I don’t know why exactly, but during “The King of the Hill”s decade or so run on TV, I never really watched an episode. I didn’t have a real reason that I know of. Sure, the “shakey line” art style bothered me, but that didnt’ bother me too badly on “Beavis and Butthead”, also by Mike Judge several years prior. I think it was the early Sunday night timeslot it had.. I was never at home watching TV that time of night. On any night.
But I did notice something very early on about “The King”… Hank Hill, the father of the show, and it’s namesake, I suppose, bore an UNCANNY resemblance to my maternal grandfather. George Suttle, “Papa” to me, hung the moon. He lived long enough to get to know and love my incredible wife, Barbie, but passed on just before the birth of my oldest daughter, now twelve. I had him for 28 years or so, and after my Dad, he was the best man I’ve ever known. I need to dig up some photos of Papa to post here.. so you can see the resemblance between him and Hank Hill too.
Anyway… these past few months, I have become a HUGE fan of “King of the Hill” in reruns. Hank looks so much like Papa, and does have some of his qualities. But Hank is a great character all on his own. As are all the characters. The show is set in Texas, in the Bible Belt. I am from South Carolina, the virtual buckle of the Bible Belt. So, a lot of the conservative attitudes of the show are familiar to me. In fact, a lot of them I share. That’s one thing I like about the show… they are true, in their writing, to the characters, but don’t really talk “down” about their beliefs and attitudes too much. It’s not a show that makes fun of the small town, religious, conservative Americans it portrays. Well, not too much. Pretty remarkable these days, considering how liberal Hollywood is.
I was watching an episode of “King” tonight, and had a sketchbook in my hand. Every once in awhile, I like to do my own versions of cartoons and movies I like. The goal, rather than copying, is to pretend it’s a character design job, and put my own twist on the characters. Still keeping the basic character designs, but tweaking them to exist in “my world”. Next, I’ll show my color version….