Cartoonist Dan Boris has published the first of a series of children’s books starring a little alligator named Dozi (“Izod” spelled backward) who adopts a vacationing family and sneaks into their luggage. Dozi the Alligator Finds a Family goes on sale this week with the author hosting a book launch and signing party at One More Page Books & More in Arlington, Virginia on May 30. Signed copies can be ordered directly from the author at danielboris.bigcartel.com.
Dozi was originally the star of Boris’ comic strip, Hoxwinder Hall, which he originally created as a college student in the 1980s; in 2010, he dug it out, reworked it and entered it in the Washington Post’s “Next Great Cartoonist” contest, finishing as one of the top five finalists. Beginning in 2012, Hoxwinder Hall was published in Funnies Extra!, a weekly stand-alone humor newspaper printed in full-color with over 35 comic strips, distributed nationally. The strip was also syndicated by Ink Bottle Syndicate.
Boris explains, “my limited weekly comic strip syndication in a start-up humor newspaper that briefly ran in several areas around the U.S. was really not as successful as I had hoped, so I turned my attention to adapting Dozi the Alligator as a children’s book. I thought the most logical place to start was to tell a story about how Dozi and Byron Hoxwinder-the two main characters in my comic strip-met. At that time, I did not really know how that happened. And so began the creative process of filling in the very large holes in the tale.”
After attempting to illustrate the book himself, Boris decided to “pull a Walt Disney” and find an illustrator to create the book he envisioned. His search led to a young Italian artist-animator named Nicola Sammarco. When the book was complete, Boris ran a Kickstarter campaign to self-publish, which included the sculpted figure seen above as an incentive. After raising the necessary funds, he received a publishing offer from Heritage Builders Publishing, which he accepted, allowing the book to reach a much larger audience. So far, Dozi is getting very positive reviews on GoodReads.
Readers in the Arlington area are invited to attend Dozi’s launch party on May 30 at 2:00 PM.