The Once and Future Adventures of Philo

Tongue-tied pt. 1
Tongue-tied pt. 2
Hi-Tech Toes
Early version of Philo
Gus and Casey
Casey & Gus comic
Original final panel

The Original Comic Strips (1974)

In 1973 I was a free-lance illustrator in the process of preparing a portfolio for a comic strip I hoped to peddle to a New York newspaper syndicate.  This would be my second such attempt.  Two years prior I was somehow able to make appointments with a few editors in New York with a pretty primitive and naïve comic strip that featured a cast of anthropomorphic animals with a lumbering oversize panda bear named Max as the central character.



The editor of one of the syndicates (I believe it was King Features) arranged for me to meet with a gentleman named Elliot Caplin.  Mr. Caplin developed story lines for comic strip artists.  Turns out his brother was Al Capp – the creator of the highly popular L’il Abner comic strip that ran for 43 years (1934-1977).  After reviewing my work he looked at me and (with the slightest hint of a sigh he tried hard to mask) said: “I see you really like Pogo.


It was back to the drawing board for me – literally.

During our New York meeting Elliot Caplin helped me understand that while being inspired and guided by a master like Pogo creator Walt Kelly is one of the best ways to learn the craft of comic art, editors look for originality.  “There will never be another Pogo” He told me.

I went back home to Cambridge, Massachusetts and thought a lot about what he said.  One evening as I lay on my back in the living room of the apartment I shared with my future wife, I looked up at the ceiling where a patch of plaster had fallen.  After staring at the pattern it had created for a few minutes, the idea for the character for my next comic strip came into view. Philo was born.

I spent most of 1974 pulling together a portfolio for a new strip starring Philo with a supporting cast of mythical creatures and inept gods. I felt like I was ready for return visit to New York in 1975.


However, Buckminster Fuller published his seminal work, Synergetics in 1975 and my life was changed forever. I shoved my portfolio into the closet and within the next five years found myself teaching environmental science, organizing farmers’ markets and eventually finding my way to the New Alchemy Institute.  My experience at New Alchemy convinced me that viable options for humanity’s successful coeveolution with Gaia do indeed exist and sealed my commitment to the pursuit of comprehensive anticipatory design science solutions to society’s most pressing problems.

In 1976, inspired by Keith Jarett's incredible recording of the Koln Concert, I created a strip called Casey and Gus.  Just one short four-panel story (with an alternate ending). Then I abruptly returned to my day jobs.


in 2012, at the urging of some friends, I have retrieved my portfolio from the closet and rediscovered Philo who, after all these years, is attempting to re-emerge as a graphic novel.

Max on God
Max on God 2
Max on Life