Posts from Elizabeth Phelps

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March 16, 2015

Luann at 30: An editor's perspective

"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."


I am incredibly lucky. I spend several hours every week reading and editing comics. More importantly, I read and edit my all-time favorite comic every week. How many people get to say that?


I've been editing Luann for a little over two years now. I can vividly remember the moment when the opportunity came up -- it was a bittersweet one: When my dear friend and co-worker Hollie went on maternity leave, she insisted I cover Luann in her absence, even though I hadn't ever worked on it before. A few months later, Hollie decided to stay home with her son, and I told anyone and everyone who asked that all I wanted was for Luann to stay on my roster. Fortunately, that's exactly what happened. Like I said -- lucky.

Meet Greg and Karen, 9/28/14


Working with Greg and Karen is a breeze. They are lovely people, and they send in exceptionally clean strips. I recently had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with Karen Evans for a few days when she visited GoComics' HQ in Kansas City. She is fun, funny, kind and sassy -- exactly how you'd envision the grown-up version of the real Luann.


First appearance of Sun, Luann 8/21


Second appearance of Sun, Luann 10/6


I've learned so much in the past two years, and never more so than during recent sequence involving Bernice's phantom roommate Dez. After introducing the character Sun, we heard lots of negative feedback concerning her characterization. Many readers thought that the way she was drawn was not racially sensitive. I have to be honest here: I was devastated. I was completely at a loss for how to handle it. Fortunately, Greg is a great person, and he knew exactly what to do: He re-drew upcoming strips with Sun in them, and he issued a statement addressing her characterization. It was a huge learning experience, and I so appreciate Greg and Karen for holding my hand through it.


Working on Luann is a dream come true. As I've documented more than once, my love of the strip runs deep. Getting to know Greg and Karen has made it all the better. I'm so excited to celebrate Luann's 30th anniversary, and I can't wait for the next 30!


Be sure to check out all the amazing bonus materials we're offering to celebrate this huge milestone:

-- What do you think Luann will be like at 43? (I think she'll be a high school drama teacher, married to someone we haven't met before, with one kid.)

-- Get to know Karen Evans

-- Interact with other Luann fans on Facebook

-- Enter our contests


Another week of Luanns just dropped on my desk. I better get back to "work."


-- EAP

February 26, 2015


BRR. That's it. That's all I feel any more. My space heater is humming, but I'm still shivering.


This winter has been pretty brutal, and February might be the worst of it all. It feels like it's never going to end.


Apparently, I'm not the only one who feels this way — just take a look around GoComics. Our cartoonists can't keep warm, either.


Here's a sampling:


The Duplex 2/22/2015


Bob Gorrell 2/20/2015


Shoe 2/22/2015


Maria's Day 2/22/2015


But remember...


Real Life Adventures 2/23/2003



February 17, 2015

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Happy Fat Tuesday, everyone!


A pop-up parade during Mardi Gras 2014

Last year, I was lucky enough to be in New Orleans the weekend before Mardi Gras. The city was vibrant and bustling, and collecting beads became a competition.


I ate more beignets and king cake than is healthy, and I looked at Lent as a prime detox time.


Heart of the City 2/12/02

This year, I'm here in Kansas City, wishing I was in NOLA. I guess I'll have to read Mardi Gras-related comics to satisfy my craving for fun.


Elderberries 2/20/07
Frazz 2/20/07


Big Nate 8/15/96

Phew! I'm feeling better already! Now I'm going to stare at this picture of my cat wearing Mardi Gras beads and eat some king cake. What are you going to do to celebrate Fat Tuesday?


Maeby is not happy with her fashion statement.

-- EAP

February 06, 2015

Doodle time

I'm a doodler. Always have been. In fact, my family nickname is Doodle Bug. That's why today, Doodle Day, is perfect for me!


On any given week, you can look at my task sheet and see all kinds of nonsense drawings, notes and even some simple math.




My doodles are not very pretty. Luckily, there are a couple of much better doodle-based comics on GoComics for everyone to enjoy and relate to.


Doodle Town by Melissa Lomax is darling, and her doodles are actual works of art. (Check out my thoughts on Doodle Town here.)




Then there's Holiday Doodles by Missy Meyer. Every day has a new doodle showing all the holidays occurring. Without it, I wouldn't know that besides being Doodle Day, today is also Lame Duck Day, Bubblegum Day and Working Naked Day. (Sorry, co-workers!)




Enjoy your doodles today!


-- EAP



January 09, 2015

An engaging tale



Eep, indeed! It finally, FINALLY happened -- Val and Phil are engaged!


As someone knee-deep in the waters of wedding planning myself, I don't know if I've ever been more excited about an event in a comic strip. I want to know everything about this wedding: Val's dress, the ceremony, what role Holly and Alix will play... Seriously, all of it!



