John Fique of Westminster is a cartoonist. When he was a child, he drew Superman, monsters and Diver Dan.
Fique took art classes when he was 12 years old. He drew in pencil and then embellished his artwork with pen and ink.
After he graduated from Westminster Senior High School, he attended Catonsville Community College in Westminster, now Carroll Community College (carrollcc.edu). Fique took some drawing classes while he was there.
When Fique transferred to Towson University, he took a few art history classes along with his regular classes. He graduated with a degree in Mass Communications.
After college, Fique worked for a Frederick radio station and drew ads promoting the station for the newspaper.
Later, when he worked for Westminster Coca-Cola, he occasionally drew signs for point of purchase displays.
As a freelance artist, Fique did illustrations for a psychiatrist. Fique also did some artwork for Upstart Freline, a library promotions company. He drew posters and illustrated a brochure that illustrated the Dewey Decimal System.
He also drew a coloring book page for Green Peace (Green Peace.org) to encourage people to be more environmentally conscious.
Fique has always wanted to write children’s books. He has written seven but has not had any published yet. They include fantasy stories.
His first story, titled “Blanketstein,” is about a man doctor/wizard/tailor. He created Blanketstein to get revenge on the town that insulted him. One of his other books is titled “I live in Feer,” and is about town beset upon by large creatures.
Fique is inspired by a long list of illustrators. One of his favorites is Gil Kane, a Latvian comic artist, who has drawn such characters as Captain America, Green Lantern and wrote a storyline for” The Amazing Spider-Man.”
He also likes comic artist, Jack Kirby who co-created Captain American in the 1940s. He also worked on the Fantastic Four, Incredible Hulk, the X-Men. He is known as the “King” of comics by fans.
Another of Fique’s favorites is Walt Kelly, who drew the cartoon Pogo, the possum which included Howland the owl and Albert the alligator.
Fique’s list of comic illustrators also includes, Will Eisner, one of the earliest comic book illustrators, who illustrated “The Sprit” that appeared in newspapers for decades; Al Capp, who dew “Li’l Abner” for the newspapers and Dick Sprang, a Batman artist.
Norman Rockwell, famous American illustrator, has also inspired Fique’s work.
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One of Fique’s cartoon characters is Red Whytenblu. He is a patriotic flying hero dog. Currently, Fique is marketing this series of cartoons on Redbubble (redbubble.com) online. His artwork can be put on a series of items including T-shirts, cell phone cases, mugs, cups and more. One image shows the dog flying “Comin’ Atcha.”
Fique likes to write stories for both children and adults.
“I am marketing my written work as stories you’ll enjoy reading to your children, stories you will want to read over and over again, even if you don’t have children “ Fique said.“I like making people laugh, because laughter is not just an involuntary reaction to humor, it is a release of pain. If you can make someone laugh, for a few seconds they forget their pain,
“I am fascinated by ghosts and other paranormal phenomenon including UFO’s, ESP, remote viewing and telepathy,”
Fique said he loves old moves, especially 3-hour blockbusters like “The Great Escape,” “Ice Station Zebra,” and “Spartacus.”
In the future, Fique would like to publish his books and will continue to publish his artwork online for sale.
Lyndi McNulty is the owner of Gizmo’s Art in Westminster.