The Wacky Pack is an American comic book series and media franchise centered a group of imaginary friends that consists of Roge, Leno, and Cole. The series was created by Geo G. and first published by Dark Horse Comics in September 1987 and ended in December 2001.
The Wacky Pack franchise began as a comic and expanded into advertising, movies, TV series, video games, theme parks, and toys.
The Wacky Pack was first conceived in 1981. Originally, the group was supposed to have six members, but Geo wanted to make the group smaller, which instead had three members. Geo came up with the name of the group, called It's The Wonder Squad!. Other rejected titles for the group include Epic Team, Crazy Group, Team Ron, Three Cool Guys, and Ron, Co. Geo then also came up the names "Ron, Don and Jon" (original names for Roge, Leno, and Cole) for the three members as a temporary name for the starring characters. The name was never meant to be final, due both to the name sounding "too tiny." The characters were effectively small, imaginary white human boys by August 1982, finally retitled The Wacky Pack, but were still referred to as "Ron, Don, and Jon" because final names had not been formulated yet. Geo chose to base Ron as an "awesome, wacky and intelligent leader of the group", for Don as "annoying and rude" and for Jon as the "youngest one who is scared of anything like spiders, etc."
On March 5, 1983, Geo drew the first sketch of Ron, Don and Jon. Liking how the sketches looked, Geo later came up another character named "Loy". Geo stated that "Loy" was chosen because of its similarity to the Major League Baseball pitcher Loy Hanning, who was one of Geo's favorite baseball players. Geo then describes the character as "the group's brother and a boy genius." He later drew a sketch of Loy on that same day. Geo then had an idea to make characters that describe as "small, cute, funny, imaginary elves with little self-control who work for the group." They were originally just simply named as elves but Geo wanted the name munnier, which he later called them "Lars", although Geo said that the name Lars is actually a common male name in Nordic and German-speaking countries. However, Geo later heard that the name "lar" is actually the name for the lar gibbon, a primate in the gibbon family Hylobatidae. Then Geo ignored it and kept the name.
In November 1983, Geo decided to finally rename the characters Roge (his name comes with a village in the municipality of Požega, western Serbia), Leno (his name comes with the surname of the famous talk host Jay Leno), and Cole. The characters (including Loy and the lars) first appeared on Geo's children's picture book Can You Be So Wonderful? in 1984. In 1986, at the time Dark Horse Comics was founded, Geo announced that the characters would be the main characters of his upcoming comic book series that he is working on, titled The Wacky Pack, which slated for a 1987 release. The first issue of The Wacky Pack was originally set to be released in June 1987, but Geo wanted to make more time to work on the comic book series. It was instead later pushed to September 1987 by Dark Horse Comics.