Toony character comes to MATC


Photo by Ryan Pagelow

While in Chicago at the Associated College Media Press Conference, Ryan Pagelow, photojournalist for the Sun-Times Media in the Chicago area, spent his time introducing audiences to his lively and energetic character, Buni.  
Pagelow, a Wisconsin native, currently lives in Chicago with his wife and 1-year-old son.  Getting his start in comics as a teen, Pagelow was published in his high school in Madison. An intern for MAD magazine after high school into college, he continues to write for them.
Recently, “My MAD’s Guide to Man Boobs” by Pagelow was featured in their release titled “Totally MAD: 60 Years of Humor, Satire, Stupidity and Stupidity.”
Studying journalism at Ohio University, Pagelow got the opportunity to study abroad in Europe and took an internship for an Italian magazine and later an Argentinean newspaper.
In 2009, Buni was created for the Comic Strip Superstar contest by Universal Press Syndicate (now Uclick). “I have always wanted to do a depressing comic strip with cute characters,” Pagelow said.  
Using influences from Matt Groening (creator of “The Simpsons”),  Pagelow sought out
to develop his own hapless character, drawing further inspiration from Hello Kitty, Happy Tree Friends, The Far Side, Calvin and Hobbes and Bloom County. “I envisioned a mute Hello Kitty-type character that found itself in terrible situations,” Pagelow stated.
He knew the character couldn’t be expressionless, so he manifested features based on what he knew was current references to him. Pagelow gave distinctive qualities to Buni such as snaggle-tooth fangs (due to vampires being the pop culture fad), black and white limbs to catch the viewer’s attention and stand out on the page.
His first attempt at creating an animation was while waiting for jury selection. Pagelow created animation from a flipbook by using one of his existing comics, then laying out the slides differently,  to later go home and tweak the timing along with adding sound effects.
“I hesitate to call it ‘animation’ since it’s pretty basic and crude,” added Pagelow.
With some words of advice he knew what he needed to do, but that would require much of his time. “I have a couple more animation ideas mapped out in my head and hope to work on them in the next couple of months,” Pagelow on future endeavors in animation.
Pagelow is a rising star; in 1999 he won the coveted Charles M. Schulz National College Cartoonist Award. The Times is overjoyed to bring such talent to the students of our campuses, showing that dedication and drive can get you on the road to success.
Pagelow stated, “I am excited to be featured in the Times. Thank you for introducing readers to Buni. Life is hard. May we all have Buni’s optimism to get back up when we’re repeatedly knocked down.”    

(Ryan Pagelow)

Printed Version (MATC Times)