|Click on the drawings for a closer view, so you can see very nuance! (Love those lizard pushups!)|
"The Greater Earless Lizard (Cophasaurus texanus) has two appearances in my comics, thanks to two great information sources.
Before I really began making my comic, the late and greatly missed Dr. James F. Scudday (co-founder of the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute and Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Sul Ross State University) graciously offered me an hour or two of his time discussing the animals of the Big Bend region. In addition to recommending resource literature, he gave me a great overview of animals I might consider as characters and offered many observations on their diets, population dynamics, odd behaviors, etc.
His account of the earless lizard's penchant for warming itself in the middle of roads led to its own 3-page comic, Center Stripe ( http://jackcomics.com/sketches/centerstripe1.html ). This short story stands on its own and features a rabbit who is not Jack, but looks amazingly like him.
A couple of years later, after the comic was well underway, I attended a Big Bend Natural History Association Seminar on the snakes and lizards of the Big Bend, presented by BBNP Interpretive Chief David Elkowitz. David offered a fascinating account of a study on the territorial behavior
of earless lizards, which in turn became Episodes 25-29 ( http://jackcomics.com/episodes/25.html ) of Jack.
More than any other character, my earless lizard owes its existence solely to these in-person contacts with experts rather than to printed or online reference sources.
More episodes of Jack: Adventures in Texas' Big Bend can be found at its web site ( http://www.jackcomics.com/ ) and for more frequent sketches and status updates, follow the Jack Facebook page ( http://www.facebook.com/jackcomics )!
Thanks again to Alpine's Chris Ruggia for introducing his Big Bend characters of Jack Comics!