The Colorbears

These stories were written by Suzanne Saunders and Jeni Shepardson, in the spring of 1991. We were bored that spring, as we were seniors in high school and hence not learning much new toward the end of the academic year. We had big stacks of Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams to take to get us college credit so we wouldn't have to pay money to sit through the same stuff again.

But you can't study all the time. And since none of those exams were held at the school we actually attended, and neither of us had cars, we were stuck in empty classrooms at St. Petersburg Junior College, or the St. Petersburg International Folk Fair Society, for the entire day of the exam. One had to keep occupied.

These stories started out at SPIFFS, on our French oral exam day. These oral exams lasted twenty minutes or so instead of the two to three hours the written exams did. Most students who could just showed up for the exam and then left. But Jeni and I were limited, so we'd just brought stuff to keep occupied with.

My mom had acquired a blank book somewhere and given it to me. It was a paperback decorated with bears and hearts, and it came with some stickers of bears and hearts. I brought it with me because I like to write (as if I needed to say that on this homepage!) and blank books make it easier to keep track of all your writing because you are less likely to lose pages. And there, in a shadowed room on the second floor of SPIFFS, while our classmates tried to remember the French vocabulary they had learned over the past four years, Jeni and I started making pictures with the bears,and writing captions to the pictures, which grew into the continuing story of the silly little inhabitants of a planet called Notearth: "The Colorbear Saga."

[illustration of whales made by cutting 
heart stickers in half and drawing in little ripples around them]

A typical illustration from this story

Special thanks to Jonathan Young for cleaning up many of the illustrations after they were scanned in.

Go on to the story

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