Happy Year of the Dragon, DailyINK fans!
In celebration, we thought we’d take a look at the closest thing DailyINK has to a dragon—TODD THE DINOSAUR.
“Supporting Cast” usually covers, well, supporting cast members of our favorite comics, but we decided that Todd’s appetite is big enough to count as a supporting character on its own. Creator Patrick Roberts points out that Todd’s propensity to eat everything in sight is only one aspect of his personality:
“Todd is a loveable, 7-year-old T-Rex who lives with his human friend, Trent, in Trent’s house. Trent is basically raising Todd, which is difficult when a T-Rex doesn’t always mind you. Todd thinks he runs the house and tries diligently to get out of chores and schoolwork but for some reason, he generally obeys Trent and his teacher.
Todd may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer but he is rather entrepreneurial. He’s had a number of sidewalk stands trying to make a buck offering anything from life coach services to medical exams and tax advice.”
Patrick told us a little bit about the early days of Todd’s life as a cartoon:
“Todd started out as a 3-year-old because that’s technically a good age for an actual “young” T-Rex. However, [former King Features Editor in Chief] Jay Kennedy thought Todd should be “7” in the strip because a 3-year-old seemed too young to be in second grade. I said, ‘But Jayyyyyy, we’re talking about a TYRANNOSAURUS REX going to school with kids in the modern world and you think readers will have a problem with his age in school?’ He said ‘Yes.’ When I asked him why he thought that he said, ‘Because I’m Jay Kennedy.’ I said, “Seven it is…um, sir.’”
But as to how Todd ended up where he is, that’s a mystery to which we may never know the answer.
“There hasn’t been a strip addressing where Todd came from, mainly because I’ve wrestled with one origin being something like Trent accidentally digging up some dinosaur bones in his back yard and putting one of them in his ‘Clone-o-matic’ that he picked up at a garage sale, just to see what would grow.
“The other storyline is simply that dinosaurs are commonplace and there might be a nemesis-type velociraptor who lives with a family down the street who Todd would butt heads with, not in a violent way, I mean like Todd getting mad because Norton the Velociraptor got the last Nutty Buddy from the ice cream man, etc… The strip has been a version of the second storyline but no other dinosaurs have been seen.”
Todd loves going to school (his favorite class is Lunch). Having Todd in the classroom does cause some problems:
“For starters, Patrick said, “walnut-size brains tend to really bring down the class average. Also, the school budget is often strained replacing class hamsters, guinea pigs, three turtles and forty seven jars of paste.”
As one would expect, Todd eats nearly everything that’s not nailed down. Trent and Todd often find themselves eating things like mustard packets or baking soda sandwiches because that was the only thing left in the fridge before Trent’s payday.
“It wasn’t exactly eating, but Todd was in a park chewing the gum stuck under the benches and identifying their brand and year, kind of like a wine taster. He’s savant-ish that way.”
Todd’s favorite foods are cats, dogs, and tater tots—as Patrick says, “he’s flexible.” But Todd has had a couple regrettable experiences with food:
“Once, while hiking, Todd accidentally ate the last of the rare two-toed spotted squirrels. He was very upset…because who can eat just one? Not really.”
Apart from wishing for more two-toed spotted squirrels, Todd often wishes he didn’t have tiny T-Rex arms. What’s the first thing Todd would do, if his arms were longer?
“He would give Trent and Susie a big hug,” says Patrick. “…and do a cartwheel.”
Aw, Todd! That’s why you’re our favorite T-Rex!