Weekend Faves (April 26)

 

Trivquiz by Steve McGarry
Trivquiz by Steve McGarry

 

 I LOVE LUCY! No pun intended.

--Julie

 

 

The Flying McCoys by Glenn and Gary McCoy
The Flying McCoys by Glenn and Gary McCoy

 

The Man (with buns) of Steel.
--Amanda

 

 

Maria's Day by John Zakour and Scott Roberts
Maria's Day by John Zakour and Scott Roberts

 

When I was younger, I didn't believe that my teachers were regular people. Now that some of my friends have degrees in education, I can't believe that these regular people are teachers.

--Julie

 

 

Wizard of Id by Parker and Hart
Wizard of Id by Parker and Hart

 

You can't have a magic spirit without a magic potion. After all, what's more magical than coffee?
--Amanda

 

The Quixote Syndrome by Peter Mann
The Quixote Syndrome by Peter Mann

Look's like Frost's famous decision might not have been so difficult after all.
--Lucas

 

Adam@Home by Rob Harrell
Adam@Home by Rob Harrell

Man's best friend tops machines every time. Way to go, Clayton!
--Amanda





New Comic Alert! The Adventures of Business Cat by Tom Fonder

The Adventures of Business Cat by Tom Fonder

 

Written and drawn by Tom Fonder, The Adventures of Business Cat is a webcomic detailing the life and times of the world’s wealthiest playboy business pet. With the help of a reluctant, ragtag band of colleagues, Business Cat must learn to navigate the dog-eat- dog world of business and learn to walk the line between professional life and the wants and desires of your average household cat.

 

Read The Adventures of Business Cat here.





Meet Your Creator: Graham Nolan (Sunshine State)

SunshineState-Daily

 

IN THE BEGINNING:

 

Drawing and telling stories is something I've always liked to do. I can't remember ever not doing it. I can, however, remember where and when I decided to channel that interest into some type of career.

 

From the time I was 12 years old, I knew what I wanted to do. My sixth-grade teacher at the Lindell School in Long Beach, New York, brought in a stack of comic books for the class to read during recess. Those comics lit my world on fire with their heroic tales, action and bright colors. I took them home and immediately started copying the pictures. I remember thinking, "Gee, somebody must get paid to do this, so it might as well be me!" I would draw my own comic adventures on anything available, including the school desktops. I began to wonder if my last name was really "Detention," because after finishing another desktop masterpiece, I would invariably hear "Graham Nolan ... DETENTION!" I got really good at scrubbing desks.

 

My enthusiasm for my newly chosen career didn't quite translate over to my parents. My mother was a teacher and was artistic as well. She was very encouraging at that time. Probably not wanting to squash my dreams. Moms are like that, you know. Dad was a different story. He was a homicide detective and saw the world through a more pragmatic prism than my Mom or me. At the time, though his two nephews had master’s degrees from Pratt Institute, one was flipping pizzas and the other was laying brick. He couldn't wrap his head around the idea of making a career out of art. Many years later, that would change.

 

COMIC BOOKS

 

My first love was comic books. Actually, my first love was monsters and monster magazines, but since this is about comics, we'll go with the former. I used to read the comic strips in the New York Daily News and Newsday, but they didn't grab me like the adventures in the comic books. The reign of the humor strip had already taken hold of the newspaper real estate. The only adventure strip I remember seeing as a boy was Dick Tracy (Dondi was there, too, now that I think about it) and it just wasn't as cool to a 12-year-old as Batman, Superman and Spider-Man.

 

Eventually, I ended up at the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Arts (now just The Kubert School). I attended a couple years, but money was always an issue and I couldn't afford to go back and finish. Fortunately, one of my teachers at Kubert's, Sal Amendola, was also the talent coordinator at DC Comics. He bought a couple class assignments I had done for him to run in their New Talent Showcase book. My first professional sale!

