'Tis the season for sensory overload. We've recently passed Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Turkey Leftover Sunday (OK, I made that one up, but I'm pushing for it to become a thing) and Cyber Monday. Most of these dates are focused around commerce and great deals — 99 cents for a 10-pound box of peanut brittle — but today has been dubbed "Giving Tuesday". Many of our creators have used their artwork for good throughout their careers. We can't list them all, because we're fortunate to work with many incredibly generous people. Here are a few notable recent examples of our cartoonists' charitable endeavors:
Jan Eliot, Stone Soup
For this holiday season, Jan illustrated a campaign series to bring awareness to Habitat For Humanity International's Cars For Homes program. The work, using the Stone Soup characters, encourages others to help a family in need by donating a vehicle. "I love my relationship with Habitat, because I love the opportunity to put my comic strip to work for such a good cause," said Jan. "I can't always be the one swinging a hammer, but the Stone Soup characters can be out there encouraging others to do so." For more info, visit http://www.habitat.org/carsforhomes.
Gavin Aung Than, Zen Pencils
Tragedy hit the Philippine Islands last month when Typhoon Haiyan landed, the deadliest storm on record for the country. Zen Pencils creator Gavin Aung Than, an Australian cartoonist with a global following, chose to use his artwork to make a difference. He created a mural-style comic strip, inspiring others to help during this season of giving. All profits from the sale of the print will go to the Philippine Red Cross. See the custom artwork here.
(Courtesy of nancyandsluggo.com)
Guy Gilchrist, Nancy
This holiday season has been a special time for Nancy cartoonist Guy Gilchrist, who was recently married. This has not kept Guy from supporting the many philanthropies that are near and dear to his heart, including St. Jude Medical Foundation, The Wounded Warrior Project and The Salvation Army, to name a few. He is also an accomplished musician, with two holiday songs (Merry Christmas, Sluggo and Christmas Light) continuing to financially benefit Boys Town. To learn more, visit http://www.guygilchristmusic.com/songs.
Here at GoComics/Universal Uclick, our holiday philanthropies began last month, with our annual "Christmas in October" event. The work assists with rebuilding houses, lives and neighborhoods in our hometown of Kansas City, MO.
Thanks to all of our cartoonists and creators for being wonderful people with big hearts. Enjoy #givingtuesday!
Things haven't gone very well for sincerity on the comics page for the last few decades. Reasons for this range from the changing tastes of audiences and creators, the difficulty of selling a gag without a measure of sarcasm, etc, but I'd imagine it also has a little to do with how few current examples occupy today's comic page, making such attempts seem antiquated. There's real risk in the approach that Nancy takes every day, since absent the comforting distance afforded by ironic detachment, the strip has to stand on its inherent strength to resonate.
I think that comics need to have a level of dignity to them in order to function at all. If Nancy had fumbled into a more cynical mode to suit modern appetites, it would no longer be Nancy, it'd be hollow and mean, because the world in which it exists wasn't constructed for such purposes. Basically, Nancy, and the good folks around her are nice, and it's a credit to the integrity of the strip's architecture that they have stayed nice for so long.
In Nancy, the standard conflict you'll see will fall along the lines of "Nancy hopes to enjoy cake before dinner, even though she's not supposed to" and the resolution will either be that Nancy gets some cake and suffers a gentle, comic consequence, or Nancy doesn't get any cake and has to settle for having some cake at some later date. No matter what, she either learns or affirms a lesson, so there's no real "victim." See? Nice!
The enormous upside to taking a sincere, direct approach in a daily comic strip is that things in Nancy are able to achieve a level of delightful weirdness, in both contrast to surrounding comics and as an extension of its own tendencies, which simply can't exist in an environment where every character is built around a nougaty core of snark. I've taken the liberty of magnifying the weirdness by separating the following panels from their context, unmooring them from their less-weird setups. The more cynical among you might think that the preceding paragraphs serve only to justify my posting all the crazy stuff below. I truly pity you.
Props to Guy Gilchrist for keeping the spirit of Nancy alive and well. Things aren't always so weird, but it happens often enough to warrant checking out the strip regularly. But you don't have to take my word for it-- click here to see what you've been missing.
We've been waiting for this day for a long time, comics lovers. After months of development, testing and partnerships with mobile phone and tablet platforms, we are excited to share the following news with you:
THERE IS A NEW, FREE GOCOMICS MOBILE/TABLET APP ON ALL MAJOR PLATFORMS!
