Sunday, February 4, 2007

Captain Bucknell #3

Captain Bucknell #3. Published spring of 1996. Written and drawn by Mark Bussler.

Captain Bucknell #3


This third Captain Bucknell isn't really one of my favotires. In fact it might be the worst one of the entire 38 episode series. Its pretty funny looking back at how bitter I was about my perception of how Greeks were treated on campus. Like it even matters in the grand scheme of things...

I was in a fraternity at the time and we were in trouble (again) for something. We were a smaller house and it was pretty evident that houses with bigger alumni support got out of things easier. Not like this is any great surprise in life you know... but at the time I was all fired up about it and wielded my pen like a sword. Take that!! Its amazing what you can get fired up about when you're a college student without a whole lot of anything to care about except Knight Rider reruns.

When the campus was invaded by a purple monster dinosaur Captain Bucknell just turns his back on them. Cruel.

I think the artwork sucks in this one. The writing is sloppy. The only picture I like is the one of the fraternity, which was modeled after mine. We had a huge lifeguard chair out back with a view of the mountains and it was really cool. It had cup holders built into it too.

So disregard the negativity. Bucknell is a great school with lots of talented professors and academic options. I was just too "busy" to notice any of it back then when fighting against THE MAN.

Captain Bucknell #2

Captain Bucknell #2. Originally published in 1996. Written and drawn by Mark Bussler.

Captain Bucknell #2

Click on the image to see a larger version of it.


Squirrels were a running theme throughout Captain Bucknell. Bucknell's campus is in beautiful central Pennsylvania. In Lewisburg to be exact, nestled on the shore of the mighty Susquehanna river about an hour north of Harrisburg. The campus was literally overrun with squirrels. You couldn't go five feet without nearly stepping on a squirrel.

40 is a number that was used frequently in Captain Bucknell... it might have had something to do with 40oz bottles of malt liquor, maybe. There is a subtle alcohol endorsing theme in Captain Bucknell from my college days. If you look hard you can see it. For instance the license plate on the Public Safety car reads Colt 45. Subtle indeed.

This story takes place in the "Terrace Room" which was a fancier version of the cafeteria. I'm not really sure what the deal was but it tended to be full of sorority girls. Hence the girl's t-shirt that says "My big loves me!" which refers to her having a "big" which was their mentor or something like that... it was written in puffy paint and colored chalk all over campus.

Note how there are always brand names all over the students like Gap, Polo and J-Crew. A definate nod towards Frank Miller and Geof Darrow's Hard Boiled. In all honesty though, I think Bucknell single handedly kept J-Crew in business.

Bagels are another running theme in Captain Bucknell because at the time it seemed like every girl there lived on bagels, lettuce and water. Whereas I lived on beer, coffee and pizza so I'm hardly knocking a bagel heavy diet. I may have been thinner if I ate more bagels...

Note the buckle on Captain Bucknell's utility belt. Ha. And then at the end he makes a funny about eating the squirrel instead of eating at the cafeteria. In hindsight I don't recall the "caf's" food actually being that bad but it was funny (at least in my mind). I do remember them having one of those waffle machines that I really liked.

Incidentally that email address no longer works.

Click to read the previous comic, CAPTAIN BUCKNELL #1.

Captain Bucknell #1

Captain Bucknell #1. Originally published in 1996. Read more about the artist at The Mark Bussler Blog.

Captain Bucknell #1

Click on the image to see a larger version of it. This particular scan is from a photocopy of the original. I am collecting all of the originals, some are packed away, some hidden, some misfiled and some framed. My hope is to provide the highest image quality possible and post all scans from the originals.

Artist Commentary:

Welcome to the very first Captain Bucknell comic strip that I drew for the Bucknellian, the Bucknell University student newspaper, when I was a Sophomore in college... oh so long ago.

The first Captain Bucknell in the Bucknellian was a big milestone in my life. For one thing, the Bucknellian newspaper had a circulation all over campus of about 4000-5000 copies (I think...) and was widely read. It was a good paper. But with the addition of Captain Bucknell now there was a very entertaining reason to read the paper each week and see how he saved Bucknell from alien invasions and whatnot.

If memory serves me a mini-series of Captain Bucknell had previously run in an "independent" newspaper on campus in '95. But moving to the Bucknellian was a pretty big deal that guaranteed readership.

I don't believe that anyone on campus had ever seen a comic strip like Captain Bucknell before and boy did it get noticed! My goal was to make a super hero comic strip about a super hero on campus that saved the universe while supporting beer guzzling and all around debauchery. It was my attempt to be completely and utterly abnoxious while focusing on storytelling and comic book style artwork.

The first comic is actually quite tame compared to the later ones. This is the first time we see Captain Bucknell in his early outfit (more on that later). You'll note it says "welcome to the Bucknellian... you'll have to change your ways a bit" which is a reference to the original strip which was much more violent. I thought I was going to make Captain Bucknell more "tame" compared to the original mini series... but that didn't last long as you'll see in the upcoming strips.

Captain Bucknell ran for a year and a half. 38 full length strips were drawn for the Bucknellian newspaper. A mini-series was drawn for the indie paper. A "Captain Bucknell 2" comic book was drawn and never published anywhere. I still have all the originals so you'll be reading all this. I also drew several Captain Bucknell shorts my senior year when I was drawing a different strip called Mass Media.

I learned HTML in 1996 and had a Captain Bucknell website online in 1997. Then it went away when I graduated and lost my free hosting. Now 10 years later HE'S BACK and the world can enjoy his adventures.

Click to read the next comic, CAPTAIN BUCKNELL #2.

Mark Bussler Comics Blog Mission

As I've had success with my major blog dedicated to my filmmaking, the Mark Bussler Blog, I decided it would be fun to publish all of my comics online. Although I never ended up being a "professional" cartoonist it was my dream for years and all through college. Now I make a living producing, directing and editing documentary films. Which is basically an extention of cartooning in my opinion.

All of my films are distributed by Inecom Entertainment Company and are available for sale nationally at retailers and online websites like and DeepdiscountDVD.

At this time I am not drawing any new comics, that could change but I want to post all of my existing work first. This blog will feature all of my past work including Captain Bucknell, Agent 0040oz, Bolfar: Hero of the 9th Moon, Mass Media and other drawings and comics.

My art influences for drawing were Shirow Masamune (best known for Ghost in the Shell and Appleseed), Berkely Breathed (Bloom County) and Geof Darrow (Hard Boild, The Matrix).

Bookmark this page, get the RSS feed and prepare to read the entire series of Captain Bucknell!