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DeFlocked goes ’round DeNation

Comic strip started out in Valley Sun; now it’s syndicated.

May 08, 2008|By Ruth Longoria

It’s almost a case of a local guy makes good. If you take out of the equation the part where he’s already been an established television comedy writer for such shows as Saturday Night Live, Talk Soup and the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

And, though he has lived in Montrose and the Crescenta Valley for the past 12 years, he grew up next to the cornfields and dairy farms of western Massachusetts.

But, La Cañada and the Crescenta Valley are still ready to claim this talented 38-year-old who took his locally spawned comic strip to new heights this week.

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Jeff Corriveau is the writer and illustrator of the edgy, warm and wooly comic strip, DeFlocked, which made its first debut two years ago in the Valley Sun, and recently went syndicated. DeFlocked now is seen and read across North America, featured in newspapers from La Cañada to Calgary, Canada, and Rock Island, Ill., to Seattle, Wash.

“We’ve set forth all over the globe,” Corriveau said. “It’s the biggest launch for King Features in six years.”

King Features is part of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication Group and one of the world’s largest distributors to newspapers of comics, columns and editorial cartoons.

Corriveau and his wife, Karen, live in Montrose with their 6-month-old daughter, Amelie, and 18-year-old cat, Beemer.

About a year ago, King Features contacted Corriveau about the comic strip, and subsequent meetings led Corriveau and his cast of outcast witty farm animals to the greener pastures of a syndication deal.

“I’m just amazed — I can’t even explain it,” Corriveau said of his long shot leap into comic strip stardom.

“When I sat down to [write a comic strip] I didn’t have any illusions; I had no idea where it was going to go,” he said. “But, people have told me since then, to try and get a syndication deal you’d have a better chance of becoming an NBA star.”

To understand how Corriveau created DeFlocked, one needs to know the actor-turned-writer-turned-cartoonist’s roots. Corriveau grew up in a New England farming community with his two younger sisters, Michelle and Nicole, who both still live in that part of the country.

A neighboring farmer planted corn all along the street where the family lived. Corriveau’s home was situated right next to the farmer’s dairy barn.

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