 

Back in 1984, long before the 9/11 security precautions, you used to be able to go up to the offices at Marvel and DC and show your portfolio around to the editors. It was a wonderful way to network and allow them to attach a face to the name and work. Eventually, I began to get more regular assignments from them, working on The Doom Patrol, Power of the Atom, Hawkworld, Metamorpho and eventually to the holy grail, BATMAN, in Detective Comics.

 

BatmanvBane

 

I ended up spending six years in the Bat-offices, eventually becoming the senior illustrator, co-creating Bane, designing various characters, the Bat-Cave, Wayne Manor and The Trophy Room for the "bible" that was sent to all the artists that worked on the character. An image bible is important for continuity when there are so many people working on the same character with the same environments.

 

Eventually, I started to become dissatisfied with the direction that comics were taking, so I submitted some samples to the syndicates of an adventure comic called MONSTER ISLAND (based upon a comic book I had published).

 

MonsterIsland_samplestrip

 

It was rejected soundly by all the syndicates, who said they couldn't sell a continuity strip to the papers. It paid off in the end because I got a call from King Features asking me if I wanted to take over the art on their medical soap-opera strip, Rex Morgan, M.D.

 

COMIC STRIPS

 

I fell into the comic strip side of the business by accident. It's funny where the eddies and currents of life will take you. Once I picked up the Rex assignment, I added the Sunday Phantom to my schedule a month later.

 

Back to my dad. At this point in my career, my Dad was proud of my success, but he never read any of my work. He didn't buy or read comic books. Woody Wilson (the writer of Rex Morgan, M.D.) and I were working on a black mold storyline in Rex. In the story, there was a bad smell coming from the basement.

 

One morning my phone rings and it's Dad. "I know what the smell is," he says. "Huh?" I replied. "In the basement. There's a stiff down there!" Ever the detective! He was actually reading my work and getting in to it. He was wrong in his deduction. The smell was the black mold, but I knew I had won him over.

 

SUNSHINE STATE

 

When my dad retired from the police department in 1974, he moved the family down to Florida. Quite a culture shock to this kid from Long Island, but the sand and surf were a constant source of familiarity and comfort. Still are.

 

I had been kicking around the idea of a humor strip about a family of alligators since 1986. I had done a bunch of strips as samples, but kept hitting a dead end. It ended up being just another slice-of-life family strip. Substitute alligators for people.

 

They say to write what you know. As I got older and my life got more complicated, I started to think about the laid-back lifestyle of Florida I remembered as a kid. Married and living in western New York, I missed that lifestyle (particularly during the long winters!). The strip took on a decidedly different theme. We live in very busy, hectic and complicated world. Who doesn't need a vacation? And that's when it hit me. A buddy strip where the weather is warm, the drinks are cool and every day is like a vacation!

 

SunshineState-DestinationMoon

 

Of all the projects of my career, I can honestly say SUNSHINE STATE gives me the most joy. Probably because it's so personal. All the characters contain aspects of my own personality. Plus, when it's cold up here, it's fun to draw palm trees and alligators.

 

INSPIRATIONS

 

So many. The comic books of my youth and the artists that drew them, like Joe Kubert, John Romita, Jack Kirby, John Buscema, Gil Kane, Alex Toth, Curt Swan.

 

The comic strip greats like Roy Crane, Frank Robbins, Charles Schulz, E.C. Segar, Russell Myers.

 

I would be remiss if I didn't mention my biggest supporter and inspiration – my wife, Julia. She has been there at my side from the beginning. Back in the days when we would have the deli guy take a slice of turkey off the scale because we couldn't afford it. True story!

 

STUDIO WORKSPACE

 

I used to work in an office above a movie theater right in the middle of town when my kids were young and I needed more quiet. Once they got older, I built a large studio in my basement. I have my computer, drawing table, bookshelves, flat file, magazine rack and toys down there.

 

Studio-MagazineRack

 

It's usually a mess because there is always a work in progress. Particularly when I am working on comic book projects, because the amount of reference you need is enormous, so I usually have pictures and books strewn about the place. I also have a TV mounted on the wall and I stream movies and TV shows while I work for background noise. Sometimes, I use the shows as reference and freeze frame a scene to draw.

