"They are moments that we share. (The strips) bring back memories now that the kids are grown and gone," Crane said. "Unless you write them down or record them, they are lost forever. We can record them and share them with people all over the world."
His kids, Crane said, love having a cartoonist for a father.
"I've visited the classroom, and their friends think it's cool. It's not a job a lot of people have, so it's something the kids can feel special about, especially if they feel like they are a part of it."
As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Crane also tries to portray the "Pickles" characters as a family of strong values.
"I try to have them act like members of the church. I try to have them live church standards," he said.
When Crane first created "Pickles," if there was a blank wall or a magazine, he would illustrate a mountain scene.
"Then I thought, 'Why don't I put something better?'"
From there, he started adding the Ensign or a picture of the temple.
"It was a little inside wink and nod," he said. "And people did notice. I started getting emails wondering if I was LDS. I can't preach religion, but it's another way to portray an LDS family."
Through it all, Crane tries to maintain a positive attitude and a dose of humor toward life in general.
"If you can laugh at it, you can live with it," he said. "If you don't see or hear as well, if you can laugh at it, it's easier. It helps ease your own life."
Crane's recent book, "A Pickles Collection: 'Oh, Sure! Blame it on the Dog!'" was published Oct. 8.
Emmilie Buchanan-Whitlock is an intern for the Deseret News with Mormon Times. She recently graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho. Contact her by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter: emmiliewhitlock
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