Marty the Moose sensed he was going to die. The past few weeks had seen him reuniting with his long-lost parents, finally getting together with Millie – after five decades of trying – and then winning the lottery. Yes, the day the graphite and the ink would no longer draw him onto to funny pages of the Albuquerque Explorer was approaching fast, that seemed sure.
The following day, no sooner had his creator drawn the final finger of Marty’s hand or the moose grabbed a hold of the pencil-point, so as the pencil left the paper, it peeled Marty right off the 2D-surface into the 3D-world.
Hey, what do you think you’re doing, the creator yelled.
Marty opened his mouth but words did not come out. After all, without a text balloon, how could he speak? So, still clinging to the pencil he started doing charades to make his point: he was not willing to go quietly into the night.
The creator was obviously sympathetic towards the qualms of his creation, but his hands were tied. ‘Management’ would rather get money for an extra ad than pay for a cartoon, he told Marty.
Saddened by this news, Marty let go of the pencil and trudged off to the flat world of the first panel again. The next Sunday, Marty the Moose made his final appearance in the Albuquerque Explorer.
That is, in about half of the paper’s 96,800 circulation. For in the remaining half, he popped up in corners, empty spaces and in panels from rival comic strips, drawn – often crudely but instantly recognisable – by thousands of children, in hundreds of homes.
As they leafed through the paper, to create the suggestion of an animated cartoon, a beaming Marty the Moose appeared more alive than ever.
Did you enjoy this story? Then why not try the 101 stories in 300 words or less in YOU’RE GETTING SLEEPY, THE HYPNOTIST’S APPRENTICE YAWNED.