 

Studio-DrawingTable

 

I still work in a traditional method. I draw on Bristol with pencil and ink. I do my lettering and coloring on the computer, but I haven’t transitioned completely to digital.

 

UPCOMING PROJECTS

 

Jf02-trade-dress

 

JOE FRANKENSTEIN #3 on sale April 29

 

JOE FRANKENSTEIN hardcover book on sale in August

 

SPONGEBOB #44 on sale the first week of May

 

SUNSHINE STATE every Monday and Friday on GoComics.

 

UPCOMING APPEARANCES

 

FCBD – Yancy Street Comics May 2

 

Albany ComicCon – June 7

 

ComicCONN – August 14-17

 

Florence Comic Con – Sept 13

 

THE BOTTOM LINE

 

Cartooning is all I've ever wanted to do, and I've been blessed with the ability to make a living at it. I've been to many places I never thought I would go because of it. I've met and worked with some amazing people. Got to work on Batman, a childhood favorite, and design and co-create an iconic villain for him. I was awarded the prestigious Inkpot Award for my contributions to the comic arts this past July (never saw that coming!). All in all, it's been a great ride. I'm not the type of person who likes to live in the past. My best work is yet to come. Hope you'll come along for the ride with me.

 

Read Sunshine State here or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.





Twitter Q&A with Kevin Fagan of Drabble

Fagan_3

 

Many thanks to Kevin "Drabble" Fagan for joining us on Twitter again for a live chat! If you missed the conversation, catch up on the tweets HERE, or use the widget below.  

 

 

Subscribe to Drabble comics here!





COMICS SHERPA: EDITOR'S PICKS

This recurring LAUGH TRACKS feature highlights individual Sherpa strips and panels that for one reason or another caught the fancy of the aide de sherpa. It could be anything; the drawing, the writing, the humor, the coloring, that they tried something interesting, or that it's a new step for that particular creator.

 

We hope this quirky sampler will alert you to features you might not yet have noticed amid Sherpa's abundant, ever-changing, and eclectic mix, and that it gives Sherpa creators a modicum of helpful feedback.

 

 

 

Bushy Tales  4-21-15

 

 

 

 

View From the Couch  4-21-15

 

 

 

4-21-15

 

 

 

Batch Rejection  4-22-15

 

 

 

 

 

4-23-15

 

 

 

 

 

4-23-15

 

 

Tough Town  4-23-15

 

 

 

A complete list of all the Sherpa features can be found here.

 
 




An Ode to the Sunday Funnies

As a child, Sundays were very special to me because Sunday was “newspaper day.” I’d come into the kitchen to find my dad reading The Kansas City Star, freshly retrieved from our curb. The Sunday Funnies were always waiting for me right beside him. I loved getting to catch up with the Peanuts gang, seeing what crazy thing Calvin was up to and getting to spend a little quality father-daughter time.

 

If you would’ve told childhood me that I’d end up interning with GoComics and spend my days reading and writing about all my favorite characters, along with hundreds of new ones that I now love, I would’ve had a kid freak-out! Sometimes, like when I had the opportunity to read the new Calvin and Hobbes book, Exploring Calvin and Hobbes, before it was even released, I still have little freak-outs – on the inside (mostly), of course.

 

As a child, I never would’ve thought that any comic could rival my favorite newspaper classics, but I’ve developed so many new favorites over the past fun-filled months of my GoComics intern adventure! This week, in honor of our dad-and-daughter beloved Sunday tradition, I’m sharing some of my favorite Sunday funnies that I’ve accumulated, but haven’t been able to incorporate into my blog posts!

 

Like this FoxTrot strip, for example. I love a good Top Gun reference! 

 

FoxTrot by Bill Amend
FoxTrot by Bill Amend

 

I’m so glad to have discovered Pooch Café! I can’t get enough of Poncho’s wild adventures!

 

Pooch Cafe by Paul Gilligan
Pooch Cafe by Paul Gilligan

 

How did I ever survive without The Argyle Sweater?  This comic is a guaranteed laugh-out-loud every day. 

