The Adventures of Daring Didi Darling is a webcomic that chronicles the life of the rescued Sato puppy Didi Darling–a collaboration between illustrator Lloyd W. Meek and writer Valerie R. Meek.
Our puppy, Didi, has captured our hearts and imaginations with her daily hilarious antics. Shortly after adopting Didi, my wife, Valerie, and I started talking about sharing Didi’s antics with everyone, and we settled on creating a webcomic. I sat down to come up with the look for this new cartoon. I went through many sketches and approaches to find the right style and tone–experimenting with realistic, very cartoony, and something simple. I thought about what what I read and liked as a kid, and I drew inspiration from the comics of my childhood. I love the less-than-perfect printing process, where the colors and ink lines didn’t always quite match up, so I carried that style over to The Adventures of Daring Didi Darling.
Recently we decided to play with a superhero persona, one that she believe to be true in her head. I drew from another icon of my childhood, Snoopy. My favorite scenes from the Peanuts cartoon were when Snoopy would pretend to be the World One Flying Ace, shooting down the Red Baron. I wanted to give Didi a world of her own in her head, imaging what is really going on in that head of hers.
Valerie and I went back and forth about what her hero style would be–traditional superhero with cape, or something more like a princess, playing with the “Darling” aspect. The more I sketched and worked up some comps, I thought about the women I look up to, and I thought about Amelia Earhart. I drew a sketch of Didi wearing goggles and a scarf, and her final look grew from that initial sketch.
Each week, we brainstorm a story, fleshing it out as a sketch. Then I create the illustrations in Adobe Illustrator. When the illustration is complete, Valerie adds the text and publishes the webcomic to Meek Manor.