Back Story

The Story behind Dervin

Before you jump on Amazon, write a bad review about how none of this is funny, keep reading.  To truly love Dervin, you have to know him.  Here is his story.

When I was a sophomore at Georgia Southern University, there was a comic strip in the college newspaper done by a student.  As I read each one it did not take long for me to make the following comment, with little thought, “Heck, I can do this!”

So, along with one of my best friends, Michael Kinsley, (a most creative person in his own right) we sat down to create a comic strip.

For the very first one, I drew three panels, each successive panel building upon the other…sort of a (1) Spring (2) Summer (3) Fall progression.

When it came time to create the fourth panel, tie it all together and be funny, witty and/or charming…we drew blanks. Nada!

We tried for a couple of days until the desire to provide some competition in the student paper waned.  Then, it hit me.

I said to Michael, “Let’s make the fourth panel have absolutely nothing to do with anything, then pass it off as being genuinely funny.”

Michael and I had two fraternity brothers, both ‘pre-med, straight ‘A’ students, very smart, very intelligent and most of all, very nice guys.

We showed the first strip to them with a basic intro of: “Hey, tell us what you think of our new comic strip!”  (Full of enthusiasm!)

Naturally, as they read it, trying to ‘figure it out’ and not hurt our feelings, we were gut-laughing inside.

The first ‘Dervin’ was met with a polite, “Yea, heh, heh, that’s pretty good.”

The initial response was perfect!

I drew about a half dozen more, with our brothers as beta testers until one day, one finally said, “Darnell, these are stupid!”

Somewhere along the way, and I am not sure I have the best word here, the quaintness or uniqueness of each ‘Dervin’ prompted others to ask if I had drawn any more.

I continued drawing, off and on, for years as Dervin generated a small following of people who ‘got it’ but liked it anyway.  Through the years, as Dervin’s personality, and the characters around him developed, more and more people liked it for what it is…something different.

The fun in Dervin is still the same. Under the guise of some deep hidden thought, wrapped in a layered philosophical texture, is a comic strip to show a friend and simply ask, “Do you get it?”

Time For Devin started out as, in essence, a snipe hunt or an April Fool’s joke in four panels.  The initial fun is to show your friends, relatives, co-workers this ‘amazingly brilliant’ strip over and over until they reply with a ‘Sorry, but this is stupid.’

In all deference to the Law of Noncontradiction, I believe Dervin can be both funny and not funny at the same time.

Though different, the goal of Dervin is like any other comic strip, either directly or indirectly, to make people laugh.  It is my hope that the more you read and get to know Dervin, the more you see it for what is has become, the antics of a quirky little guy living large in Geiggityville.


Bobby Darnell

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