Roy Herlache, the owner of Wisconsin Woodhicks, has been an artist his entire life. He started his career by creating a series of comic book calendars in 2001, The Woodhicks. The comics, created in Abrams, are inspired by the people of Wisconsin.
Herlache runs an online shop, Wisconsin Woodhicks, where he features his art for sale. Herlache’s artwork, created and printed locally, aims to highlight the diversity and culture of the north woods. The meaning behind the store’s name is to eliminate the stereotype that Northeast Wisconsin is known for trivial aspects like football, beer, and cheese.
“It started as a way to represent what I saw from the people in the community and drawing humorous situations from the people I know. I love to hear how families sat together and looked at one of my comics all as a group and picked this detail and that detail. It’s just a good time watching people laugh.”
Recently, Herlache started donating half of the proceeds from his sales to children’s charities like St. Jude Children’s Hospital. He’s seen a great deal of support from the community, but that’s not his reason for choosing to make donations.
“I’m doing this for the need. I pay for the printing and the shipping materials. I pay for any logistics involved with it. It feels good to be acknowledged and to be a part of a community that appreciates what you do. The cause that we’re working for gets something out of it and the people that buy the art are getting something out of it.”
“We are among professionals and students and every walk of life is up here in the north woods. We are not just a bunch of dumb hicks, because that’s how we’re portrayed. I don’t like to be called a redneck. I would rather be called a wood hick.”
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