FAQ by Scott Leverenz
Where did Traprock originate?
In the 1920's, the New York architect George S Chappell wrote a trilogy of books under the pseudonym "Dr. Walter E Traprock". These books were written in the first person about (his) various adventures. Chappell was a friend of publisher George Putnam [GP Putnam's Sons publishing house] and the Traprock books were thought to be the brainchild of Putnam, who recruited Chappell into writing them. Putnam is more widely known as the husband of Amelia Earhart
The Traprock Series
Chappell's first book, published in 1921, was Cruise of the Kawa (Wanderings in the South Seas), then in 1922, followed by My Northern Exposure (The Kawa at the Pole) and the third and last was Sarah of the Sahara in 1925. A fourth Traprock book, Dr Traprock's Memory Book (or Aged in the Wood) was written in 1931 with Chappell using his own name, 'interviewing' the retired explorer at his estate in Connecticut on the banks of the Housatonic River.
Why a Comic Strip?
I was first introduced to the Traprock stories in 1985 by my good friend Doug Byers. I was facinated by the dry, almost arid sense of humor. The writing style smacked of Chappell's NYC contemporaries, Robert Benchley, Dorothy Parker, Alexander Wolcott, Ring Lardner and the rest of the Algonquin Roundtable gang. What a delicious character to wrap into a daily comic strip! After developing several different comic strips between 1978 and 1983, I talked my writing partner Jay Amicarella into writing a series of strips about the Traprock character. Jay and I have worked on a several comic strip ideas over the years. He has an excellent sense of timing and his humor carries the wit needed for the Traprock storylines. In our original series, we changed his name to "Bunnbury". Jay and I have worked on a several comic strip ideas over the years.