Goldie & Clark!

"Goldie & Clark!" is my original cartoon, printed weekly in The University of Alabama's campus newspaper The Crimson White during the 2019-2020 academic year. The cartoon follows the adventures of Goldie—a famous university robot who's usually seen napping on Woods Quad—and Clark—one of the infamous "quad squirrels." Each entry makes light of an odd component of campus life or a recent current event, campus related or otherwise.

This gallery features every "Goldie & Clark!" cartoon in descending order of publication, with a little description for those not in the know of UA culture.

"Cheese Biscuits"
Fresh Foods dining hall at UA always has delicious cheese biscuits out for lunch and dinner. Goldie's a fan, but he gets scolded with a phrase greedy students are all too familiar with…

This was the final print cartoon of the 2019-2020 academic year.
In the main UA library, Gorgas, the bathrooms were recently renovated. Although they are aesthetically nice, they don't fix a certain problem Goldie's always had…
Fun Fact: This is the only cartoon not to feature Clark.
At UA, certain crosswalks make a distinctive sound to let the visually impaired know when to cross. This noise sounds a lot like a certain bird or expression…
"Valentine's Day"
Goldie and Clark have different plans for Valentine's Day…
"Super Bowl"
No matter how great the commercials are…
Goldie has many faces. Here they are.
On Woods Quad, where Goldie naps, there's another sculpture dead center. The Dance majors, who can see the statue from above from the Clark Hall dance studio, say it looks a little like a…well… And the one before it kind of looked like…the counterpart… Just Google "Woods Quad statue" and you'll see what I mean.
The UA campus is crawling with buses and shuttles from the university's own transit service, Crimson Ride. In this cartoon, Goldie finds that making use of the service is a little difficult for him…
At the university, we call the week before final exams "dead week" because everyone exhausts themselves through studying, and because there are technically not supposed to be assignments or tests due either. In this cartoon, the week is apparently vacation time for Goldie & Clark.
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Digital Series

In spring of 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak forced the University of Alabama to suspend on-campus activities, including the print publication of The Crimson White. "Goldie & Clark!" continued through the end of the semester digitally, via the paper's Instagram page.

April 9th, 2020
April 16th, 2020
April 23rd, 2020
April 30th, 2020


Photos by Seth Farmer

At my college, The University of Alabama, there's a statue on the arts quad of a robot, lying down, partially submerged in the dirt. His name is Goldie (created by Joe McCreary), and for whatever reason—maybe it's how relaxed he looks, the attention to detail in his sculpting, or his simple resemblance to the Iron Giant—he's always inspired me. I'd often deliberately stroll through the arts quad if it was on my way just to get a look at him in passing. One day, when I had some extra free time between activities, I brought my sketchbook out to the bench that sits across the way from him and did a little drawing of him:

He was fun to draw, even if surprisingly difficult. As I continued to practice my character art, I knew I wanted to give Goldie another shot, in my own style rather than going for captured realism. I was working on a play at the time, running the soundboard, and I always drew in my spare time during that job. One night, I drew a cartoon Goldie that I loved. He was sharing a moment with a quad squirrel who was hanging out on a tree branch.

I loved this little sketch, and I knew there was a story in it. I decided that the story was of two friends: Goldie—the gentle giant robot whose heart is bigger than his brain—and Clark (named after the arts quad-adjacent Clark Hall)—the street smart quad squirrel—who are both fish out of water, doing their best to fit in on the human-filled campus. At the time, I was also working at the box office for the university's theatre department with a friend of mine who happened to work for The Crimson White newspaper. I showed her the drawing and shared its story, to which she asked if I thought it could be a cartoon for the paper. I had always been a fan of The Crimson White—I had tried to work there before as a writer, but quickly discovered that journalism wasn't for me. Therefore, I felt I had found the true purpose for my creation and pitched the cartoon to The CW's editor-in-chief shortly thereafter. She loved the idea and hired me on the spot to draw for them the next school year.

Over the summer, I got to work practicing how the cartoon would look in publication. I drew out some model sheets for Goldie (which I ultimately didn't follow) and whipped up a couple mockup cartoons.

Goldie Models. Like I said above, I didn't end up following the model itself (left) super faithfully, but I did end up following most of the rules I made for myself (right).

A sample cartoon I drew the summer before publication. Originally, I imagined the cartoon to communicate by captions à la The Far Side. However, in the end I decided that traditional speech balloons were the way to go.

Eventually, the school year rolled around, and it was time to get started. I had written out a couple of cartoon ideas for the "idea bank" over the summer, but decided that a topical Get-on-Board Day cartoon would suit the start of the school year best. The cartoon was published every week in The Crimson White's Thursday editions, with some additional cartoons appearing in special editions.

I thoroughly enjoyed creating these for The CW. I hope they're a great legacy I left behind. But most of all, I hope that they brought a smile to the casual CW reader, in the same way that they brought so much joy to me.

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