GORGE was a comic strip that Paul Williams (that’s me) drew while in high school and college between the years of 1984 and 1991.
The strips have been scanned and uploaded starting in 2010, but the dates for the posts match their original posting.
GORGE, (pronounced like gorgeous with out the “ous”) created by Paul Williams started as a art class project during his Freshman year at Saint Paul’s High School in Highland, Illinois in January, 1984. (January 26th to be exact)
The assignment was to create your own cartoon character and draw that character in a cartoon strip. After several attempts on whatever paper could be found in the house, the goggle-eyed Gorge appeared for the first time.
The first strip called “Shocking Date” which set the theme for the next 7 years of cartooning, featured Gorge getting ready for a date set-up by a computer dating agency. He comments how his date is a great model, very smart… loves to run… and the punchline – she’s a computer. (Get it, computer dating?)
GORGE as he looked in that first cartoon
When Paul delivered his project to his art teacher the next day she was very pleased with his work and encouraged Paul to draw more.
That evening additional strips were penned. The teacher thought that these cartoons were so go that Paul should see about getting them copy written.
What’s the big deal about getting this cartoon character a copyright, Paul wondered. Who would want to steal Gorge?
Well, Paul called the local newspaper, the Edwardsville Intelligencer to find out about getting a copyright. Talk about being at the right place at the right time. As it happens, the editor of the paper was searching for local talent to pen cartoon strips for the weekly “Kid’s Stuff” section. After meeting with the editor, Paul agreed to start his new job as professional cartoonist.
About Paul Williams
Paul Williams was born to Paul and Bernadette Williams on April 23, 1969 in Meriden, CT. His family moved from Connecticut when he was around 8 years old to Warwick, Rhode Island. Paul (or Paulie as he was called) was creative even as a little kid. While many of his teachers highlighted his lack of self-control and being very talkative – they also spoke of Paul as being artistic. One of Paul’s earliest drawings features a fire engine.
In Rhode Island he grew up a regular kid attending grade school and junior high in the Connimicut area at St. Benedict’s School along the shores or Naragansset Bay. Here Paul built tree forts and cleared pathes in the woods behind his house with his younger brother (by 4 years) Jeff. In Junior High Paul won an entered and won an award for drawing a fire prevention poster. The slogan read “Matches Don’t Have Safety Caps – Keep them away from children” and featured a matchbook topped with a medicine bottle style safety cap.
Upon completing junior high, based on his grades Paul applied and was accepted to the prestigious all-male high school Bishop Hendriken High School. There he attended only 1 quarter before Paul’s father was again transferred – this time, to Illinois.
The family lived in a modest home in Glen Carbon, Illinois (across the Mississippi River just 20 minutes out of St. Louis area). Paul first attended St. Paul’s High School in Highland, Illinois. This is where he was given the assignment to draw a comic character…. more details to come…
After a year at St. Paul’s because of expensive tuition Paul was enrolled in the local Edwardsville High School…. more details to come…
After graduating from EHS, Paul applied and attended the local university, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Here he studied Public Relations, Marketing and Graphic Design…. more details to come…