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September 28, 2016

Voting Tips From the Only Source You Can Trust

Rpa151109

I lean heavily on comic strips for all my major life decisions: Hyundai or Kia, porkpie or tin foil, Tupac or Two-Ply ... all the classic debates. So when I happened across this Richard's Poor Almanac, I knew my decision was going to be made for me on November 8th.

 

So there is now no reasonable debate, comics strips have all the answers, you only need to look in the right place. The whole factory is yours Charlie. Now if you'll excuse me it's the time of day I like to simultaneously read some Glenn McCoy editorials and some Doonesburys

 

September 26, 2016

WHITE-HOT MAYONNAISE MONDAY

Rc090402

 

Today's Mayonnaise Monday (patent pending) is courtesy of Reality Check from Canada's Dave Whamond. Canada's Dave has won a bunch of NCS awards and he's a great children's book author as well.

 

He's won the Silver Birch, the Blue Spruce and the Red Cedar awards which are either book awards or some type of odd vandalism against trees. LOL! Dave's character Oddrey from his book series is below. Isn't she adorable? Dave is also hopeful that the NHL puts a team back in Edmonton very soon. Zing Zing!

 

Oddrey 3

 

Incidentally, did you know the Mayo Clinic was named after frontier and Civil War doctor William Worrall Mayo? Golly! I once put on a mayo clinic when my family was gone for the weekend and I had a large spoon and a jar of the good stuff all to myself. Though whatever sense of accomplishment I might have felt was short-lived. It was hellman. 

September 23, 2016

BRAD & TONI ARE GETTING HITCHED AND YOU'RE INVITED

LUANN_sept.16-oct.3

 

People who know me well are always asking me to shut the heck up about how much I like to go wedding dress shopping. 

 

Well, that's not going to happen, but now I can at least talk about it within the context of my job ... so you can stop asking, Shena.

 

If you're even a casual fan of Greg Evans' "Luann" you know that Brad and Toni are getting married very soon and you're invited/ challenged/ compelled by the spirit of creativity to become an active participant!

 

That's right you can design the dress that the foxy Toni is going to wear in the strip! What the?!

 

Yes the! Head on over to www.luannfan.com and you can get all the details how to submit your design. But wait, there's more!

 

Even if you don't have the skills, desire or emotional accessibility to design, you can vote for your favorite submitted design! The winning design will be the one Toni wears in real life. OMG! This is going to be great!

 

Lu160902 

September 21, 2016

YOU SHOULD REALLY HARNESS THAT JERK INSIDE YOU

Vader jump 2.0

One of my favorite quotes/maxims is "thank the heavens we don't say everything we think." Imagine if you told your coworkers/spouse/bookie/llama wrangler what you really thought of them? Oh, mercy! I know I can think some pretty dark thoughts when someone cuts me in line or tells me my "slacks are too tight again."

 

But here's a curveball! If you're in tune with those things that you're holding back -- those times when you don't say everything you think -- it can help develop good comic characters. 

 

You: What the heck are you talking about? 

Me: Read the rest of the post.

You: OK. But your slacks are too tight again.

Me: I am as God made me!

 

Experts agree, writing a comic is not easy: no actors to give emphasis to your words, no laugh track, no musical score and you get maybe 100 words to get your point across ... maybe.

 

Former UU president and editor Lee Salem would famously (and illegibly) scrawl on comic submissions from even professional comedy writers, "not as easy as it looks." 

 

But back to your unedited "dark side," Louis CK recently revealed that in his delicious "everything's amazing and nobody's happy"  piece there was not actually a guy sitting next to him on the plane who said, "this is BS." He said those were the dark thoughts HE was having and he invented the guy next to him for the bit. He also said this was the case for most of his comedy. Louis CK is clearly in tune with the jerk inside him.

  

Isn't that true in comics too? Look at these comics: Peanuts, Pearls Before Swine, Get Fuzzy, Dilbert. All of them quite successful and all have a character or two who could be charitably characterized as a jerk who says whatever comes to mind: Lucy, Rat, Bucky, Pointy-Haired Boss. 

