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Mick and Mason talk about Dogs of C-Kennel
With the announcement of the launch of Dogs of C-Kennel, I fired off a few questions to Mick and Mason Mastroianni about their new feature and what role they each play in its creation – especially because they are so involved with two other strips B.C. and The Wizard of Id.
Alan: What was the inspiration for this strip?
Mick: While volunteering at the Orlando SPCA, there were 3 wings of the building labeled the A, B and C kennels. “C” was off and detached from the others. I jokingly thought this must be where they put the misfit and problem dogs. I found the idea funny and the name was catchy. As narcissistic as it sounds, the characters are based on my multiple personalities although it’s not accidental that they also resemble my brother and my closest friends as well.
Alan. You both are involved with producing B.C. and Wizard of Id, what are each of your roles doing this strip?
Mick: C-Kennel is written by myself and drawn by my brother, Mason. Mason gives it that professional look that I couldn’t quite achieve on my own. He’s always had the ability to draw exactly what I see in my head. I write for B.C. and I’m the head-writer for the Wizard of Id.
Mason: I am head-writer and cartoonist of B.C. and I help edit the Wizard of Id. Mick and I work so closely our personalities seep into everything we do together.
Alan. Will any other family members be contributing to C-Kennel?
Mick: Our Mom letters it. She fits our budget.
Alan. The feature has been in development for three years. How have you seen the feature evolve to where it is today?
Mick: By leaps and bounds. Mason and I toyed with many different design ideas. Pretty much every character has undergone major reconstructive surgery. As the characters personalities have grown, I believe both my writing and Mason’s drawings have greatly improved.
Mason: Mick and I grew up close and know each other very well. I feel an intimate relationship with these characters because I helped develop them. Mick gave birth to them but we brought them up together.
Alan. How does C-Kennel differ in writing and humor style than your other features?
Mick: Compared to writing B.C. and Wizard of Id, C-Kennel comes easier because they’re our own characters. I can be more current because it takes place in modern day. We don’t have to live up to the standards of a legacy strip so we can get away with fart jokes and cheap jabs at pop culture icons.
Mason: It’s younger, fresher and more forgiving. It doesn’t have the history, it’s all us. My main job is B.C. If drawing B.C.is dinner, then Dogs of C-Kennel is dessert.