THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT Copyright (c) 1995, Landmark Communications, Inc. DATE: Sunday, July 2, 1995 TAG: 9506300212 SECTION: CHESAPEAKE CLIPPER PAGE: 04 EDITION: FINAL SOURCE: BY ERIC FEBER, STAFF WRITER LENGTH: Medium: 93 lines
Trevor Moore may be the world's youngest published cartoonist.
The 15-year-old son of Chesapeake native Mickey Moore and his wife, Becki, and the grandson of Miriam and the Rev. Paul Moore will be at the Greenbrier Mall Waldenbooks store Monday to autograph his collection of one-panel cartoons, ``Scraps.''
Moore's collection of weird and off-beat humor was published by the Poindexter Press of Trevilians when he was only 12.
Reached at his grandfather's home in Chesapeake, Moore said the book has sold briskly and the in-store signing sessions have gone ``pretty well.''
He was featured in a March ABC ``World News Now'' segment, and he's gotten endorsements from two of his heroes. One was a glowing comment and the other could be viewed as a bit of joke larceny.
Moore sent a copy of his book to pop music satirist ``Weird Al'' Yankovic, who later wrote back and said ``such a warped mind at such a young age! Loved the book!''
Yankovic was commenting on Moore's slightly warped sense of humor, which includes outhouses for heavenly stars, vampire drive-thrus, snake torture chambers, cone-shaped Madonna islands and lots of strange cows.
Another copy of the book was sent to Moore's other hero and mentor, Gary Larson, the now retired cartoonist responsible for the popular ``Far Side'' cartoon series.
Larson's admiration may have gone a little too far, people in Moore's camp think. One particular cartoon in Moore's book showed a dam made up of teeth with water running through the gap. The cartoon was called ``The David Letterman Dam,'' a take-off on another one of Moore's heroes. That cartoon was published on May 26, 1994.
Later that year, on Dec. 12, Larson, in one of his last ``Far Side'' cartoons, published a panel depicting a couple standing in a lookout point admiring ``Letterman Falls,'' a row of blocks, like a dam, with a waterfall gushing out the gap.
Coincidence? Plagiarism? The student influencing the teacher? Or simply great minds on the same track?
``My comment on it?'' Moore asked. ``It's simply, oh well, he did it. I've heard people say, `Sue him.' But I don't really want to sue him. In a way, I guess I feel flattered, but it's not the way I would have liked it to happen. Well, he's retired now, and I still think he's funny.''
Larson was contacted by Poindexter Press after it sent him a copy of ``Scraps.'' After that December ``Far Side'' cartoon was published, it tried to contact Larson again. But, so far, the veteran cartoonist has not commented or returned phone calls.
In the meantime, though, Moore isn't really losing any sleep over it. He's been busy promoting ``Scraps'' at bookstores. He made a June 24 appearance at the Virginia Beach Barnes and Noble bookstore, he'll be at the Greenbrier Waldenbooks Monday, and he'll make an appearance at a Maryland book store in the next couple of weeks.
What prompted Moore to get into cartooning?
``I've been drawing ever since I was 6,'' he said. ``I like the `Far Side' a lot, I think `Weird Al' is funny, and I like Letterman a lot.''
Also a fan of the way ``Garfield'' is drawn and the style of Disney animation, Moore began to draw. When he was 12 he spent a year creating one-panel jokes he later called ``Scraps.'' He said he got his ideas by simply observing life and the media.
``My parents saw some of the cartoons and thought they were good,'' the rising high school sophomore said. ``They liked what they saw, so they sent them to the publishing company. I guess the rest is what they call history.''
Even though ``Scraps'' can be considered a success, Moore plans to ditch it and move on to animation and other cartooning.
He's now busy creating a three-panel comic strip called ``Cuddy the Cow,'' which he'll submit for national syndication and may be picked up for once-a-month publication by The Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Using equipment borrowed from the film department at Virginia Commonwealth University, he has already created a one-minute animated film sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and Public Policy. He said he'd like to create more animation.
But, if Moore has his way, he won't be the next Larson or Disney. He really wants to be the next Letterman.
``I want to get a degree in broadcasting,'' he said. ``I want to be a late-night talk show host.'' MEMO: Trevor Moore will sign copies of his book, ``Scraps,'' from 2 until 4
p.m., Monday at the Greenbrier Mall Waldenbooks. More information is
available by calling 424-7984.