On no other app will you find Calvin and Hobbes, Peanuts, Dilbert, Doonesbury, FoxTrot, Garfield, The Boondocks, Pearls Before Swine, Get Fuzzy and hundreds of others. It's the same content that you've loved on the GoComics website, but available to fit your active lifestyle.
You will be able to share your favorite comics with friends via Facebook and Twitter posts, text them to friends (charges may apply) or email them to brighten that special person's day.
Within the app, you have the ability to:
• Bookmark your favorite comics. • Share comics via social media, e-mail and text/SMS (charges may apply). • Access over 20 years of back issues of comic strips. Read the first-ever Calvin and Hobbes strips! Rediscover Charlie Brown and the Little Red-Headed Girl! Share FoxTrot with a younger generation! See Huey and Riley before The Boondocks became a cult classic! • Leer en español. GoComics tiene más de 30 cómics que están disponibles para nuestros Españoles fans de habla. • Read our liberal, moderate and conservative editorial/political cartoonists represent that all sides. Collectively, they have won more than 20 Pulitzer Prizes for editorial cartooning. • Gain insight into the comics industry with our blog that's updated multiple times a week. • Check out burgeoning cartoonists before they break out in our Comics Sherpa section.
The reviews are already extremely positive from bloggers and media outlets:
"If you’re anything like me, you used to read household name comics such as Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes, Garfield; the list goes on. Well, if you’re feeling a bit nostalgic and want a digital fix for your comic craving, GoComics has you covered." - Stephen Yuen, AndroidSpin.com
"Today calls for a minor celebration, GoComics app has been released for Windows Phone 7 and 8; bringing the full archives of the most beloved comics to your phone; including Garfield, Calvin & Hobbes (my absolute favorite), Peanuts, Dilbert and many more. Even more important is the fact that the app was released for iOS, Android and Windows Phone simultaneously!" - Ali Al-Qudsi, MyNokiaBlog.com
"I’d wager one of the places a lot of comic book fans got their start was with the comics in the Sunday newspaper. If you’re a fan of Sunday comics in your local paper, you might want to check out a new app from GoComics that is available for Android now." - Shane McGlaun, AndroidCommunity.com
"As far as syndicates go, Universal Uclick has always been a leader in the mobile space. They were the first to have a mobile friendly website and one of the first to release iPhone apps for various comic titles. But I failed to realize that they didn’t have a native mobile app available. They’ve now released a new (free!) native app for iOS, Android and Windows phones for the 250+ comic features found on GoComics.com." - Alan Gardner, DailyCartoonist.com
Let us know what you think and be sure to share the news via social media to your friends!
In recent years, the zombie theme has exploded. Zombies have
popped up in television shows, movies, books, comics and more. There is
something entertaining in this macabre fantasy that finds itself ever-more
popular. Zombies are comical and provide for an entire storyline of “what if” scenarios.
You expect to see such gruesome creatures as zombies in the
more edgy comics, like Lioand Break of Day, but they are also being
played out in some of the classics, including Nancy and Marmaduke.
I have fallen prey to the zombie revolution. At this
point, The Walking Dead television series on AMC is almost a religion for me. I
never miss an episode! I discovered an app called Dead Yourself. It is
fantastic! You can snap a picture of yourself and, using Dead Yourself, see what you would look like
as a zombie. Aren’t I a beaut!
Embrace the undead hype, because this trend will never die.
Adults become a bit jaded to the beauty of snow because they
experience all the repercussions. They deal with hazardous road conditions,
cold cars, shoveling and power outages. There are a few adults, however, who
never lose the fun in a snow day and one of those adults is my dad.
He loves the snow and his engineered industrial snow blower.
His “playing in the snow” consists of plowing every driveway on our block. This
snow stud sincerely enjoys every minute of it. Helping others has always made my
dad happy, and if he gets to use a cool piece of machinery in the process … all
Thanks to ALL who have "liked" our Facebook page. Since we've hit the big 5-0 (thousand), we want to thank you! Let's have a giveaway! Enter to win an autographed Nancy, Argyle Sweater, Thatababy, Non Sequitur or Stone Soup print by simply leaving a comment with your first and last name on this blog entry. We'll select five winners tomorrow (Tuesday, 11/6) at 12:00pm CST. Godspeed.
*This giveaway is open to our wonderful international fans. Good luck.