The Forty Year Old Hippie

The Potty Monster Story

This is one of my favorite Forty Year Old Hippie stories, plus it was really fun to draw. My dip pen felt loose and dashy, almost athletic, gliding across the paper, and I completed most of the story in one four-hour sitting. But, I didn't have an ending.

Sometimes when drawing, I'll suddenly start laughing as the art comes to life and animates off the page. The sudden appearance of the Potty Monster was one of those moments.

What I looked liked when I did the Potty Monster story. Photo taken at my studio in San Francisco, circa 1978. Photographer unknown.

The Hippie's role as "father person" was modeled off my baby sitting experiences with our baby sitting co-op, the politically correct parents in our Glen Park Co-op Nursery school, and of course as a father to my daughter Miranda (Lee Richards).

And here's where the Hippie's parenting skills are tested to the fullest.

Child Person, as you may have figured out by now, is a boy, but the parenting wisdom of the 70's sought to remove the influences of gender identification, thus the Hippie and his "Partner" (wife) thought it best to give their son a non-gender identification by simply calling him "Child Person."

The Hippie believes in letting a weird situation work itself out, and it'll find its own space in reality. This way there’s no hassle, and everything will turn out cool…

A good ending makes a great story. This ending was done by my daughter, Miranda Lee Richards, who's now a singer and songwriter living in Hollywood. Miranda was 5 years old at the time, and after looking at the story when it had no ending, said, "Child Person would break the Potty Monster because he breaks everything he plays with..."

Her insight was based upon the astute observation that little boys seemed to be more destructive with their toys than girls. Child Person also resembled a vegetarian boy in our after school play group who went about biting everyone, and destroying toys. But whoops, I'm slipping into gender stereotypes.