GREENCREEK — Gus Nuxoll, 12, has always loved drawing and writing.
“I think I really started drawing around the age of 3,” he said.
Gus, who just finished sixth grade in Mr. Michael Rehder’s class at St. John Bosco Academy, has a subtle sense of humor beyond his years. Gus is the son of Eric and Kim Nuxoll.
This style is reflected in his Greg Comix series. He started getting into his characters seriously when Covid hit, and many of his comics focus on main characters Greg and Bird and their response to pandemic isolation.
Gus was homeschooled until fifth grade, and he said he learned to draw mostly through trial and error, books, and practice. A year ago, his family moved from Iowa City to Greencreek to be with his grandparents, Ivan and Dina Nuxoll, because Ivan had cancer. They spent the year here and Gus said he enjoyed his time in the Cottonwood area, a place he has visited several times in his life.
“One of my characters, Grandpa Mamoth, is based on my two grandfathers,” smiles Gus. A memorable strip has Grandpa Mamoth referring to the dumpster as “the trading post”.
“My grandfather Ivan always referred to the dumpster as a trading post for the good treasures you can find there,” Gus recalls, laughing to himself.
Gus’ parents have appreciated his creativity over the years.
“Gus loves good puns and puns. He also spends time and energy visualizing his characters and the strip before drawing,” said Mom Kim. “He can often be found pacing around the garden mentally planning his next comic. I love how the characters’ facial expressions, especially the eyes, add to the humor in each strip.
Gus has written several short children’s books featuring some of his characters and has stated that he enjoys making up the story or punchlines as much as drawing. One of his books was about “Marty the Mantis Shrimp”, which he said one of his cousins really enjoyed.
At school, he liked to read and considered himself a “pretty good storyteller”.
“I can find different voices and I’m pretty good at it,” he said.
He was inspired by one of his favorite comic books, Calvin and Hobbes, but reads all the newspaper comics, and when he moved to Idaho, he had never seen BC before.
“I really like this one,” he smiles. “I also like The Wizard of Id.”
“But did you know,” he paused to relay with an impish smile, “Calvin and Hobbes was the first comic to use the word ‘boogers’ in the newspaper?”
Gus has three siblings: Sebastian, 17; Ambroise, 15; and Ceci, 8 years old. He likes to fish and play basketball.
His life changes again as the family will move to Iowa City in early July. Grandpa Ivan passed away in February, and Grandma Dina will be moving to Iowa with her son and family.
“I had a lot of fun here and I like it. They do the Greencreek fireworks in my grandparents’ backyard,” Gus said. “But I’ll be happy to go back to Iowa too.”
Maybe because that’s where he sees himself when he’s grown up.
“I would like to live somewhere in Iowa City where I can bike, bus or walk almost anywhere and just create my comics,” he said. “And see them printed in The Iowa City Gazette.”