Reading these strips brings back so many great memories of my own engagement. Like Val, I didn't process what was happening right away. (In my defense, I was wearing sweatpants and packing for a trip we were leaving on the next day -- it was definitely a surprise.)




After a few blinks and head shakes, I managed to squeak out, "Uh, yeah!"


Then it was time to call our parents to tell them. I wish I'd thought to FaceTime or Skype them, like Val did:




Once we finished freaking out with our parents, we finally had a second to revel in our happiness. And to realize, holy moly, we're really doing this!




Now, with just three months to go before the big day, I can't believe how excited I am. I can't wait to see Val and Phil as they start planning their wedding. Although Wally's reflections on marriage are just a little scary...




So cheers to Val and Phil! Be sure to follow Stone Soup here to see what the future has in store!


As a treat, here's the first time Phil and Val met, all the way back on Sept. 15, 1998:




-- EAP(soon-to-be K)

December 31, 2014

Resolute resolutions



I'm a constant resolution-setter. And I mean constant.


Every few days, I say, "Starting Monday, I'm going to go to the gym four days a week!" or "Starting tomorrow, I'm going to wake up early and make a lunch to take to work!"


Unfortunately, I'm also a pretty constant resolution-breaker. Whoops!


So New Year's Eve is a great holiday for me. It's a time when setting -- and breaking -- resolutions is expected and even encouraged.




I'm not the only one who plans on setting some resolutions this year. On GoComics, there are resolutions being set on every page.












What are your New Year's resolutions this year?


-- EAP

November 19, 2014

Kickstartin' It



I have an obsession with Kickstarter.


I have no idea why, but I love the crowd-funding website SO MUCH. Sometimes I find myself clicking from one project to another, marveling at the epic creativity on the site.


I've donated to several funds, from big ("The Veronica Mars Movie") to small (a friend's quest to transcribe her grandparents' love letters).


And now I've found the next perfect project to help fund!


"The Folks Behind the Funnies" by Sari Armington is a documentary about the comics and creators you encounter every day here at GoComics.


From the Kickstarter page:

"Twenty-One of the most famous North American cartoonists talk candidly about themselves, each other and what inspires them. The artists of Beetle Bailey, Dilbert, The Family Circus, Hagar the Horrible, For Better or For Worse, Dennis the Menace, Zits, and Cathy — just to name a few — give us an intimate glimpse into their unique perspective on life and The Funnies. "




In the movie, you'll see an esteemed list of GoComics creators, including Scott Adams (Dilbert), Darby Conley (Get Fuzzy), 

Mell Lazarus (Momma), Steve McGarry (Badlands),  Rick Stromoski (Soup to Nutz).
  •  You'll also see John McMeel and plenty of other cartoonists.



The campaign ends Nov. 29. To help fund the film, visit the Kickstarter page. 



November 03, 2014

The Calvin dance

The next dance party I attend, I'm going to pull a Charlie and use some of Calvin's moves from Calvin and Hobbes. 



-- EAP

August 08, 2014

It's World Cat Day right Meow!



Happy World Cat Day, GoComics readers!




Here at the GoComics HQ, we're pretty big fans of cats.  Lots of us have them, and everyone loves seeing them in our comics.






Who are your favorite cartoon cats?  How are you celebrating this very important day?  I wish I was celebrating like Andy from "Parks and Recreation":




(Be sure to click here for a bunch of great cat gifs and here for a list of the best cartoon cats ever -- though they're egregiously missing our buddy Garfield.) 


-- EAP

July 15, 2014




Cow Appreciation Day was last week, but I wanted to celebrate today anyway. Better late than never!




Here in Kansas City, we know a little something about cows.  I mean, we're not called Cowtown for nothing!  You can even buy Cowtown Barbeque Sauce, with a bottle designed by GoComics' own Charlie Podrebarac, the creator of the comic strip Cowtown.



Cow and Boy is another strip that features a bovine, Cow, as a main character, along with Billy (the "Boy" of the title).




Then there's Lucky Cow, a strip about the place where people really appreciate cows: a fast-food restaurant.




How are you going to celebrate Cow Appreciation Day?  My festivities will NOT involve steak.  I promise.




-- EAP


May 14, 2014

Don't You Fogarty 'Bout Me





Great news for other Luannalyzers like me who may have missed out on some of Luann's earliest strips: This week's strips are all flashbacks of Mr. Fogarty, Luann and Pitt's School's favorite curmudgeonly teacher. 




In honor of his retirement, be sure to check out every day this week (and next week!) to see Mr. Fogarty reminiscing about his years spent as a teacher.  You can also click on the "Fogarty Flashback" button to get even more grumpy goodness.




And don't forget to check out Luann Againn to see the series from the beginning — including the introduction of Mr. Fogarty!




March 17, 2014

O Frabjous Day!