 

The Argyle Sweater by Scott Hilburn
The Argyle Sweater by Scott Hilburn

 

You just can’t beat Rat from Pearls Before Swine – a genius in my opinion.

 

Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis
Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis

 

And then there’s Phoebe and Her Unicorn, where I turn whenever I feel like vicariously living out my childhood fantasy of having a unicorn for a best friend.

 

Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson
Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson

 

Finally, who doesn’t love Red and Rover? What better dedication to childhood me than a comic that continuously captures the magic of being a child?

 

Red and Rover by Brian Basset
Red and Rover by Brian Basset

 

From my dining room table to my cubicle at GoComics, this comic-loving kid at heart spends every day on cloud nine.

 

– Amanda





Congrats to our Eisner Award Nominees!

Culdesac

 

As much of the comic world knows, nominations for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, commonly known as the Eisner Awards, were announced this week. It is with great pleasure and pride that we congratulate three talented GoComics cartoonists on their nominations!

 

Richard Thompson’s The Complete Cul de Sac has been nominated for Best Humor Publication.

 

 

 

Jim benton

 

Creator of Jim Benton Cartoons, Jim Benton's Dog Butts and Love. And Stuff Like That. And Cats. has also been nominated for Best Humor Publication. 

Dog Butts and Love. And Stuff Like That. And Cats.

 

 

Dog Butts and Love. And Stuff Like That. And Cats.

Last but not least, Brian Fies, who recently joined GoComics as the creator of Mom’s Cancer has another comic, The Last Mechanical Monster, which is up for the Best Digital/Web Comic!

 

The Eisner Awards are the equivalent of The Oscars in the comic industry, chosen by a blue-ribbon panel of judges, and we couldn’t be more excited for these three very talented and deserving cartoonists!  

 

The winners will be announced in July during a formal award ceremony at San Diego Comic-Con. Until then, you can purchase The Complete Cul de Sac here, read Jim Benton Cartoons or Mom’s Cancer here!

 

Best of luck to Richard Thompson, Jim Benton and Brian Fies!





Happy Earth Day!

Green Humour by Rohan Chakravarty
Green Humour by Rohan Chakravarty

 

In honor of Earth Day (April 22), we want to put Green Humour in the spotlight.

 

A series of comics on nature conservation, sustainability and all things green, Green Humour focuses on the impact of human actions on nature, and presents interesting tidbits from the lives of wild animals.

 

Green Humour’s talented creator, Rohan Chakravarty, has perfected the art of combining entertainment and education, allowing readers to laugh and learn at the same time.

 

Green Humour by Rohan Chakravarty

 

Celebrate Earth Day! Read Green Humour here.





Giveaway: Team Cul de Sac

Team Cul de Sac
Image Source: Amazon

 

Founded in honor of Cul de Sac cartoonist Richard Thompson, Team Cul de Sac is devoted to raising awareness for Parkinson’s disease. Many of our brilliant GoComics cartoonists contributed artwork to the Team Cul de Sac book, which has helped to raise more than $200,000 for The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

 

April marks Parkinson’s Awareness Month, and we’re giving ONE reader the chance to win a copy of this very special book.

 

To enter, leave a comment on this post, and include your first and last name. Limit one entry per person. This contest will end on Tues., April 28 at 10 a.m. CT. The winner will be announced that day on this blog. Open to U.S. and Canada readers only.

 

Learn more about Team Cul de Sac here, or hear from Team Cul de Sac leader Chris Sparks here





The Perfect Gift for Mother’s Day

MomDay2015-newsletter-header

 

Several months ago, I found a Reply All comic that perfectly described the relationship between my mom and me. As I often do with comics, I sent it along to my mom, who almost instantly replied, “I want a print of that!” Luckily, I knew just where to get one.

 

Christmas was around the corner, giving me the perfect opportunity to surprise my mom with an archive-quality print of this comic strip. I kid you not, tears came to her eyes when she opened it. Today, the framed print proudly hangs above her desk, nestled between family photos.

