Reaching way back to one of my very, very first cartoon characters, Zen. Far back enough we’re talking early-to-mid nineties here. Back when I still wanted to make my own newspaper comic. Yes, that far back. Zen was intended to be the main character of an ensemble comic called “It’s a Zen Thing” (I was in middle school. Don’t have high hopes regarding this.)
I think, especially in the days of newspaper comics, most budding cartoonists have some idea for a comic that’s a rip-off of something beloved and established – usually, The Far Side or Bloom County. (Not that people still don’t rip these off, I suppose…) This comic would have been the latter. I tried reviving it in the mid2000s and actually taking the idea somewhere, but, sadly, nothing but some characters materialized out of it. Zen didn’t have much of a personality beyond “Happy, intelligent straight man” and was analagous to being the Milo Bloom of the bunch. He does still pop up from time to time… usually to revisit the character in vein.