Did you know there was almost a Roger Rabbit Comic Strip? That’s correct, boys and girls the wacky rabbit nearly made his debut in the daily newspapers. And, here before you is the proof the zany comic strip actually existed.
You see, back in the turbulent eighties there was a lot of stuff going on at the large entertainment company located in the San Fernando Valley. The company was undergoing massive changes and along with those changes was an agreement to partner with Hollywood icon, Steven Spielberg on a bold new project. As shooting continued in the UK, I continually received all manner of material from the filmmakers overseas. There were sketches and photographs. Script pages and revisions. In any case, it sure looked like we had stumbled on to something and the wacky movie Bob Zemeckis was directing was sure to be a hit. We had already launched a graphic novel and the project was already in work. We had secured the services of artists, Dan Speigle and Daan Jippes to create the comic. Why not a syndicated daily comic strip, we wondered? Before you could say the words, Mickey Mouse we were onto it.
Since the Disney/Spielberg motion picture would be a combination of live-action and animation we decided to emulate the concept in our daily comic strips. Members of our editorial and art staff would play the roles of the live-action characters by being photographed and stripped into the comic pages. Remember this was long before digital so all the compositing had to be done by hand. In any case, we thought the wacky idea worked really well and before we knew it we had completed a fair number of comic pages to present to our partner, King Features Syndicate. For reasons unknown, the strip idea received a thumbs down and the Roger Rabbit Comic Strip never saw the light of day.
If you recall, the motion picture “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” opened to good box office and solid reviews. As a matter of fact, there are some who consider this innovative motion picture the reason animated film making received a new lease on life. We did eventually finish the Roger Rabbit Graphic novel and it was published in several languages as well. In time, I would work on a number of Roger Rabbit motion picture sequel attempts but none ever caught on. Much like our Roger Rabbit Daily Comic Strip the ideas never went anywhere. So, here’s all that’s left of the once famous animated cartoon rabbit. Even though the film scored big with audiences back in the eighties, Roger never got a second chance at life and he’s now just a footnote in Disney history.