Klyde's ANTics Live On at ANN!
After a series of super-secret negotiations
recently concluded at an "undisclosed location," (and despite the
rumor, it was NOT the Mustang Ranch, or even Camp David...) ANN is
pleased to announce that Aviation's most infamous non-human pilot
is joining the Aviation World's Most Comprehensive DAILY News
Klyde Morris, a wry, often 'in-your-face' cartoon that
has gained a large following in a number of venues will soon debut
twice a week (Monday and Friday) on the pages of ANN. After a
number of fights... uh... heated discussions,
Klyde Creator Wes Oleszewski and ANN came to terms not
only on a new home for Klyde, but also agreed to work
together on a book of Klyde's most memorable cartoons and assorted
ANTics for publication next year.
Upon reaching this agreement, we tied up Wes for a few minutes
(literally) and got him to answer a few questions about Klyde and
what all the hub-bub is about...
ANN: Hey Wes... What the heck is a Klyde?
Wes: Klyde Morris is an ant, living among the
humans. Of course everyone today is far too politically correct to
point out the fact that... well... he is just an ant! No one in
aviation would dare deny him a job as a pilot, even if he does have
to sit on a stack of Jepps books in order to reach the controls,
because he may file a complaint with EEOC. So they find other
reasons to hose him.
Of course, if anyone thought about it, they'd realize that ants
aren't a minority -- after all, there's a zillion of them crawling
around out there.
The name of the character comes from the street that runs past
the Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, where the cartoon strip
was born. I was a freshman there when I was asked to start the
strip in the university's student newspaper, the Avion. I
wrote the first strips but could not think of a name for the
character. The guys in the dorm kept coming by with name
suggestions, but nothing worked. Finally I was on the bus headed to
campus on my way to turn in the first, but incomplete, strip -- and
as the bus pulled onto Clyde Morris Boulevard, I saw the name, and
it clicked! I changed the "C" to a "K" and the character was
ANN: Where did Klyde come from... and what is
this "ant" thing?
Wes: As a kid I was a model rocket buff and I
used to shoot them up with ants riding aboard; then I would draw
cartoons about the flights of these "antstronauts." Later, in my
high school years, I drew cartoons about ants on sick adventures
and I kept all of those cartoons in a portfolio. In my first
semester of college, I drew cartoons to decorate the walls of our
dorm room. One of the guys in the dorm, Dan "the man" Karger,
dragged me, my portfolio and my ant cartoons up to the
Avion, and the next thing I knew, everyone on campus was
reading the stuff.
ANN: Is Klyde Morris "you" or some sort of
Wes: No -- Klyde reflects the pain and
suffering of everyone else out in the aviation industry and very
rarely, if ever, reflects my own personal experience. In fact I
often go out of my way to not write about people that have done
stuff to me. I often get these smug e-mails saying something like
"So what'd you do, flunk a check ride, so you're gettin' down on
the FAA?" The answer is always "NO." It's the frustrations of my
readers that are portrayed in the strips and not my own, and I
haven't flunked a check ride since 1978. In fact, my "alter ego" is
actually found in one of the characters in one of my other cartoon
strips, "The Program" but I'm not gonna tell you which character it
is -- you'll just have to read it and guess.
ANN: Heritage is important; what are
Wes: Klyde has his roots near some roots --
he's from a nest of ants in a mid-Michigan corn field. Rather than
following the normal career path for an ant -- scurrying around
gathering twigs and discarded chewing gum, he elected to go to
college and become a professional pilot. It's a decision that he
probably sometimes regrets.
ANN: Aren't you famous or something?
Wes: Please... never use the "f" word.
ANN: Is this gonna be one of those cutesy
little cartoons that I see in the funny pages or are you gonna
raise a fuss now and then?
Wes: Negative, red rider! If you want cute,
you'll have to go read Peanuts. My main concern with
Klyde is not who I'll piss off, but that I may go too long
and NOT piss someone off. Aviation is such a restrained, highly
regulated, by-the-rules business that the people involved in it
need a place to break loose and have a release from those
frustrating pressures -- this cartoon is where they'll find it.
ANN: Whom will you piss off?
Wes: I have a special place in my pipper for
the self-important blow-hards of the world. The screw-heads of
middle management and the folks who were born on third base and
believe they've hit a triple. I don't want them to try and feed us
a crap sandwich while telling us it's peanut butter. I also have a
special place in the cross-hairs for the folks who are offended by
everything. I like to tweak them and tweak them until their heads
explode -- then make fun of them for having an exploding head.
ANN: Why come to ANN... Couldn't you sink any
Wes: After being fired from my previous
publication for using the word "dominatrix" (which is a lot like
Dr. Johnny Fever getting fired for saying "Booger"), I needed a
place to put the cartoon in order to make me feel employed. This is
the perfect outlet for Klyde Morris. It's a place where
they make waves with loose cannons all over the deck. [Hey -- I
resemble that remark! --ed.] It's a place like a motor cycle gang
or a hockey team -- people fit in here especially because they
don't fit in anywhere else -- all they have to do is be
willing to jump into the fight, figuratively or otherwise, when the
time comes. My wife says that such is one of the things she always
liked about me: I'm always the first one off the bench and into the
ANN: Aren't you scared of that "Zoom" guy?
Wes: Naaaa... some guys are just entrails on
the end of my pen.
ANN: When will Klyde be on ANN?
Wes: As soon as the check clears.
ANN: What ratings does Klyde hold?
Wes: ATP, but since he's an ant, he has a
really hard time fitting the certificate into his ant-sized
ANN: What does Klyde do on his time-off?
Wes: Klyde is ever tormented by his evil pager.
Anyone who has ever flown for a living knows that the most
frustrating and evil device ever invented is their pager. The
blasted thing goes off at the worst times and normally seems
possessed to wreck your day, your week and perhaps your whole life.
Klyde's pager is worse than that... his talks. (Only to him, of
One of the very earliest "Klydes"
ANN: I heard there's going to be a
Klyde book... Will there be plenty of sex and
Wes: Errr... yeah... sure... in fact JayLo is
gonna do a nude scene... either that or Klyde's pager is gonna do a
nude scene, depends on how much the publisher is willing to pay
[it'll be the pager; trust me --ed]. Besides that, the book will
contain more than 300 cartoons from the Klyde Morris strip
as well as special sections such as "The cartoons that got me in
the most trouble," "The cartoons that got other people in the most
trouble," "Wes' picks of favorite cartoons" and other special areas
of cartoons and cool aviation stuff that have never before been
ANN: Do you have anything you'd like to say to
our ANN readers before they go looking for Klyde Morris,
aviation's only editorial cartoon strip? You know, to give them a
perspective on the man, the pilot, the airline captain, the mind
behind the cartoon? Sort of get things off on the right foot and
give our ANN readers an insight to the way that you approach life,
the aviation industry and the serious nature of doing an editorial
Wes: Yeah... BOOGER!