Clan Munro and Ben Frost: Detective? are written and illustrated by Laurel Froese, Donna Bowman, and Robyn Froese. This is going to get complicated, so pay attention! Laurel and Robyn are sister and brother. Donna is Robyn’s wife. Or maybe Robyn is Donna’s husband. It’s hard to tell. Anyway … here’s a bit more about each of us.
Laurel was born funny and intends to stay that way. She writes the first drafts of the Clan Munro strips and collaborates with Robyn on the Ben Frost scripts. Laurel created Clan Munro many years ago, writing and uniquely illustrating about fifteen strips before her pushy relatives got involved. We might even post some of her Clan Munro originals, so watch out!
Laurel was born in New Westminster (which is definitely NOT the model for Newkirk. No sirreee!), raised across the river in Surrey, and lived most of her life in Vancouver. She’s recently returned to her roots and moved back to Surrey, where the living is good and the rent is cheap. She is gainfully employed in the banking sector, and her favourite things are reading mysteries, writing comics and riding Skytrain with her head sticking out the window.
And, since you asked … aye! Laurel and Robyn are part of Clan Munro, courtesy of their beloved late Grandpa Bob Munro. Based on the photographic evidence from Portsmouth, it appears that Laurel is also descended from Admiral Benbow.
2019 UPDATE: Donna has just retired from the University of Regina Library and will have more time to work on Clan Munro and Ben Frost. Hell’s bells! We might even get the latter finished sometime before mid-century!
Donna does pretty much all the art for Clan Munro and Ben Frost. Pencils and inks by hand and Ben Frost colouring in Photoshop. You can see her on your left, working on a Clan Munro draft at the River Market in New Westminster.
Donna grew up drawing and mostly behaving herself in Saskatoon, where she attended French immersion school in her spare time. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Saskatchewan, and a Masters in Library Science from McGill University in Montreal. She now works as a librarian in French, Fine Arts and Education at the University of Regina.
Aside from illustrating Blue Brolly Comics, Donna enjoys gardening, micro-managing her houseplants and wrangling Gwyn the poodle. She is a McPherson, not a Munro, but what the heck. It’s not like she had a choice.
Robyn is the editor-in-chief for Blue Brolly Comics. Impressive title, don’t you think? His primary duties consist of ordering Laurel to “write another draft! It’s not funny enough” and telling Donna to “draw it again! It’s not funny enough!” He is a bit bossy, but in a kind and caring way. He actually does some of the writing himself, helps Donna with colouring Ben Frost, handles the lettering and designed this hilarious web site.
Robyn spent the first half of his life in the Vancouver metro area, and the second half in Regina. With a brief sojourn in Ann Arbor, MI in between. He has a BA in Archaeology from Simon Fraser University and a Masters in Library Science from the University of British Columbia. Yes! Another librarian! Who is now retired after working for many years at the Saskatchewan Provincial Library.
There he is off to the left, peering out of his luxury cell at the Tower of London.
McTavish was Laurel’s inspiration for … Clan Munro’s McTavish. He had many fabulous nicknames, with the two best given to him by staff at the Victoria Vet Clinic — “Mickey T” and “McChublet.” Like his cartoon doppelganger, he was not exactly svelte …
McTavish was found wandering around the industrial part of Regina in January of 1990, with the tip of his right ear frozen off. It gave him a rakish, piratical appearance to go along with his rakish, piratical personality.
Here’s a photo of our lad in one of his calmer moments, hanging out with Donna in the garden. It was taken in the autumn of 1999. After a long and colourful life, he went to that Great Litter Box in the Sky in 2006, leaving many stories behind. His memory will live forever!
Unlike McTavish … Nessie was nothing like her cartoon counterpart. She was a very sweet girl (unless you happened to be a small dog, squirrel, rabbit, etc.). Donna and Robyn got her as a rambunctious pup in 2000, and she brightened our lives for twelve years. She was a famous neighbourhood character because of her and Donna’s endless walks, beloved by one and all. The photo was taken at the Batoche National Historic Site in 2007.