 

Are these characters just the darker sides of their creators? I can't find the source but I swore I read where Charles Schulz said that each one of his characters was an aspect of his own personality. Stephan Pastis said that very thing in this interview.

 

Dark/mean characters provide conflict and when you have conflict you can have fertile ground for humor. You can always dial it back if you get too cruel or offensive ... but there is value in that journey ... what will you find? Who will you see? Uncle Al? What are you doing in here?  

 

So, yes, by looking deep inside and listening to your small, charcoal heart, you could find some amazing material. 

September 19, 2016

JUST ANOTHER MAYONNAISE MONDAY

The weather here was great this weekend. And anyone who knows me well knows that when the weather is right, I like to fill my days with long bouts of rollerblading, eating taffy and jazz dancing. 

 

All that action burns a heckuva lot of calories so I have to be sure to keep my nutrition levels in check. I do a modified Paleo diet which keeps me in tip-top shape but doesn't necessarily translate to weight loss or a fit figure. It's the "mayonnaise first/last" regiment made famous by Dr. Mantis Toboggan. 

 

"What does this have to do with GoComics?" Is probably what you're asking yourself right now. And let me say, I love your curiosity! 

 

I thought we could do a regular "Mayonnaise Monday" feature here on the blog. Mayonnaise is the world's most favorite egg-oil-lemon based condiment and it's about time somebody gave it its proper recognition!

 

Let's start this regular feature with the sublime Cul De Sac

 

 

Cul de Sac by Richard Thompson
Cul de Sac by Richard Thompson

September 16, 2016

FÜN FACTS! Comics Titles Are Important

Funfacts2



Every so often, I like to take a break from my time at the dog track to give all you aspiring cartoonists out there some advice. Nothing will ever say "hello, I'd like to spend some time with you and I'm not saying that in a weird way" to your audience more than your comic's title.

 

So you should think it over VERY carefully. You don't want to get stuck with something that will seem dated or inappropriate should the comic run for 70-140 years. Here are some original titles that were changed at the last minute (and Phew! almost always for the better). See if you can guess what comics the 11 titles below are today. 

 

1) Heavenly Nostrils

 

2) I Hope Someday I'll Have Real Friends

 

3) Li'l Folks

 

4) I Can't Stop Thinking About Lynda Carter

 

5) Ripley's Believe Me or I'll Step on Your Toe

 

6) Oh, That Consistently Foolish But Also Humorously Giant Dog!

 

7) The Comic Strip That Would Never Ever Have a Finale Every Day

 

8) The Gourd Who Sat Too Long in Brine

 

9) Iphelia Payne: Noisy Widower

 

10) Fritzi Ritz 

 

11) Off the Merkin!

 

September 14, 2016

Hot Qs!

Gocomics letter

 

We handle a lot of fan mail here at the GoComics HQs and I'm always surprised by some of the requests. Here're a few from lately:  

 

1) Would Garry Trudeau send me an autograph? 

 

2) Would Bill Amend write a congratulations letter to my Eagle Scout? 

 

3) Does Scott Hilburn know what he does to my emotions? 

 

4) Does Bill Watterson understand that I have no intention of ever learning Chinese? (你是大自然最伟大的奇迹)

 

5) Matt Davies, I'm writing you to comment on the cartoon I seen in the news paper! Do you even go to church? 

 

7) Is Wiley Miller as nice in person as he is in my dreams?

 

8) Would Gary Larson draw a comic based on a joke I wrote for my grandfather's birthday? I need it next week.

 

8) I am currently incarcerated in Giles W. Dalby Correctional Institute in Texas, would Will Henry be my pen pal?

September 13, 2016

A Great Books Explosion!

I was recently minding my own business at the local book store searching for "Microwave Cooking For One" when I spotted some sensational new books. 

