Barbara Lawlor, Peak to Peak. Around this time last year, George Blevins’ Cabin Fever Complete, Volume One: 1983 through 1989 was published due to many years of popular request. His friends rolled up their sleeves and began the arduous quest of finding all of his comic strips and putting them in chronological order. It was a huge task because it was way before the digital age and files had a tendency to leave home or become covered in mildew or dog hair.
The friends prevailed, however, and The Carousel of Happiness Books published Volume I, which was snatched up by all the fans who had read the comic strips as they happened, every week in the Mountain-Ear Newspaper. The books became a favorite Christmas present in 2014.
The last toon in the book was scribed on New Year’s, 1990. It shows a typical mountain pickup truck with a dog hanging out the front passenger seat window and skis in the bed. The driver, George, says, “Hey it’s nineteen ninety. You realize what that means? We’ve done seven years of this at six panels a week.”
“We should publish a book,” says the dog.
Many of George’s comic strip conversations involved talking animals, who blurted out advice and smart asides when their human, George, came up with something ridiculous, which always had a way of turning out wise and witty.
When a writer/cartoonist, finishes Volume One, it is only logical that Volume Two comes next, so George’s friends began their quest all over again, this time looking for comic strips from 1990-1997, which were recently published and now on sale.
The cover of the book shows a balding skinny man in long underwear with his bare feet on top of the dog sleeping under his drawing table. A crow sits on the table, looking at the cartoon and appears to be angry. The subtitle is “Still crankin’ it out.” There are almost one-third more strips than Volume One contained.
George’s Cabin Fever characters are many; but some of the most quoted are the bear, the eagle, the moose, the crow and his dog and cat. Words are often heard from trees, from wind, from flowers and from rocks, each of their personalities becoming a friend to the reader. Nothing is ever predictable.
As Nederland grew and changed, so did George’s cartoon world, his characters looking askance at the growth of population and development, as well as issues of the week and what struck his funny bone. After reading one of George’s comic strips, there is always the tendency to stop and mull it over, trying to get beyond what is obvious to what went unsaid between the walls of the sections.
Founder of the Carousel of Happiness Scott Harrison says, “George has a gift for laying bare the essence of mountain living and the creatures, both two and four legged, that make small town Colorado such a wacky, wondrous place to live. Reading these strips is like visiting the man himself, a dependable delight.”
Cabin Fever Complete, Volume Two: 1990 through 1997 is now available at the Carousel of Happiness, Blue Owl Bookstore, and Nature’s Own in Nederland.
George will be signing books on Dec. 12 at the Gilpin County Market at the Gilpin County Recreation Center all day. He will be at the High Peaks Holiday Festival in Boulder, at 1661 Alpine, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and at the Sugarloaf market, at Station 2, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.