 

With Mother’s Day around the corner, YOU have the chance to give your mom the wonderful gift of an archive-quality comic strip print.

 

Moms-Day_ComicPrints

 

The comic you choose will be printed on high-quality 11”x17” paper. Unframed collectible prints featuring art of the buyer’s choice are available for $39.95. Another option, framed collectible prints, range in price from $229.95 to $239.95. To ensure delivery by Mother’s Day, orders for framed and unframed prints must be placed by April 24 and May 1, respectively.

 

Start browsing available features for purchase here!





Tracking Luann “So You Don’t Have to”

 

image from http://s3.amazonaws.com/hires.aviary.com/k/mr6i2hifk4wxt1dp/15042117/495ffe58-b04f-485a-bc4a-f5a96fea59bb.png
https://chh01.wordpress.com/

 

It’s no secret that GoComics readers are some of the most dedicated, loyal and enthusiastic fans out there (seriously, you’re awesome!). One Luann fan, in particular, has been promoted to super fan with the creation of this “Luann Tracker” website! By measuring the popularity of Luann strips through reader comments, the Luann Tracker shows you the strips your fellow comic fans love most. Explore the website here!





Giveaway: Autographed Reality Check Prints – Winners Announced

Reality Check by Dave Whamond

 

Thank you to all who entered to win an autographed, archive-quality print of one of Dave Whamond's favorite Reality Check panels!

 

We have randomly selected THREE winners!

 

Congratulations to Wade Mears, Karen Fleck and Jon McAlexander! Please email us at rewards@gocomics.com with your shipping address and phone number. Please note: You must contact us by 4/28/15 or your prize will be forfeited.





Heads up! Plastic Babyheads from Outer Space Name Change

Jetpack Jr

 

Don’t worry! The comic you know and love, Plastic Babyheads from Outer Space, has not disappeared from GoComics! It simply has a new name. Now called Jetpack Jr., the strip follows the hilarious adventures of an everyday suburban household that is turned upside down with the arrival a newly adopted child, Jetpack Jr., who just happens to be an alien invader from outer space. 

 

“Every strip develops, every strip changes over time—and in the early years, the change is often most striking,” creator Geoff Grogan said. “Over the course of the three years I’ve been doing the strip, Plastic Babyheads from Outer Space has evolved, from an overarching story with net spread wide, to a domestic story focused on one family and their day-to day interactions. In effect, for all intents and purposes, the storyline introduced in September of 2014 was the beginning of a new strip. As the changes have taken hold, I think it’s appropriate they be reflected in the title. I hope those readers who’ve been kind enough to stick with the strip since it began its run on GoComics in 2013 will be as excited as I am about the changes as the strip moves forward. Plastic Babyheads hasn’t really ended; Jetpack Jr. has begun!”

 

Read Jetpack Jr. here.





COMICS SHERPA: EDITOR'S PICKS

This recurring LAUGH TRACKS feature highlights individual Sherpa strips and panels that for one reason or another caught the fancy of the aide de sherpa. It could be anything; the drawing, the writing, the humor, the coloring, that they tried something interesting, or that it's a new step for that particular creator.

 

We hope this quirky sampler will alert you to features you might not yet have noticed amid Sherpa's abundant, ever-changing, and eclectic mix, and that it gives Sherpa creators a modicum of helpful feedback.

 

 

 

4-18-15

 

 

 

 

Candace 'n' Company 4-18-15

 

 

 

4-18-15

 

 


 

Tough Town  4-18-15

 

 

 

 

4-19-15

 

 

 

 

Batch Rejection  4-19-15

 

 

 

 

 

Lum and Abner  4-19-15

 

 

 

 

The Adventures of Heroman Guy  4-19-15

 

 

 

 

4-20-15

 

 

 

 

 Rosy  4-20-15

 

 

 

A complete list of all the Sherpa features can be found here.

 
 




Weekend Faves (April 19)

The Awkward Yeti

 

More heart, less brain.

