When I was a kid, one of my heroes was the comic book character, Reid Fleming. I remember clearly being about 8 or 9 and finding the first issue in the back seat of a friend of my mom’s car. He told me I could have it, and I was instantly hooked. I was inspired by Reid’s attitude towards life and his work ethic. In grade 7 or 8, I made a wooden milk truck just like his in shop class. Reid’s favourite TV show centred on a man who, episode after episode, just lay on a bed in a coma. I think for 15 years! Sound like any characters from The Milkman of St. Gaff’s?
As an adult, I learned that Matt Groening of The Simpson’s fame was also a fan and that Homer might not have been bald if it weren’t for Reid. I learned this from a frightening documentary that told the tale of how fellow Canadian David Boswell, the creator of the comic book, sold all the rights to Reid Fleming to Warner Brothers, who have done nothing with it ever since. A real cautionary tale for creatives. Here’s a link to a video Boswell seems to have made of the first episode and to that documentary.