 

                                  Zarf 3 cover

 

Life of Zarf: Troll Overboard is Rob Harrell's third installment of the best selling Zarf series. You might remember Rob as the cartoonist behind Big Top and Adam @ Home. Rob's a real crackerjack when it comes to storytelling and his wonderful art just flows out of him like icing onto a birthday cake

 

                    Mark pett book

 

I was so excited to see Rob's book that I did a celebratory spin, only I used too much thigh power and I did a 540 which left me face-to-face with Mark Pett's latest. It's called "This is My Book" and it's got a panda and some pop-ups and a painter who looks a little like bit like the author. Great for people who like fun. Mark, of course, is the mistermind behind the Lucky Cow and Mr. Lowe comics that can be seen every day at the GoComics

 

                                       Dream jumper

 

And then, last but unleashed, is Lucas "Imagine This" Turnbloom's newest. Lucas co-authored the book with noted Hollywood person Greg Grunberg. Certainly we all remember Greg from "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," "Heroes" and most memorably as Gatman in "Melrose Place." As to the book. I'll let my Amazon review speak for itself: 

 

I read Dream Jumper with a large smile on my face and a tumbler full of buttermilk on my nightstand. I've been saying for years that Lucas Turnbloom was going to touch the stars and then land his space rocket on a barge in the ocean. Which is harder to do than it sounds.

This book is as beautifully and lovingly done as Turnbloom's hair. It's a good read that says something about life but also about those of us who aren't afraid to be loved and also those of us have adventures with large birds like my dad used to.

I predict a major breakthrough for Turnbloom and all his great cartooning and hair combing. And FWIW, if you ever get to see him performing live on his cor anglais do not miss it. Those are magic fingers!

 

**

 

That's three great new books by three great GoComics cartoonists. What a world we live in!

 

September 09, 2016

Laser Moose Will Sear Your Soul ... and Your Skin

Cover-shadow_y2db9g_c_scalew_450
 
 
There is a moose that roams the woods: waiting, waiting, waiting. Lasers from his eyes, ice water in his veins. This is not your father's gun-toting weapons-grade elk. This is LASER MOOSE! Now in handy book form, Laser Moose will take you on the wildest ride. A ride in a convertible PT Cruiser with a modified Ferrari engine! Then you'd have the looks and the power ... just like Laser Moose.

There are great stories in this here book and the characters got the best kind of dialogue that I like. I'm recommending this to my book club and I think it would be a natural TV show on one of the more sophisticated networks where you could show the Laser Moose laser (with his eye lasers) other evil creatures heads off without fear of reprisal from a censor. Take that, censors! We hate you!
 
I give it FIVE STARS (out of four).
 
*GOCOMICS BLOG EXCLUSIVE: Read here and now how Doug Savage created the awesome cover. Doug is also the creator of the sublime Savage Chickens that runs on the GoComics
 
 
                                    Chickenarachno
 

 
* not really exclusive. Sorry I lied. 
 
 

Next Stop Benton-ville!

If you're like me and you love web sites, you may have spent some time over on reddit.com. Reddit is an interesting place and has lots of different subjects to read about and pictures to enjoy and/or be horrified from.  

 

One section I love to read is www.reddit.com/r/comics. If you go there on any random day, the odds are She-Hulk-strong that there will be at least one comic in the Top 10 from noted Michigander Jim Benton

 

Jim is one of the top posters on the comics' subreddit and last summer he sent more than 550,000 pageviews to GoComics in a single day (see below for the comic that drove all that traffic). That's pretty amazing considering we do between two million and three million pageviews on an average day. Thanks, Jim!

Jb 7.29.15

 

Jim has a new book that collects all his best gag comics from the last few years and it made me laugh until every last piece of my jewelry fell off (even the oversized medallion). It's called "Man, I Hate Cursive" and it's available for presale now. Even the book cover is a humdinger! And that's one cute lemon! I'm giving it my highest rating = FIVE STARS (out of four).

 

Jb cover

 

 

September 02, 2016

I DID SOMETHING CRAZY YESTERDAY

JG 2016

Yep. New Facebook and Twitter profile picture. Initially, I was scared of the change, but the reception has been amazing. One person I know summed up the deafeningly positive public sentiment on the subject when they said 'What the?" 