—Lindsay

 

 

SMBC

Take note, people. IT'S A TRAP.

—Lindsay

 

 

Working Daze

 

Third pitch: reality show – Jay tries to see how much complaining he has to do before Rita takes the hint - "Game of Groans"

—Amanda

 

 

  Brevity

 

No cats from The Roxbury?!

—Amanda

 

 

Thatababy

 

Most kids create this kind of damage simply to amuse themselves, but Thatababy always keeps his audience in mind. One of the many things that makes him such a special kid.  

—Lucas

 

 

Zig

 

I can relate to this Zigmeister on the jeans-shopping front. Trying on the different styles at the Gap and trying to keep them straight is a challenge that many (if not most) males are simply not suited for. I start out optimistic, but after trying on three or fair pairs, I fall into the denim despair. On an unrelated note, what is Ziggy doing shopping for jeans? I didn't think he even traditionally wore pants?

—Lucas





New Comic Alert! Mom’s Cancer by Brian Fies

Mom's Cancer by Brian Fies

 

Mom’s Cancer is a true story about one family’s struggle with metastatic lung cancer. Honest, unflinching and sometimes humorous, it looks at the practical and emotional effect that serious illness has on patients and their families. In the end, it is a story of hope. Mom’s Cancer is a groundbreaking graphic novel that won the comics industry’s Eisner Award and Harvey Award, as well as the Lulu Blooker Prize and the German Youth Literature Prize.

 

Read Mom’s Cancer here.





Meet Your Creator: Josh Shalek (Kid Shay Comics)

Carver-hello-readers-bw

 

Inherent talent has very little to do with making good comics. It’s more about willpower and obliviousness.

 

One statement I hear a lot from readers is something to the effect of, “I wish I had the talent to draw comics.” This strikes me as funny. (Don’t worry, I’m not laughing at them.) If only naturally gifted people drew comics, there might be three cartoonists in the entire world. The rest of us have had to work at it for many, many years. I’ve been drawing comics since I was 10 and still haven’t mastered the craft.

 

Garfield was the first comic strip I read. It was hilarious. I bought those skinny books about the fat cat, and laughed and laughed. At some point my parents must've alerted me to the treasure trove of comics printed daily in the newspaper.

 

For a while, I was content to read the daily strips. Then, for no reason that I can remember, I drew a comic strip of my own. It was during math class. I used my lined notebook paper to rule out three panels. Garfield usually had three panels, so I went with that.

 

Soon after, I began thinking of myself as a cartoonist. I always kind of thought some other occupation would come along to usurp it, but none ever did. I've always enjoyed the process of making stories one panel at a time.

 

If Garfield got me into reading comics, Calvin and Hobbes taught me how to make them. The totally insular world of Calvin and Hobbes drew me in. While reading it, I was living in Calvin's world. The storytelling was incredibly fun and imaginative and the art was stunning. I wanted to create a world like that.

 

Even though we've never met, Bill Watterson has been one of my greatest teachers. Fundamental things, like character design and development, story pacing, even how good a brush looks for inking. And I learned BATS AREN'T BUGS. Calvin and Hobbes is more than entertainment to me; it is part of who I am.

 

Josh-bigfoot-buddy
 

When I was growing up, there wasn't a wealth of easily accessible information about cartoonists—I learned by reading lots of comics. FoxTrot, The Far Side, Bloom County in the ’80s. Get Fuzzy, Mutts, Bizarro in the ’90s. There was plenty to learn just by studying what was on the page. How Bill Amend drew mouths, Gary Larson's hilarious way of drawing cows, Berkeley Breathed's crack comic timing or Patrick McDonnell's genius pacing and use of negative space—there is so much to learn simply by looking.

 

Of course, there were things that I missed because I couldn't see the process. It wasn't until college that I began drawing my originals at a comfortable, larger-than-print size. Fitting in text was a huge pain until I realized I could just make the panels bigger. For some reason, I used to draw action scenes very quickly, because, you know, it was happening so fast! I've learned to take my time. This period of trial and error might've been shortened had I taken comics classes, but figuring it out myself strengthened my resolve and made me happy when I found my own solutions.

