The Raccoon Stories comic strip was born in 1985 when Ken Layne was bored waiting for his wife, Staci, a reporter at the Daily Aztec at San Diego State University, to finish a story so they could leave. Staci had inadvertently run over a raccoon on the way to her home in scenic Dulzura, Calif., the night before and, while waiting at the Aztec office, Ken drew a little interpretation of the killing scene to cheer her.

At the time, I was editorial page editor of the Aztec. Working that night while Ken drew, I watched over his shoulder. When he finished, I seized the crude drawing from Staci and, over Ken's horrified if slightly inebriated objections, ran it in the paper (below).

The first ever Raccoon Stories

Response was immediate – students, faculty, administrators were all outraged at both the hideous drawing style and the vicious content. Animal rights activists threatened; art majors picketed. We had no choice but to continue on ... With some gentle urging and a regular supply of bourbon, Ken was convinced to take another stab at the life and times of the anarchistic little critters ...

The second episode of Raccoon Stories

Clearly, we were onto something here ... Continue to next page

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All images Copyright © 1985, 2003Ken Layne