“Dog Eat Doug” joins the Observer’s comics lineup Monday, a strip from the imagination of Lake Norman artist Brian Anderson.
Doug is an infant, as yet untamed. Dog is Sadie, based on Anderson’s energetic Labrador retriever of the same name.
After Anderson moved to Mooresville two years ago, the strip gained a marine critter named Normie that only Sadie can see. Normie is the sometimes-reported monster that dwells in the deep figments of Lake Norman.
Villainy is provided by a brood of criminally insane squirrels.
Anderson, who grew up in the Boston area, has been an artist since childhood. He was drawn to darker, Marvel-like creations.
“If my friends in college heard I was doing a comic strip about a puppy and a baby, they’d think I’d been in a motorcycle accident,” says Anderson, 40.
But about 10 years ago, Anderson and Sadie were lounging on the sofa when the idea for the strip hit him. Now “Dog Eat Doug” is published in about 200 newspapers.
Anderson's son, Liam, 5, helps his dad. One day on the way home from preschool, Liam ordered his dad to come up with a story about a monster that ate only ketchup and eyeballs.
Anderson says he knew instantly they were onto something. It will soon be published as a child’s book “Monster Chefs.” Liam is listed as co-author. “I paid him in Legos,” Anderson says.