SPARKS, NV - In 1990 a family made its way into the hearts and homes of thousands of people. They're just a normal family consisting of a grandpa, and grandma, a daughter, and a grandson. But though they may not be breathing, for 'Pickles' comic strip creator Brian Crane, they are just like any other member of his family.
"To me they're almost like real people I've been drawing them so long so they feel like real people, even though they are ink on paper," Crane said.
Creating a comic strip was always his dream.
"There's a certain magic about doing a comic strip and drawing characters and seeing them come to life," he said.
It took him years to finally sit down and put pencil to paper, and many, many ideas later to come up with 'Pickles'. Yet once the family was created, they seemed to take on a life of their own.
Some characters are inspired by some of Crane's own family members, but every one who reads the comic can find something to relate to.
"The most common comment I get is people think I'm spying on them and getting my ideas from them," Crane joked. "Which tells me I'm doing something right because I'm trying to relate to people in their lives and give them something they can relate to and enjoy."
For 25 years, Crane has been doing just that- relating to people and making them smile. He admits sometimes he gets writer's block, but with seven kids and 14 grandchildren of his own inspiration is never far away.
"Yeah, they have to learn to be a little careful around me because it might end up in the funny pages," Crane admits.
Looking back on his body of work, Crane himself can't help but smile and all of the memories he has created.
"It's amazing," he said. "It's kind of a wonderment like where did those ideas come from? When I look back on my early strips when I was just starting learning to write and draw the comic strip, I kind of don't want people to see those. But, I think if I was just doing this to amuse myself I would have given up a long time ago. The encouragement and the good reactions from my viewers are what keeps me going many days."
For the 25th anniversay, Crane dug into the archives and selected some of his favorite comics from each year and compiled them into a book. You can pick up the book and meet Crane tomorrow at Sundance Bookstore from 11am-12:30pm.