Recently I was packing for my move to Montreal and I came across a stack of comics that I had drawn from 1995 to approximately 1997.
Noobow: the origins
The comic was called ぬーぼー (Noobow), and the recurring main character was the mascot of a Japanese chocolate bar of the same name. I discovered Noobow through advertisements in Japanese magazines that my grandparents sent us back in the early to mid-90s.
I find it interesting how I became so attached to the mascot of a chocolate bar that I never even had the pleasure of eating. Having grown up in Canada, I had no way to get my hands on a Noobow bar. I think it was because the Noobow character was goofy-looking and mapped well with the slapstick-style humour that I wanted to create. Above all he was really easy to draw.
A peak into the past
Looking into these comics reminded me of little things from my past that I’d completely forgotten about. For example in the first comic I noticed the breakfast that Noobow is eating is something I used to eat all the time growing up: raw egg on top of a bowl of rice with soy sauce. I also love that the soy sauce bottle is the Kikkoman bottle that my mom used to buy when I was kid.
There are a bunch of other nuggets from the past that I noticed. As I read through them, I could vividly remember the thought process behind each one: truly a surreal feeling.
Why I made them
The main reason I wrote these comics was to make my older brother laugh. The ones with heavy eraser marks are the ones that failed to do so. They were heavily influenced by Mr.Bean skits that I’d watch with my family and Japanese yonkama gag mangas. Yonkoma is a type of manga that’s limited to four panels: three panels to set up a scene and a joke, and a fourth for the punchline. I exceeded the four panel limit many times.
A lot of them are based off inside jokes with my brother so don’t make much sense. Looking bac they are quite cringeworthy 😅
Looking at the last, unfinished page made me a bit sad. I loved making Noobow comics and making my old brother laugh, but eventually I just ran out of fuel. I must’ve I picked up new hobbies and interests and Noobow faded into memory. This is also around the time I got my hands on Pokemon Green so that may be a factor too.
Thanks for the memories Mr. Noobow. It was fun drawing you and putting you in awful situations.
Thanks for reading! Full Noobow comic series can be found here. Do you still have old pieces of art that you made when you were a kid? If you do, share them!