Weekend Faves (July 27)

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

This is so accurate that it's almost not funny.



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

…And a behaviorist would suggest you make some human friends!



F Minus by Tony Carrillo
F Minus by Tony Carrillo

And that's when Jimmy's parents realized their house was haunted.



Lio by Mark Tatulli
Lio by Mark Tatulli

The intricate skulls-and-berries pattern in this Lio Sunday make me wonder if Mark Tatulli has ever considered a side career as a tattoo artist.


Rabbits Against Magic by Jonathan Lemon
Rabbits Against Magic by Jonathan Lemon

Woah! This is one office party I'd like to be invited to. Fortunately, many of the guests are only one click away.



Randy Glasbergen CartoonsRandy Glasbergen began his professional cartooning career in 1972 at age 15 and has become one of America’s most widely and frequently published cartoonists.

Randy owns and operates Glasbergen Cartoon Service, providing smart, topical cartoons at budget-friendly rates for publications, presentations, books, advertising, greeting cards, education and other special projects. His international clients include the Economic Times of India, China Daily, Harvard Business Review, Hallmark Cards, Oxford University Press, The Wall St Journal, Funny Times, Toastmasters International, McGraw-Hill, Planet Fitness and an endless list of others.


Read Glasbergen Cartoons here.

Meet Your Creator: Paul Gilligan (Pooch Café)

Wondering how Pooch Café got its roots? Cartoonist Paul Gilligan shares the scoop!


I got into cartooning in about grade two because I was really bad at soccer. I copied Don Martin drawings out of MAD magazine and the other kids gathered around and cooed. My ego was porous, so it went to my head. I was given the impression that cartoonists had groupies, so I threw away my guitar and spent my recesses drawing while the other kids kicked the ball.


I cartooned away happily for the next five or six years, being influenced by MAD, Peanuts pocketbooks, and comics like Richie Rich, Casper and Archie. I spent the summers with my sister and two female cousins, so my comic reading reflected a girl-centric bias. Then one day I found this.


1 Hulk cover


A boy comic! This comic sent me off in a bold new artistic direction: Drawing guys in capes punching stuff. I did that for the next eight years and headed off to Sheridan College with a portfolio full of drawings of Iron Man and Thor. They immediately told me to stop drawing like that, seeing as how most people in the world were more sensibly proportioned and wore much more comfortably fitting clothes. I agreed and spent four years coming up with styles that looked like this:

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 2.18.28 PM


I did freelance illustration for many years without thinking much about syndicated cartooning. Then Gary Larson retired, and I -- along with every person who’d ever doodled in the margin of a notebook -- thought, Why, what a perfect time for me to become the next Far Side phenomenon and make a million dollars

3 Comic panels


That didn’t work out, so I went back to not thinking about comic strips for more years, until one day it suddenly seemed like doing a comic was the best idea in the world. So I whipped up this character named “Plank,” a naïve man-child with a rutabaga-like head who reminisced about his childhood. I drew 24 strips and mailed them off. Five days later I got a message on my answering machine from Jay Kennedy telling me he loved my work and he wanted to talk about syndication. I thought, Well, that was easy.


4 Plank

But as you may have surmised from the fact that you’ve never heard of a comic strip called “Plank,” it wasn’t quite that easy. I came up with another strip about office life (I’ve never worked in an office) and another about a female lawyer (I’m not a female, and I don’t know anything about lawyers) before finally hitting on something that I might actually be able to write more than a week of jokes about: dogs. And Pooch Café was born. 


The first strip:


5 EatingAtDump01-03
A more recent one (note superhero influences):


6 Pooch0621-photo[1]

I’ve also been fortunate enough to close the circle by having some of my own work appear in MAD. 

7 Oz -photo

As years went by, no groupies appeared, but I now get to spend my days coming up with jokes about drinking from the toilet and catapulting cats into the space. My years drawing superheroes have come in handy. And I rarely think about soccer at all.




Read Pooch Café here or visit the Pooch Café blog.

Meet Your Heroes




It's time for Comic-Con International, when the east coast rises a full thirty feet above sea level as enthusiasts worldwide weigh down San Diego. Comic-Con is where every single one of the things that are too cool for your tiny brain to even imagine happen all at once. Merchandise and creator meet-and-greets aside, the cosplay scene has grown so vibrant that there are people there dressed as "sexy" variants on Star Wars bounty hunter/ space mummy Dengar. At least four. Even if you don't think that's cool, it's better than most of the parties you go to. Everyone wins at Comic-Con!