 

For you comics scholars out there, here’s my comics autobiography. I made comics for my middle-school newsletter. The less said about those, the better. It is a testament to my boundless optimism that I continued at all. In high school, I drew my first ongoing feature. Fool's Gold was about life in high school, and was informed by my reading of 1984 and Catch-22. It was deeply ironic. (It was also the ’90s, so. You know.) In college, I drew Atticus and Glen, about a naive freshman and the wise squirrel who helps him navigate the uncharted waters of a liberal arts school in Ohio.

 

Upon graduating college, my plan was to become a syndicated cartoonist. I knew this could take a while. Bill Watterson got syndicated when he was 28. I figured I’d be doing good if it took me until 30. So, while my friends were going to grad school or New York (or both), I took lousy day jobs and used my free time to work on cartooning.

 

Fortunately, a local paper in Boulder, Colorado, where I moved, gave me space to run my first daily feature. The Family Monster ran in The Colorado Daily, a free paper distributed around town and mainly covering town and university events. The Family Monster wasn't intended as a weird post-college strip, but in many ways, it was. I learned a lot by drawing those characters for four years. I think of that as my grad school.

 

I retired The Family Monster for an idea I thought would be more friendly to newspaper syndication. Welcome to Falling Rock National Park ran, first in just The Colorado Daily. Later it was picked up by the McClatchy-Tribune Campus syndicate for college newspapers. I drew that strip for six years, submitting to national syndicates once a year.

 

Prehistory-falling-rock
 

It was during this time that Falling Rock made its film debut in a wonderful documentary called Dear Mr. Watterson. Since I owe much to Calvin and Hobbes for my cartooning chops, it was an honor to be featured in a documentary about the legacy of that strip. Seeing my name adjacent to Mr. Watterson’s in the credits is beyond thrilling.

 

Dear-mr-watterson-credits

 

Although I never got the crucial “Yes” for syndication of Falling Rock, the “Nos” started to come with hand-written notes by editors. That was almost as good for my ego. People were taking notice of my efforts. Eventually Shena Wolf, an editor at Universal Press Syndicate (now Universal Uclick, operator of this here site) gave me a great offer. She wanted to run a book-length story I had done about friendly zombies in Egypt.

 

Josh-uclick-comiccon
 

Tomb of the Zombies arose from the grave of an abandoned idea I had while drawing The Family Monster. Originally, it was about a man raising zombies and teaching them to dance. His long-term goal was to ship them to Las Vegas to star in a show, making him rich. The story was rock-solid (obviously), but it was far too long to tell in daily installments. When I worked it out I thought I could tell it in a month. By that time, the few readers I had would undoubtedly have moved on.

 

In 2010, like half the country, I was out of work. I finally had the time to devote to a long-term project. Unlike a daily strip, characterized by space restrictions and deadlines, Tomb of the Zombies would be as long as needed and I would finish it when I was done drawing the last page. I approached it like a short story in terms of storytelling, although it turned out to be a bit longer. When I want to sound pretentious, I call it my graphic novella.

 

It was while drawing Tomb that I developed my current three-step drawing process. On copy paper, I sketch the page, full-size, in pencil. I then trace onto Bristol board using a non-photo blue pencil. Then I ink, using a couple different size brushes and India ink, over the blue lines. For lettering and detail work, I use either a Staedtler or PITT pen. It is far from fast, but I've been happier with the results since I started doing it this way. Apparently it takes me three times to draw something good.

 

Zombies-pencils

 

When I began writing Tomb, zombies were quickly eclipsing vampires as the pop culture icon-du-jour. What I saw as missing was zombies with human personalities, zombies with a sense of humor. Even Shaun of the Dead used zombies as mindless (or, semi-mindless) drones. They were hungry: They ate.

