The Origin of Cow-guy

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In today’s post I take a quick look back at some old Kubert School assignments to answer the following question I’m often asked…

“What’s up with the cow?”


During my second year at the Kubert School, Instructor John Troy gave us an assignment to create an alter ego and have ideas ready to work on for the following class.

That next week, having slacked off and not done my homework, I hurriedly tried to think of something – anything – as Troy walked around the class checking on the status of our assignments. Some quick sketching and scribbling and Cow-Guy was born.

Presenting (circa 1987)…

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For a later assignment he even got a sidekick.

Based on Martin Mull.

Based on Martin Mull.

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First off I’d like to say that this was done waaaaaaay before crazed gunmen with assault rifles was such a recurrent horrible reality.

At the time I was pretty much just doing my take on Steve Gerber’s Howard the Duck – but making it a cow instead.

I also can’t help but cringe at the stage my drawing ability was at – but that’s a given. Fortunately, by the sheer amount of work you did and critiques you got at the Kubert school, there was pretty marked improvement in your work from year to year. This page was far better work than I was doing my first year and paled in comparison to work done the third (and final) year.

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And there you have it – how a mascot character was born.
And the world shall never be the same again…

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About Jim Keefe

Jim Keefe is the current artist of the Sally Forth comic strip, he is also the writer and artist of the Flash Gordon comic strip - both available at ComicsKingdom.com. A graduate of the Joe Kubert School, Keefe likewise teaches Comic Art. Teaching and speaking engagements include SVA in Manhattan, Hofstra’s UCCE Youth Programs, The University of Minnesota and most recently the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
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