Another cool thing that is happening right now is that if you click on any of the images, they'll open in another tab in high-resolution. It's totally wizard.
Comic-Con is the future our forefathers fought to protect. It's the best. Everyone agrees.


To those in attendance, we salute you, and remind you to drop by our booth, number 1503. You can get a free GoComics Pro account, so you can spend your time in various lines reading sweet comics on your cool computer-phone, instead of trying to make small talk with the guy in front of you dressed like a zombie version of Frasier Crane. There will also be a ton of awesome signings from people like Bloom County and Outland creator Berkeley Breathed (who, I can say from experience, is a real peach) They might have stickers there, too. I don't know, it's not my department. I know the people who will be there, though, and they're terrific. Make them talk to you! They basically have to!








For those unable to attend, I suggest coordinating your own fan summit via your local Craigslist for opportunities to meet up with like-minded people in your area who enjoy comics and/ or dressing up like steampunk versions of historical characters. That's how my parents met, though they were dressed as steampunk versions of Mork and Mindy. It was a simpler time.  


You know what's shockingly easy to find in our archives? Comic strips about comics. Turns out, there's some overlap in those interests. Now revel in your literacy, True Believers!












You enjoyed that, right? Hey, so did we. We have lots more comics that, even when they aren't about other comics, are still comics themselves, so you can't go wrong, assuming comics are what you're after. But you don't have to take my word for it-- you can check out Calvin & Hobbes, FoxTrot, Big Nate and a seemingly infinite cast of others every dang day on our site. I think we also have an app. Yeah, we also have an app. Gosh, we're pretty great. 


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 anythng; 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.









Peanizles  7-22-14





A Bit Sketch  7-23-14




Buns 7-23-14









Milton  5.0




Vernscartoons  7-23-14





 Frank & Steinway  7-24-14




Green Pieces  7-24-14





Ron Warren  7-24-14





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



Okay, I'm a few days behind on some cool crossover news about Donnie Pitchford's Sherpa strip LUM AND ABNER, which is based on the radio show of the same name, which was huge in the U.S. from the 30s to the 50s.


Lum and Abner, the originals

The original Lum and Abner -- Chester Lauck and Norris Goff.


Last Sunday Joe Staton and Mike Curtis' DICK TRACY, which since June 1st has been following a storyline involving the disappearance of Little Orphan Annie, featured this cameo appearance by Lum and Abner:


DICK TRACY 7-20-14


LUM AND ABNER appears in Sunday format, which is supplemented by an audio version, so you can follow the strip even if you are blind -- or read the strip while hearing it acted out. For example, to listen to the strip below, click here:


7-20-14 LUM AND ABNER Sunday

From radio show to comic strip to audio comic strip. Nice. There's a whole world of backstory to this project, and a hearkening back in admiration to the days of Old Time Radio. You can read more about the strip here.


Donnie Pitchford with original

Cartoonist Donnie Pitchford with one of his originals.


Lum and Abner Jot 'Em Down Store and Museum

The Lum and Abner Jot 'em Down Store and Museum, in Pine Ridge, Arkansas. Their website, with more Lum and Abner history, is


Lum and Abner ad


LUM AND ABNER 2014 Festival ad














11 Reasons Comics are Better Than Real Life

Ever have those days when you wish you could be “anywhere else but here?” You could be getting a tan, seeing the world, or rocking out with your best friends -- but you’re not.  You’re at work, or at home, or running errands. What if you could live in a comic strip?


I got a lot of positive feedback about the last week’s list blog -- so I have decided to go that route again.  This week: 11 Reasons Comics are Better Than Real Life.


11. Travel Between Worlds



Dark Side of the Horse by Samson

Dark Side of the Horse by Samson




Other comic characters do it all the time! Sine, from Dark Side of the Horse, crosses over here into the Pearls Before Swine world. Living in a comic strip would mean that if you got bored with one place, you could just warp to a whole new world and chill there for a while until you were ready to return.



10. Eternal Youth



Thatababy by Paul Trap

Thatababy by Paul Trap




While a few comic characters have aged over time (Luann comes to mind), many of them don’t.  Are all comic characters secretly vampires? Probably not -- vampires are not nearly as interesting. That being said, the faster you decide to switch from living in the real world to living in a comic strip, the younger you will stay.  Forever.


