T.H.E. Fox is a furry comic strip by Joe Ekaitis which ran from 1986 to 1998. It is among the earliest online comics, predating Where the Buffalo Roam by over five years. T.H.E. Fox was published on CompuServe, Q-Link and GEnie, and later on the Web as Thaddeus. Despite running weekly for several years, the comic never achieved Ekaitis' goal of print syndication. Updates became less frequent, and eventually stopped altogether.
Initial strips—consisting of one panel each—were drawn as pixel art on a C64 KoalaPad, first using KoalaPainter, then Advanced OCP Art Studio. Each panel had a resolution of 160x200 in sixteen colors (or 320x200 in eight), and took from two hours to half a day to complete. Later strips were inked, then scanned onto a PC and touched up with Paintbrush. Characters were typically presented in a single plane, though some strips used oblique or perspective projection.
Characters and themes
The comic consisted almost entirely of gags; some concerned the characters' animal natures, but Ekaitis preferred to cover news and exaggerate events of everyday life.[nb 1] The main character—Thaddeus Horatio Eberhard, or simply Thaddeus Fox—was often seen interacting with his roommate, Bunnington Ellsworth Rabbit (Bunn E. Rabbit). Other regulars included Grizz Lee, M.D.; Wilt the Wolf; an unnamed coyote, and Thaddaeus' nephew, Ferdinand.
Thaddeus (in fursuit form) and his creator appeared on the Rapid T. Rabbit and Friends show several times and the cable TV show carried most episodes of the comic strip for a number of years. Thaddeus also appeared with Rapid T. Rabbit in the Pasadena Doo Dah Parade. The comic was mentioned in the magazines .info and RUN, and was the subject of an interview by the Commodore 64/128 RoundTable. Thaddeus and Bunn also featured in editorial cartoons for the San Bernardino Sun regarding the O. J. Simpson murder case and the price of groceries, and appeared on the covers of Commodore journal Twin Cities 128 (TC-128).
- Ekatis: "Since Thad and Bunn are more like people who happen to look like a fox and a rabbit, the gags seem to be funnier if their animal species don't enter into it. Everyday life is the best source for gags."
- Benjamin Ong Pang Kean (2008-06-12). "Economics and Comics: How Do Webcomics Fit In?". Newsarama.
- Lee Atchison (2008-01-07). "The Third Age of Webcomics, Part One". Sequential Tart.
- Joe Ekaitis (1994-12-04). "Meet Joe Ekaitis — T.H.E. FOX" (Interview). Interviewed by Sherry accompanied by Lou Schonder.
Brendan Kachel (September 10, 2007). "Better than blogs: Webcomics, the Internet's answer to the funny pages". Crusader News. Archived from the original on 2008-04-28. Cite journal requires
- Returning Guest: Thaddeus Fox, Rapid T. Rabbit and Friends, 1997-04-14
Jeff Lowenthal (July 1989). "Public Domain". .info. Iowa City, Iowa: Info Publications (27): 59. ISSN 0897-5868. OCLC 17565429.
Each week Joe creates a single comic using a combination of computer drawing programs.
- Joe Ekaitis (1999-02-15). "Tinky Winky". Thaddaeus. Archived from the original on 2013-02-22.
- Special Guest: Joe Ekaitis, Creator of "T.H.E. Fox", Rapid T. Rabbit and Friends, 1989-12-02
- T.H.E.Fox with Editorial Cartoons by Joe Ekaitis, Rapid T. Rabbit and Friends, 1994-07-18
- 5th Avenue Easter Parade with Thaddeus Fox, Rapid T. Rabbit and Friends, 2000-04-24
Tim Walsh (July 1988). "Pixel Perfection". RUN. Peterborough, New Hampshire: Wayne Green (55): 46. ISSN 0741-4285. OCLC 10151803.
QuantumLink fans are also sure to recognize Joe Ekaitis's work.