Back in 2005 I had a passing acquaintance with a certain Iditarod musher who happened to be on one of the Siberian Husky lists that I was on. I honestly didn't know a whole lot about this Karen Ramstead person, other than what she posted on this list, and I knew of the Iditarod as a sled dog race and something about a serum run, but wasn't really a rabid fan of it, or any other sled dog race, mainly because I had other things going on at the time. I subscribed to the North Wapiti mail list, but generally just perused it on occasion.
Then one day she posted that she would be competing in the Yukon Quest, and was looking for talented people to come up with a new logo for her. That's interesting, I thought. Honestly I totally suck at Photoshop or doing anything that could be taken seriously, but having cartooned most of my life privately (I inherited the cartooning gene from my dad), and having just purchased a new Mac with a graphire pad to expand my cartooning to the Web, I thought... what the hey, and checked out the North Wapiti site to get a feel for the Pretty Sled Dogs... and was instantly mesmerized and inspired by Karen's writing.
She has a way of writing about her adventures in a way that makes you feel as though you were along for the ride, and what a fun ride it is. I was hooked, and submitted the following for my entry for her 2006 Yukon Quest logo:
"official" cartoonist of North Wapiti. Needless to say I was honored and agreed, and here we are now.
So, you are probably wondering why I'm even bringing this up... no doubt you are convinced that I'm sucking down the Nyquil again, and for those of you who don't get that joke... that's one of the reasons I'm writing this...
Karen's diary entries on her website go back to 2000, but in the format that they're in, its kinda hard to follow, unlike reading from Blogger. Long time fans know the stories and have seen the pictures, but our new fans on Blogger and Facebook may not be aware of all of the stories, inside jokes, and history. There's nothing worse than being that one person that doesn't get a joke that everyone else gets, so while race season is done for this year, I'll be going through the old diary entries on the Web site and adding them to Blogger in the exact dates they were posted originally.
The main reason I'm doing this is because I got a box in the mail yesterday that made me laugh... and I'm still laughing. I want to share that with all of you... but you won't appreciate it until you know the whole story, and the fans of North Wapiti and the Pretty Sled Dogs are like a big extended family, and I don't want anyone feeling like they don't get the joke.
- The Cartoonist