doodling and writing down additional strips. Over the years fondly returning to his life and obtuse worldview. He’s fun, he cracks me up and those are never the people you lose contact with. You always friend those folks first on facebook.

So I’ve decided to finish Alfonzo’s story all these years later. It’ll probably be about 30 to 50 comic strips…not certain to be honest. I have a few more stories to share and then he’s done. Look for a new comic strip every Sunday at 5:30.

Leave comments….let me know what you think of this crazy ninja. Until then: see you in the funny pages.


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