How Farley Got His Name
Lynn Johnston with her real life Farley, 1970 (above) and 1972 (below)
From the pen of Lynn Johnston:
"I used to do freelance artwork for a bookstore in Burlington, Ontario called "The Different Drummer." I was asked to do a caricature of Farley Mowat to use in a pamphlet for the store, advertising a signing Farley was to do. I did the drawing and later gave it to him as a souvenir. He was very pleased with it!
During those early years of freelancing before the evolution of the comic strip, my first husband and I bought an Old English Sheepdog puppy. His grizzled appearance reminded me so much of Farley Mowat that I decided to name the dog "Farley".
Years later, when the comic strip "Farley" came to be, I received a letter from Farley Mowat himself, saying he strongly suspected the dog had been named for him. I wrote back to say that his suspicions were well founded. He remembered me and still had the caricature. He then charged me a "royalty" of one original Farley Sunday page, which I sent to him and Claire c/o their summer home address in Nova Scotia. His response was that it had gone on the wall in the bathroom - above the porcelain receptacle (where just the men would read it.)
As time passed and For Better or For Worse was released annually in book form, I was sent on promotional tours where I often met Farley Mowat, Don Harron and other prolific Canadian authors. In a green room somewhere, Farley invited me to visit him and Claire on the east coast. My husband and I had a small plane at the time and any excuse for a trip was taken seriously. We stayed with them for a weekend and got to know each other quite well. We have exchanged Christmas cards and letters ever since."