Meet Donald Frederick, Day by Day comic strip creator

GOOD PEOPLE: The artist behind the Blue Ribbon News Friday Funny

Blue Ribbon News special contributor Donald Frederick of Forney is the creator of the Day by Day comic strip.

When Donald Frederick is not busy receiving shipments at the Home Depot in Rockwall, the 42-year-old Forney resident puts his talent and good humor to work by creating a comic strip he calls “Day by Day.”

Each week, the artist’s handiwork is featured at Blue Ribbon News. The Friday Funny is a favorite among many readers and subscribers of DFW’s “good news” publication – but few may know what inspires Donald to draw the strip that features such extraordinarily ordinary and endearing characters  as Bob, Norah and their dog, Leonard.

“I started drawing just as soon as I could hold a pencil. I’ve been drawing since I can remember,” Donald told Blue Ribbon News, when we decided to make him the subject of our new “Good People” series. “And it’s always been cartoons. I’ve done a little bit of realistic and serious art, but cartoons and comics have always been my passion. Charles Schulz is probably my biggest inspiration.”

Here’s more of our interview:

How long have you lived in Forney?

14 years.

Where did you go to school? 

H. Grady Spruce in Dallas  ( yes, I’m a Grove Rat )

What is your occupation? 

I am currently employed with Home Depot. Have been with them for about nine years.

What are your favorite hobbies?

I love to exercise, although I don’t know if I would consider it a hobby. I take it pretty serious.

Tell us about your family.

My family is filled with good people. Some of my comic strip ideas are drawn from my family. A lot of the names I use in the comic are family names. I’m married with one child. Lauren, our daughter, always makes us proud. She’s so smart and so artistic. My wife, Maureen, is my best friend.

What about your pets?

We have two dogs – Lenox and Zoey. There very good at getting on my nerves, but also good at making me say, “Awwwww…”

What are you passionate about? 

Of course I am very passionate about my comic strip.

On a typical weekend, where might we find you?  

On a typical weekend you can find me home with the wife and kid. We are very much “home bodies.” We usually catch up on our recorded television shows on the weekends. Thank goodness for DVR.

Tell us something others might be surprised to learn about you.

I just enrolled back in college and will get my degree in Radiology. And in 1988 I did a comic book for the Dallas Mavericks. It never got published though. The people I worked with were very nice and I was paid very well.

How did the Day by Day comic strip originate?

The Day by Day comic strip came about a few years ago. I wanted to do sort of a family strip. “We are supposed to write about what we know.”  If anything, I know family. I realize there are no kids in the strip. I guess you could say Leonard, the dog, acts as the kid. You never know, there could be kids in the future for Bob and Norah.

Are the comic strip characters based on anyone you know in real life?

There’s probably a little bit of each of my family members in each Day by Day character.

Have friends/family ever commented about the topics in your comic strip – that you’ve written about them or taken a real-life event and put it on paper?

I’m always getting little messages from family about the comic. Usually on Facebook. They will comment on how certain comic characters will do things that remind them of certain family members.

Are there other types of artwork that you do?

I will do caricatures from time to time. Mostly comic strips though.

Is there a particular time or place that inspires you to draw? 

I used to love drawing late into the night. Now that I’ve gotten older, daytime and mornings are better. And rainy days are always good for cranking out some comics.  I still like burning the occasional midnight oil. Different things will motivate me, but it’s not so much motivation as it is discipline, now that I have deadlines with several papers. I have all kinds of “junk” around my desk to keep me inspired. My little corner is sometimes the best place to be.

On the Blue Ribbon News giggle meter, here are some favorites:


 

To submit your news and events for publication, email . Look for Donald Frederick’s Friday Funny each week at Blue Ribbon News. Connect with Donald Fredrick on Facebook.