CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- In Brad Diller's latest comic strip, he likes to be the butt of his own jokes.
"For the most part it's me making fun of my own sort of neurosis and the things I can be envious about," Diller said. "So it's really making a joke of myself."
Diller, a former newsroom illustrator for the Charleston Daily Mail, is the artist behind the comic strip Funday Morning.
Beginning today, "Funday Morning" will be a regular feature in the Charleston Gazette and the Saturday Gazette-Mail.
His cartoons have been made into two books "The Neighbors have Two Flamingos" and "Behind the Eight Ball."
Diller, who attended George Washington High School in Charleston, started working for the Daily Mail in 1988. He used to draw some of the paper's political cartoons, but he never really liked doing them.
For one thing, he wasn't into politics.
"I guess just being sarcastic and caustic about everything, I'm more comfortable with that," said Diller, now of Reno, Nev. "That's just easier, to be rude to everyone instead of one side or the other."
Diller had an idea to start drawing his own single-panel cartoon. He sketched out 12 of the cartoons and pitched the idea to then-Daily Mail editor David Greenfield.
"I took them into him on a Monday and said I'd like to run this on a weekly basis and he said OK," Diller said.
His first comic strip, "One Brick Shy," was a sort of ripoff of Gary Larson's "The Far Side," Diller said.
"One of the things I admired about Gary Larson is you could take any scenario and use it," Diller said. "You weren't locked into a particular job or time or a geographic location. That open-endedness was really appealing in the beginning."
But in the age before the Internet, the only way to be successful drawing comics was to be syndicated, he said. But he kept being turned down for syndication.
"I thought if Gary Larson could do it, I could do it," Diller said. "But as far as syndicates go, they were like, 'we've got Gary Larson, what do you do?' So finally in the mid-'90s I decided I'll change it up."