 

Other folks had inquisitive questions about the art. So I decided to assemble a handy FAQ. Here are the Top 10 questions following my desperate, delightful and inexplicable change of my FB and twitter profile pics. 

 

10) Did you draw that? And if so, could you draw me shooting a flame thrower at a centaur?

9) Why did you draw yourself so much skinnier than in real life?

8) You cannot possibly jump that high.

7) You look like the chubbiest baby I've ever wanted to kiss.

6) Is that cheese shirt edible?

5) Did you have a bad relationship with your dad too?

4) What is the jaw dropping association between dry cleaning and Scientology?

3) Is it false advertising to call them jalapeño "poppers"? I've never seen a single one of them "pop."

2) Is Wiley Miller as charming in real life?

1) What hair products does Stephan Pastis recommend? 

 

Good luck!

August 31, 2016

Top 10 Things Not to Include in a Submissions Packet

Hello, folks, great to be back blogging regularly again. It feels quite real to the touch. So thank you for all your kind notes and limited booing.

 

Did you know we have an open submissions policy at GoComics/Universal Uclick? Well let me just say it makes for some interesting mail. Here are 10 friendly suggestions of things NOT to include in your next comic submission. 

 

10) The best kind of Lasers.

 

9) Jon Bon Jovi ... in person ... duh!

 

8) Richie Sambora's wig is really convincing.

 

7) Singing along to "Living on a Prayer" but instead saying "lemon on a pear" like we did when we were all still friends.

 

6) A light show that will knock your socks off.

 

5) $12 domestic mass-market beer? $13.50 jalapeño poppers? WTH! 

 

4) That stoner from high school who still owes you money. What's his name again? Toby? Todd? 

 

3) Thinking to yourself, "There is absolutely no question that Lara in accounting would finally go out with me if I were to get a 'Slippery When Wet' tattoo on my neck." 

 

2) Drum solos that don't go on long enough, Tico

 

1) Wishing they'd turn up the fog machine so I could convincingly pretend I was Sherlock Holmes. I didn't lug a Meerschaum pipe through all these crowds for nothing!

 

Good luck!

August 29, 2016

Royalty Statement Snail Mail Poetry Slam

Stone soup poetry slam 2.0

 

I am a very busy person: meetings, contract negotiations, every morning at the dog track, etc. But every so often while signing royalty statements I'll have a little extra time on my hands and I'll include a little note to the creator.

 

Sometimes, I'll say something to the effect of "Hello there, You! You're fabulous!" While other times I won't be so formal and I'll just say, "Hey, there, person, who I'm very likely to be delighted to do business with!"

 

And occasionally, I'll just go a little nuts. Like this poem I wrote to Jan "Stone Soup" Eliot, complete with self-portrait and a humanizing quip.

 

Now, I imagine most of the recipients of these hysterical outtakes probably laugh themselves silly for an hour or so but then move on with their lives. But no, not Jan! Jan choose to throw down the "Snail Mail Poetry Slam Gauntlet!" Who else could have rhymed "Kansas" and "J. Francis"?

 

Well, I say "Gauntlet Acknowledged!" 

August 17, 2016

TED RALL ON WAY to $75,000

 

 

I've been following this strange and troubling story with interest since it bubbled up last year. Ted is a friend and has been partners with us in syndicating his editorial cartoons for more than 20 years. I don't often see eye-to-eye with him on his worldview, but I do appreciate his work (as a writer and a cartoonist).

 

Now, if you didn't know, I used to be a police officer, so I have mixed emotions about how the police can be portrayed in the media, but Ted seems to have a strong case here.

 

I wasn't there and the story sounds really complicated and has tons of details that I'm not privy to, so it sounds like a perfect case to be settled in court. Right? Only the court is insisting that Ted pay $75,000 to have his day in front of a judge. What the?

 

That is ridiculous!  

 

So I donated to Ted because it is unbelievable to me that any judicial body in a free society could demand an individual citizen come up with a "court tax" to buy access into the system. 

