Cartoonist Kevin Fagan New Book: “All Wally”

by Dan M | Posted on Saturday, October 28th, 2017

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TOM WARD
TOMPWARD@SBCGLOBAL.NET

I was excited when hearing the news of a new Drabble book coming
out featuring Wally, the hyper-hilarious wiener dog in the popular
internationally syndicated newspaper strip.
Drabble was created by cartoonist Kevin Fagan back in 1979 and
now appears in over 200 newspapers worldwide. The strip centers on the
Drabble family…. and one of its breakout characters over the years
has been the family dog named Wally. Whether protecting the Drabble
home from badgers, the Easter Bunny, or water bottles, Wally can
always be counted on to give his all. He is loyal, intelligent,
fearless and funny and a great comfort pet for his owner Ralph (or
maybe it’s vice-versa).
For Kevin Fagan the release of his latest book “All Wally” is
just one of the many projects the native California has on his already
busy schedule. A lifelong Los Angeles Dodger fan Fagan is relishing in
his team’s first trip to the World Series since 1988. I asked him what
his thoughts were about the series facing the Houston Astros? Fagan
replied, “It’s going to be a fun October for a change as it has been a
long drought for them.” As of this writing the series is tied 1-1.
During our conversation I asked Fagan about how he came up with
the idea of a book based solely upon Wally’s antics? KF: Wally is
the wiener dog in my Drabble comic strip and is kind of based on the
Dachshunds I’ve owned over the years. Dachshunds are such fun dogs and
they’re so happy and smart and afraid of nothing. Our last dog was
always giving me ideas for the strip because she was just so funny.
Wally ended up becoming a very popular character in the strip. I’ve
gotten a lot of requests to do a book on just Wally cartoons. So
finally I though that’s not a bad idea. I picked out some of my
favorite cartoons over the years and put them in this book. So far the
reaction to the new book is very good.
Sadly, earlier this year the Fagan family suffered the loss of
their beloved long haired dachshund Lucy who passed away at the age of
15.
KF: Our younger son Brian came home from his job in Utah and he
immediately sensed something was wrong with her. At the time I didn’t
think anything seemed wrong as I just thought she’s getting older. I
told him if your concerned about her take her to the vet which he did.
He took her in that same day and the vet did some X-rays. The vet told
him I hate to tell you this but, she only has a couple of weeks to go.
Our daughter came out from Minnesota and that was kind of coincidental
that her trip coincided with all of this. My other son Sean flew back
home so we were all together to be with our dog till the end. It was
an emotional January, but we got through it together. An interesting
little angle that happened from it was right after our younger son
Brian took Lucy to the vet and got the bad diagnosis he took her back
out to the car and shot a selfie photo with her. He did it to let his
friends know because everyone that he knows knew his dog. His buddies
used to come over to the house and play with her and they all liked
her a lot. He noticed after he posted the picture on social media that
someone put a like to his photograph. It turned out to be a girl he
had met a few years back in college who was engaged to someone at the
time. He was intrigued because she had the same last name. He asked a
friend of his about her and he told him that she did indeed break off
the engagement. So Brian got in contact with her and to make a long
story short eight months later they got married. She’s from San
Antonio so she’s Texan through and through. This past August we went
down to San Antonio where they got married. She couldn’t be a more
terrific young lady, but it’s all because of our son’s little Facebook
post about his dog.
Do you have any plans to get another dachshund?
KF: It’s funny you ask because my wife has been talking about it. My
wife does the computer work for my comic strip. I still draw it all by
hand and then I give it to her and she scans it into the computer and
gets them ready to color and sends them off to my syndicate. Every
morning she starts her day on the computer doing this and our dog(
Lucy) would sit with her on her lap. She misses our dog so much. We
would take a lot of walks with this dog and the first time we went out
to where we walked after her passing my wife was stopping and petting
every dog that went by. I think she’s ready to look into it, but the
only reason we haven’t up to this point is because of travel. I’m
pretty sure it’s going to happen. We would absolutely get another
dachshund.
Kevin mentioned to me about a play he has been working on based
upon his comic strip. I asked him to tell me more about it. KF: I
got together with a well known Jazz composer named David Benoit. David
scores all of the new Peanuts TV shows. We met 2 years ago at the Bill
Melendez studios in Los Angeles. I recognized him because I had his
albums at home. To my surprise he knew who I was too. He knew all
about Drabble and read it every morning. I’ve been tinkering with this
idea of doing this play for many years. During my discussion with him
I asked if this was something he would be interested in doing? He told
me “absolutely”. The play actually involves some golf. We are just
about ready to send it off to some theatrical agencies and producers
as these are people who can help us. We still have a long way to go
with it as it’s a process. I’ve never written music before, but I’ve
done poetry within the comic strip from time to time. David and I were
knocking around the idea of who would we get to do lyrics for us and
he said send me something and he ended up liking what I sent him. My
son Sean contributed some memorable lines and lyrics to the play as
well. We will see what happens, but so far it has been a really fun
experience. The play is mostly about Norman and his challenges with
college and Ralph with his own challenge entering the local golf
tournament. The father and son shake hands and make a deal that they
are going to help each other achieve their goals. Norman is going to
caddy for Ralph in the golf tournament and Ralph is going to help
Norman find and win the perfect girl. Wally is prominently featured
all throughout the play running around the place.
So if you’re looking for a great gift idea with the holidays
coming up or you have a family member or friend who is a dog lover
this book would make the ideal present. The book is 125 pages and it’s
priced under $15. You can order your books today through amazon.com.
Also, Kevin told me if you’d like him to autograph your New “All
Wally” book, He’d be happy to! Just mail your book to and o enclose a
self addressed return envelope (same size) with the exact same amount
of postage on it. Also enclose a note if there is a name you’d like me
to sign it to….and would even draw a picture of Wally inside!
Send it to Kevin Fagan c/o P.O. Box 957, Trabuco Canyon CA, 92678.

Tom Ward can be contacted at www.teetimewithtom.com

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