 

Zombies have not always been this way. In Zora Neale Hurston's Tell My Horse, she wrote about real zombies she met in Haiti. Voodoo zombies are slaves to the person who rises them. They do yard work. They eat people food, not people-as-food. This fit in nicely with my idea of a mad scientist who wants his own zombie menagerie. The zombies in my story are regular people who have been resurrected against their will to do the bidding of a loopy, hat-loving scientist.

 

Tomb of the Zombies takes a lot from the zombie movies it is subverting. It features a strong female protagonist (Kate Crane, on her summer break from college), a mad scientist, a shadowy quasi-militaristic organization. Most of the story occurs in Egypt, a place rich in history, much of it still unknown.

 

The comics I love now are both older and newer than the ones I read growing up. Cul de Sac, surely one of the all-time greats, is a must-read. Tom the Dancing Bug does what The Daily Show cannot. The K Chronicles is so witty I cannot believe it. I finally got into Peanuts and now know why Baby Boomers won't stop talking about it. Pogo is dense and lyrical. It can be as political as Doonesbury one day, completely silly the next. Krazy Kat is the absolute spirit of comics: dreamlike, insular, abstract.

 

There is so much I love about comics. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a comic strip artist. I thought that was the only way for me. Now I know there are so many ways to make comics, and they're all awesome. I am thrilled to be a part of GoComics and I hope you enjoy reading Tomb of the Zombies.

 

Read Kid Shay Comics here or follow Josh on Twitter.





COMICS SHERPA: EDITOR'S PICKS

This recurring LAUGH TRACKS feature highlights individual Sherpa strips and panels that for one reason or another caught the fancy of the aide de sherpa. It could be anything; the drawing, the writing, the humor, the coloring, that they tried something interesting, or that it's a new step for that particular creator.

 

We hope this quirky sampler will alert you to features you might not yet have noticed amid Sherpa's abundant, ever-changing, and eclectic mix, and that it gives Sherpa creators a modicum of helpful feedback.

 

 

5th Year Senior  4-15-15

 

 


4-15-15

 

 

 

 

4-15-15

 

 

 

4-15-15

 

 

 

 

Crooksville  4-15-15

 

 

 

 

 

Magnificatz  4-15-15

 

 

 

Mort's Island  4-15-15

 

 

 

Onion & Pea  4-17-15

 

 

A complete list of all the Sherpa features can be found here.

 
 




Twitter Q&A with Dave Whamond of Reality Check!

Whamond_3 copy

 

Thank you to Dave "Reality Check" Whamond for joining us for another live Twitter Q&A! If you missed out on the chat, catch up below: 

 

 

 

 Subscribe to Reality Check comics here!

Enter the 20th Reality Check anniversary giveaway here!

 

 

Join us next week on Twitter for a chance to chat with Drabble comic creator Kevin Fagan.





Haiku and Humor Go Hand-in-Hand

April 17–

It’s National Haiku Day,

And I’m joining in!

 

I’m changing things up

With a poetry-themed post

Written in haiku!

 

You might be thinking…

Poetry and comics, what?

But bear with me here.

 

Check out Haiku Ewe,

Where sheep write pun-filled haiku,

And ewe wool crack up.

 

Haiku Ewe by Allison Garwood
Haiku Ewe by Allison Garwood

 

Calvin writes poems

That Hobbes never finds funny,

But you surely will.

 

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

 

The daily struggle

Provides much inspiration,

Just look at Luann. 

 

Luann Againn by Greg Evans
Luann Againn by Greg Evans 

 

Big Nate loves haiku,

A lot more than Brazil nuts,

But, who doesn’t, right?

 

Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce
Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce

 

Just remember this,

They don’t always have to rhyme.

Sometimes, they shouldn’t …

 

The Duplex by Glenn McCoy
The Duplex by Glenn McCoy

 

Feeling poetic?

Then get to celebrating!

What ‘cha waiting for?

 

If I can do this,

Our characters can do this,

Then anyone can!

 

Happy National Haiku Day, everyone!

– Amanda






Instagram

BLOGGERS



Visit R.C. Harvey's Blog



Categories

About

Powered by TypePad