Chuck's Story: An Amazing Journey.
A Little Character Goes A Long Way.
So, how does a pink, pudgy, bald, bean-bag character become loved around the world? Comfort cancer patients? Help the police? Travel to over 40 countries, 7 continents and all 50 states? Go to the Olympics and World Cup? Dance with Cirque Du Soleil? Visit Elvis's grave? Ride in the Sturgis bike rally? Raise money to fight cancer? Participate in cancer walks?
Because people all over the world have found something in him they love and have kept him alive for almost thirty years! Today he's a loving friend to all. But, he began quite differently....
- Click images to enlarge.
"If you are discovering Boneless Chuck for the first time, you may think he is a doll or a toy - but think again. His letters and photos come from adults not children. They don't consider him a toy. He is a friend and companion to them on their journey. He is alive because they love him.
I've created many things, but I'm most proud of Chuck because of the effect he has had on people for so long."
I Got Him Wrong - But I Got Him Right.
My name is Graham Sale. I'm a cartoonist and illustrator. In 1986 I lived in NYC. One hot, sticky, Friday in July I returned home after being stood up on all my appointments with art directors who ducked out of the office early to start the weekend without calling me. I was hot, sweaty, tired and extremely unhappy. I turned on the air-conditioner and TV, grabbed a cold beer, and checked my phone messages.
One was from a girl friend who was in the habit of complaining to me about her boyfriend. I was tired of giving her advice. She never took it. She just liked to complain. Another was from a friend who complained to anyone with ears about his lousy job and evil boss. But, did he ever look for another job? Never. As I erased their messages the TV announced, "A Huge Sale on Boneless Chuck!" The words struck me. I thought, "There must be a huge sale on boneless chuck because I've been dealing with nothing but boneless people all day long." I imagined a freezer full of boneless, spineless, wimps and it made me laugh. So, I made a quick sketch. Then I had an idea. I threw on some clothes and ran out to the store so buy some pink fabric and a bag of dried beans. I had no idea what I was doing, but several hours later Boneless Chuck (The Spineless Wimp) was born!
Three years later he debuted in stores. He was talked about on the radio, written about in the paper and he even received write-in votes for Governor of New Jersey! But, the
economy crashed and Chuck disappeared. Or, so I thought.
Twenty years later, in 2005, I posted a description of him online - no website. Suddenly, emails from around the world poured in from people excited to find Chuck and share their photos, adventures and stories of how he impacted their lives. People said they'd been looking for him for years. Their fun stories and emotional connection to Chuck stunned me. I wept reading letters about him providing comfort and companionship while going through cancer or abuse. I couldn't believe it. The message was clear. I had to bring Chuck back.
There were two problems: I had no money and no idea how to manufacture him. Nevertheless, two years later, after many mistakes and maxing out my credit cards
Boneless Chuck was back!