Ref 1: John Whitebucket’s first appearance | Ref 2: “Watch out for Communists”

Of all the recurring secondary characters in the strip (Peanut Butter, Jelly, John and Susan Whitebucket, Holly, Ichabod, Chad the Edona College Do-It-All, and Sheriff Whitebucket have been shown so far), John is my favorite hands down. He was one of the first characters created, and came about as a sketch protesting Communism in my History class while we were discussing McCarthyism. I liked the design of the dented helmet over the eyes, the big nose, and his regal posture (the ponytail came later), as well as his absolute terror of Communists, so I looked for a way to incorporate him into the strip. He was originally going to be Percy’s roommate (Jorocks was Chris’s age then), but I scrapped that idea on account of not many college students nowadays have much fear of Communism and I was already struggling with how to introduce the main four. I then realized that I could make a bit of a running gag out of not being able to see a Whitebucket male’s eyes (and thus the joke with Sheriff Whitebucket was born), and thus he became Percy’s father. So there you have it: the origins of John Whitebucket. Expect more Communist paranoia in future strips involving him.

Have fun!

~Stretch Longfellow~