Finally, we get a look at the elusive building owner, Claude Caitiff.

Claude is actually one of my oldest characters. I drew him when I was in 7th grade (maybe 8th grade) as a minor character in the early Dynamite and Detonator adventures. Back then, Claude was a friend of the rabbits, but he was also a terrible schemer. In these early adventures, animals were not supposed to talk to most people, so the rabbits were often forced to use Claude as their contact with human society. Claude would help them carry out their missions, but he would always be looking for ways to profit from it. Dynamite and Detonator were often stuck cleaning up his messes and pulling Claude back from the brink of disaster whenever he got it over his head.

Claude also had an animal accomplice, but I don’t want to tell you too much about that character just yet. I plan on introducing him to Urban Underbrush sometime in the second half of 2011.

In the Urban Underbrush canon, a somewhat older version of Claude is now the owner of the Grass Roots Boarding House as well as several other properties in town. He has never met Dynamite and Detonator yet.

Claude is also Blair and Clive’s uncle. When I first drew these three characters, I had never intended to put them in a story together, let alone make them relatives. The fact that Claude looks a little like both Blair and Clive is a lucky coincidence.

Come to think of it, Claude has appeared in a comic with Clive already. He has a short cameo in Flip Side, the comic I wrote in High School.

Back when I was drafting Urban Underbrush, I had not planned on using Claude as the landlord. I was going to create a new character, a sort of fat, suit-wearing, cigar-smoking, 80’s business mogul type who would bully his tenants (especially Vincent). But when I started scripting, I realized that no one could fill this role better than Claude. So the landlord went from being an intimidating type to a yappy-salesman type. I think it’s an improvement.

Okay, now that you know who this guy is, he can go back to being a background character.