To Orville or not to Orville? That is the question.
You may have noticed a lot of Orville strips lately. Sometimes you just get into a groove with a character and the writing comes easily.
But, John has to watch that a little. Orville is a secondary character that could easily take over the strip if he wanted to. And "Edison" must remain primarily about, well, Edison. But then again, when a character is having a good run, you don't want to waste that energy and momentum. (Especially when you are close to deadline.)
While not based exclusively on any particular person, Orville does have traits that can be found in some of the older male relatives in both John's family and mine. And John has admitted that Orville carries some of his little quirks as well. Like his fondness for donuts.
I think there is something important in recognizing that this character has his roots in real life people because it is what makes him so popular - almost everyone knows an Orville or is an Orville. (Even if they don't like to admit it.)
You can read much more about John's take on Orville over at the DailyInk blog here.