It's pretty rare when so many of my favorite things converge in one place, which is why Sunday's FoxTrot made me so happy — it combined FoxTrot, guacamole and "Jabberwocky," my favorite poem.




For readers who don't know the reference, here's Louis Carroll's poem in its entirety:


'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

   Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;

All mimsy were the borogoves,

   And the mome raths outgrabe.


"Beware the Jabberwock, my son

   The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun

   The frumious Bandersnatch!"


He took his vorpal sword in hand;

   Long time the manxome foe he sought—

So rested he by the Tumtum tree,

   And stood awhile in thought.


And, as in uffish thought he stood,

   The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,

Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,

   And burbled as it came!


One, two! One, two! And through and through

   The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!

He left it dead, and with its head

   He went galumphing back.


"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?

   Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"

   He chortled in his joy. '


Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

   Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;

All mimsy were the borogoves,

   And the mome raths outgrabe. 




Luckily for us, if we run into the Jabberwocky, it looks like we'd have a hero in Lio.







February 03, 2014

Snow day?



I feel like a 10-year-old.  They're predicting a big ol' storm tonight, and I'm on pins and needles thinking about a potential snow day.  Like Nate, I've already started doing my snow day dance.


Snow days are the best.  There's something magical about waiting up and finding out you get a bonus day to be a couch potato.




Of course, the key is that you have to be ready for the day.  The key is to have lots of snacks and movies, and you can't put off your work, or it'll hang over your head all day.




... Or not.


I'm just going to try to get all my work done today and keep doing my snow day dance.  Keep warm, everyone, and I hope this doesn't happen to you.





January 13, 2014

Gemma Correll, can we be best friends?



Uh-oh, Gemma Correll, you're on my new obsession list.


First she won me over with all the pugs and cats in her strip, Four Eyes.




Then she charmed me through her Twitter Q&A on Friday. (Have you read it yet?)


And then I saw today's strip.




Because seriously, JESSICA, the world needs to know these terrible things.



December 23, 2013

(Un)controversial opinion time

Well, Chirstmas is almost here, and many of the radio stations I listen to have swtiched to all Christmas music, all the time.  It's given me a lot of time to think about it, and I've come to quite the conclusion: The Vince Guaraldi Trio's "Christmas Time Is Here" is the best Christmas song.  


OK, maybe I'm a little biased, working with comics and all, but give it a listen again, and tell me I'm wrong.  Seriously -- feel free to tell me I'm wrong!  I'm open to suggestions.  What's your favorite?




-- EAP

December 02, 2013




My morning routine is pretty set at this point: Arrive at work, read GoComics, read Laugh Tracks, read Dog Shaming, snack on a granola bar and start working.  It's a pretty flawless system.


There's something hilarious about seeing pets dressed in clothes or wearing signs — they always look so resigned.




Well, I guess what I mean to say is it's hilarious seeing DOGS dressed in clothes or wearing signs, since it's almost impossible to make it happen for cats.




Key word: ALMOST.  Here's my cat wearing her T-shirt of shame, for when she does things like eat a quarter-size hole through 12 tortillas or scratches me while trying to dress her in her T-shirt of shame.





That happened only once, of course.  Notice the hatred in her eyes — I'm never making that mistake again.  Instead, I'll stick to checking out cute dogs that don't look like they are going to kill me (and sometimes cats that look like they do).





November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving Eve-Eve-Eve



Sorry, co-workers — it's the day before the day before the day before Thanksgiving.  Obviously this gives me permission to be just a little preoccupied.




It's too bad that time has starting moving so slowly. 




I guess I can work on my Thanksgiving list now... 




... Though it might look a lot like this one.


Just a few more days to go, then it's time for the best holiday!  Anyone have any ideas to make it go a little faster?



November 11, 2013

Happy Veterans Day!

A hearty THANK YOU to all of our service members, past and present!












-- EAP

October 30, 2013

It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it



Once a year, one of my tasks is setting the international release dates for Calvin and Hobbes


Wow, that sounds boring, you're probably thinking.  Aha!  That's all part of my evil plot to keep this little job all to myself.  Why is that?  Oh, just because to set the dates, I get to read an entire year of Calvin and Hobbes in one afternoon.


It.  Is.  AMAZING.




As I was reveling in comics joy yesterday, I remembered that soon, it will be easier than ever to binge-read Calvin and Hobbes, thanks to the Nov. 12 release of e-book editions of the treasuries "The Essential Calvin and Hobbes," "The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes" and "The Indispensable Calvin and Hobbes." (Click on the links to preorder!)


The e-books, which are $12.99 each, will be available in tablet format only. 


In the meantime, I guess I'll just get back to "work."




-- EAP

August 09, 2013


This is today's Lio:



This is the sight I woke up to this morning:



I think my cat might have a new hero.


-- EAP



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