Episode 202: Ted Stearn
The latest Fuzz and Pluck (last year’s The Moolah Tree) begins with a rough visual — one I’m admittedly a bit hung up on during my conversation with Ted Stearn a few months ago. In it, Fuzz, the hapless teddy bear character, is unraveled until he’s little more than a long thread and a pair of eyeballs. I’d seen in before in an old issue of the Fantagraphics anthology Mome, and it had stuck with me ever since. Admittedly, it ultimately proves a dream sequence and one of the darker scene in what’s a fairly lighthearted fairy tale, but it’s a fairly good insight into Stearn’s sense of humor and visual sensibilities.
The Moolah Tree was seven years in the making, with the odd seen (like the aforementioned dream sequence) popping up here and there, while Stearn focused on his day job, working on big budget network animated shows like King of the Hill and Futurama. It’s a testament to seeing a project through and the power of the comics media to allow an artist to see every aspect of a creation through, from beginning to end.