Countfunkula (yes, that is his real name) asked in the comments section whether Chippy and Loopus were new characters or if they were characters I'd been drawing for a while. The answer is that they are as old as that first strip. I wanted to try skribbl's 2x8 dialogue strip make-it-up-as-you-go experiment, and that was what came out. An easily irritated rabbit named "Chippy" and his dimwitted cigartette bumming freind the wolf, who later was named Loopus. When skribbl suggested I try to draw one a day, I decided that instead of sitting down and spending a few thousand hours figuring out who these characters are and what kind of world they live in the way we do at work, I'd develop them the way Charles Schulz said he developed the Peanuts characters. He started out with a group of kids, Charlie Brown, Lucy, etc. with no pre-concieved personalities in mind. Then, through gags and jokes, he let their personalities sort of develop organically. You can see this at work in the new Peanuts collections. The strip began in 1950, but the kid's personalties don't really emerge until about 1955. This is what I wanted to try with these guys.
Now I understand that we could never do this sort of thing in feature animation. You have to know your characters and their world fully so that you fully exploit their personalities for gags and business. However, I think that we sometimes OVER develop these guys. We sit for hours in meetings with the writers and the directors and the executives hashing out these characters, writing their personality traits on little cards. I think that sometimes, through this process, we kill the opportunity for the characters to suprise us. It would be nice to leave somethings up in the air so that we could discover them on boards.
Hey, it's just a thought.