DrawingBill recalls the launch of his “professional” drawing career:
About six weeks into freshman year, the phone rang. It was 11:20am and I was sleeping through a class on the English novel. Even more pathetic, that was my first class of the day.
A gravel-throated “Hello?”
“May I speak to Bill Cokas, please?”
“This is he.”
“This is Sgt. Ned Comar with the University Police.”
“Y-y-yes, sir?” Surely the truancy policy at UNC wasn’t that strict.
“Could you stop by and see me about doing some cartoons for the campus police?”
Thus began a long and lucrative relationship with the campus police department, illustrating anti-crime posters, slide shows and calendars. Another business that materialized as a result of the strip was my t-shirt industry. Someone called me one day and asked if I designed t-shirts. Of course I did. When they asked how much I charged, I blurted out “Fifteen bucks and a free shirt.” And I never raised my price, although on occasion I did work simply for beer.
What you see here are the results of my most prolific period (i.e. college), when I was forced to produce regularly and on a deadline. Those things have a way of motivating. Most of the editorial work here shows my interpretation of a writer’s point of view (and not necessarily my own). Still, it was fun (and challenging) tackling subject matter I never would have chosen on my own.