 

Here's the link to his GoFundMe page. https://www.gofundme.com/tedrall

August 15, 2016

An Original

I've heard quite a few stories about how generous Richard Thompson was with his original art. Personally, I'm deliriously lucky enough to have a few Cul De Sacs. But, but, but ... the thing I treasure most is what Richard made me for my 40th birthday.

 

Richard thomposn bday gift

 

How about it ... right? I will treasure it for all my days. 

 

Now get that damn finger out of your nose, Dill!

 

August 12, 2016

Bill Amend's New Side Project (a bit NSFW)

13774597_602701426574087_1677207796_n(1)

 

Is there a more harmonious relationship in nature than cartoonists and martinis?

 

"Yes," is what you'd likely hear me answer.  

 

Now you may think I'm being too cheeky in my reply, but I think you'll be whistling your tune on a different harpsichord after I tell you what a certain Mr. Bill "Foxtrot" Amend is up to. 

 

It's called "Bored Napkins" and it's over on the Instagram where folks are loving it with a recklessness that hasn't been seen since Nancy made the ill-advised statement to Sluggo that she was glad his parents were dead. It blends Bill's delicious interest in pop culture, gaming, comics and cursing.

 

Bill says, "Sometimes I get bored at bars and draw cartoons of questionable value on napkins."

 

Nothing questionable about it, Bill, these are so great that I don't even take it personally that I'm usually with you when you get "bored at bars." #ivegothurtfeelings

 

 

August 10, 2016

'Michelangelo with a sense of humor' -- Pat Oliphant on Richard Thompson

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2016-08-10/567b0a8821ef4bdd90f205c3b5a95c7e.png
Richard's Poor Almanac by Richard Thompson

 

If you happened across Richard's Poor Almanac this week (and you should every week), you would have seen the venerable Pat Oliphant's tribute to Richard. I know Pat Oliphant and he is not a man who throws around compliments lightly. Pat's greatest praise for me was "on time, at least." 

 

This was taken from the introduction of the one and only Richard's Poor Almanac collection "12 Months of Misinformation" by Emmis Books and is now going for $650+ on Amazon for a new copy. 

 

If you can't afford the book, you can see a good chunk of the contents in the archive at GoComics. It is work that will tickle your sensibilities and shock your disposition with how damn brilliant it all is. "Michelangelo with a sense of humor" indeed. 

 

July 27, 2016

Goodbye, RT

What gifts you've left us.

 

The Art of Richard Thompson from GVI on Vimeo.

https://vimeo.com/gvidc/the-art-of-richard-thompson

 

 

Relive the charm of Thompson’s beloved Cul de Sacread it from the beginning here.

July 25, 2016

IN CASE YOU MISSED THE SDCC

Hi, folks, it's been a while since I've blogged and let me just say that the reader reaction has been overwhelmingly in favor of that. So, thank you.


You may be interested to know that I haven't been to the SDCC in a long time, but each year we do send a really talented crew out there to sell some books, shake some hands and show off some new projects.


One new project that's really been buzzing around here is the new GoComics site (or is that my tinnitus from too many Michael Buble concerts? LOL, no). The new redesign is great-looking, emotionally available and also looks design-appropriate on those mobile phone devices.


I know a lot of people are going to be nervous, because they love the ol' GoComics and all it's come to mean to them. But it is a pretty old site in a lot of ways and a good refreshment can make even an ugly friend look a little better.


I admit that even I was nervous until the GoComics team walked me through the designs and then a fly flew in mouth because my jaw had dropped and I swallowed that fly and I didn't even care because the new site was worth it and flies are basically very clean animals anyway. 


Best JG


@johnnyglynn

 

 

March 11, 2013

As a fair-skinned person (Sunday's Non Sequitur)

Nq glynn


http://www.gocomics.com/nonsequitur/2013/03/10

I was delighted to see this comic in my Sunday newspaper.


I don't want to alarm you, but I'm so fair-skinned that people will often say to me, "you're so freakin' transparent," "I can see right through you and your stupid agenda," and/or "why are you eating mayonnaise right out of the jar?"


Thanks for providing me with some much-needed sanctuary, Wiley Miller.

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