Back in 1978 while attending Anthropology 101 at the University of Minnesota Duluth, Dik LaPine created a comic strip about a dogsledding international college student named Farnuk of the Far North (inspired from watching the documentary "Nanook of the North"). The strip ran for two years...one year...a semester... well, it ran for a couple of issues in the UMD Statesman.
In the early years after college Dik peddled the cartoon strip to several syndicates and to hundreds of individual papers before he gave up on the comic strip idea. He then pursued a Masters of Theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary where once again he pitched the strip to the school's paper and to a local courier company in Dallas named Wingtip. The strip was well received, but it was definitely a fish out of water in Dallas.
After he graduated from seminary, Dik tried his hand at full-time ministry, but he, like his strip, was often a fish out of water. While floundering his way in various pulpits, he started to draw cartoons about his frustrations in the pastorate. One day he sent a cartoon to Marshall Shelley at Christianity Today's "Leadership Journal." Marshall liked the cartoon so much that he sent him an encouraging letter and his first major check as a freelance cartoonist. The next several years Dik multiplied his markets and became one of Christianity's foremost freelance cartoonists. The fish found his water! All went swimmingly well until darn Al Gore had to invent the internet.
The paying markets became smaller and smaller, and the paychecks began to dwindle. Then, Dik's wife needed surgery, and it was serious enough that his cartoonist's salary was not going to cover it. Dik applied at various blue collar jobs in the northern Minnesota until God blessed him with a career with hospitalization coverage at the United States Post Office. It was while he performed the duties of a letter carrier that Dik found himself receiving Christmas gifts from his customers. In his appreciation, he would send them hand made cartoon thank you notes. His patrons all encouraged him to share these cards with the public, and so in 2011 Ice Box Cards was born.