Husband and wife comic strip duo share the Lord’s path: Outskirtz
The Lord has a way of leading you down the path meant for you, even if at first you don’t see it.
This was the case for David and Doreen Dotson, a couple from Southern California who recently moved to Tennessee.
The couple married in 1990 after meeting at church in 1987 and dating for three years.
Doreen had studied art in college, while David owned his own auto detailing business. David, also loving the Los Angeles Rams, felt growing frustrations around this time due to his dislike of the team’s owner.
This frustration would throw a whole new path in the couple’s direction.
As a way to get out his frustration for the owner of the Los Angeles Rams, David asked Doreen to illustrate it.
“It came out really good, and we figured we could actually do this,” explained David.
Following the realization that they had something unique here, the pair began creating a regular comic strip called “Sport Barbs” based on his love of the team and dislike of the owner.
Characters in the strip were named from the middle names of David and Doreen, called Ross and Gail respectively.
“Ross was a sports fan, and Gail was the wife who had to put up with his nonsense,” laughed David. “It was very raw and we thought it was very good.”
The pair ended up sending out their work to syndicates but expected rejection. To their surprise, however, they received praise and encouragement from a couple of the syndicates who rejected them.
They did receive publishing from a small paper in San Diego.
Once their family began to include children, the pair decided to slow down and put their comic on the backburner.
Years passed when one day the couple began getting what they now see as signs from the Lord.
David met with his friend Hayden one Friday morning, who served as his accountability partner, to open up about stress in his life at the moment.
During this conversation, his friend brought up the comic strip, asking what had happened to it. David ultimately wanted to get back into doing the comic strip but needed someone to convince Doreen, hoping his friend would do it.
His response is what David recalled as unlike his friend…
Hayden looked at David and said, “No, you call Doreen and tell her Hayden said to do the comic strip.”
This firm response came across David as bizarre like it wasn’t his friend saying this.
At the same time as David pondered the comic strip, little did he know, Doreen was doing the same in prayer. Doreen prayed to God for a sign that they should be doing the strip or moving forward, asking for a sign.
When David came home that night to relay Hayden’s message, she had received her sign.
Despite this initial sign, more time passed with nothing happening to their comic strip.
The pair received their next sign when they were attending Shadow Mountain Church and heard Pastor David Jeremiah speak about the Book of Jonah, doing things he did not want to do.
Doreen resonated with Jonah, realizing God was telling her what she needed to be doing.
To them, this is a classic case of the easy way versus the hard way, with the hard way being God and the easy way being offered by Satan.
Doreen’s easy way was selling Mary Kay…her hard way was their comic strip.
The third sign was the charm for the pair, who finally took action by writing Johnny Hart, creator of the comic strip “B.C.” Hart’s wife responded with a card to the couple encouraging them.
After receiving the card, Doreen was at a coffee shop with a friend who pointed out the city in New York it was addressed from…Ninevah.
Yes, Nineveh, the place God was sending Jonah. It all came back to Jonah. It all came back to following the harder path.
Finally, the pair jumped back into the comic strip.
After realizing that a comic on sports would not work, the pair branded a new idea. One day as he drove across the country for work, David was inspired by what would be characters for the pair’s new comic. The name followed.
“Outskirtz” was born. The comic follows Bud, Edna and their dog, Rusty, living their everyday lives.
The comic is printed nationally in various papers, and the couple even has a fanbase to go along with it.
Last year, after praying and discussions of where to go, the pair moved to Maryville, Tenn., sight unseen, where they will continue making their comic strip and start the next chapter of their lives. Doreen is also illustrating a book.
Check out Outskirtz at www.outzkirts.com.
The moral to the story? Sometimes God has bigger plans in store for us than we have in ourselves it seems.
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