9. Revamp Your Style Without Plastic Surgery 



Garfield by Jim Davis

Garfield by Jim Davis




Don’t like your legs? Fine. Think your eyes are too small? Not a problem. Want to lose some weight? Don’t bother killing yourself at the gym. Garfield survives on donuts and lasagna, but hey, it looks like he’s lost weight over the years. So grab a third donut (yes, the ones filled with icing), have a talk with the creator, and he or she will fix you right up!


8. Really Cool Parents



FoxTrot Classics by Bill Amend

FoxTrot Classics by Bill Amend




By no means am I saying there aren’t cool parents out there. Two of them I’m proud to call my own! But, let’s be honest here, if I had devoured an entire bag of cookies in one sitting, my mom would have told me it was tough. There would have been a lecture about “once you eat something, it’s gone.” Which would turn into “once you spend your money, it’s gone.” Which would have turned into, “You need to go to college and get a decent job so that you can afford decent things in life.” Like cookies. 


7. Wizards



Wizard of Id by Parker and Hart

Wizard of Id by Parker and Hart




What’s not awesome about a wizard? Wizards have all kinds of awesome powers that (so long as they aren’t being used on you) are well worth living in a comic strip. I’m relatively positive there are no wizards in the real world. Though, if you are reading this and you are a wizard, come out of hiding. We promise to love you.


6. Bacon



Invisible Bread by Justin Boyd

Invisible Bread by Justin Boyd




Apparently in comics, they eat so much bacon that they even have to keep emergency supplies of it just hanging around in case of a sudden craving. I see nothing strange about that.  


5. Life Doesn’t Have to Make Sense



F Minus by Tony Carrillo

F Minus by Tony Carrillo




That being said, I think pancakes taste better when cooked in an orange juice powered dishwasher… by a chipmunk named Zeus.


4. Brains and Diets are Null and Void



Heart of the City by Mark Tatulli

Heart of the City by Mark Tatulli




Garfield? Peter from Foxtrot? Eno from The Duplex? Brains and diets are null and void more often than just when the weather sucks.  I woke up late for work earlier this week and had a brownie for breakfast -- topped with Cool Whip and peanut butter. I’d fit right into this lifestyle.


3. Talking Animals



Heavenly Nostrils by Dana Simpson

Heavenly Nostrils by Dana Simpson




This one explains itself. Animals can talk. Cool!


2. Meet Special Guest Stars



Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis

Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis




Several comics feature “guest stars” such as SpongeBob, former presidents, famous actors … or even death! Living in a comic, you will get the chance to meet them all.


1. Anything is Possible


Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson





If you can imagine it, it’s possible.  Calvin is a prime example of that. His imagination runs wild -- and his adventures are never boring. Living in a comic means the only limitation you have is your own mind. That may or may not be a dangerous thing.


There you have it!  Clearly living in comics would be 10 times cooler a million times cooler than living in real life. Can we get the technology to make this possible sometime soon, please?


-- Jessi

Bill Watterson Artwork Up For Auction!

Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis


Last month, the world went wild when Calvin and Hobbes cartoonist Bill Watterson collaborated with Pearls Before Swine creator Stephan Pastis to guest illustrate an incredible storyline.


Now, the legendary comic strips are up for auction! As of now, the cheapest of the three strips is already up to $5,500 and will surely soar in price. The online portion of the auction ends August 7, and all proceeds will be donated to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.


What are you waiting for? Start bidding here!


If your budget doesn’t allow you to shell out that hefty amount of cash for the originals, you can purchase archive-quality prints of the storyline here

stretching the comics canvas

If you've been reading GoComics for a few years, you've likely noticed an explosion in new offerings on our A to Z listing. While single-panel toons and three- or four-panel funnies have long made up the traditional core of our content, some of the more recent additions require some serious scrolling and a bit of in-depth reading. While there will always be lame-o's who type "TLDNR" on anything over 140 characters, many others (like me) are delighted to see artists stretch the form to include literature, inspirational quotes, history and storytelling.


Today I'd like to spotlight three examples of GoComics cartoonists who work on a wide canvas, but I'd welcome any other suggestions in the comments. Let's start with a peek at Zen Pencils, by Australian artist Gavin Aung Than.


There you have it... a scarily honest yet wonderfully poignant sentiment by Sylvia Plath captured in artwork. I love the arrangement of the words beside the falling figs. It's like a bit of concrete poetry in a graphic novel. Zen Pencils is as remarkable for its diversity of artistic styles as it is the wide range of source material. It's consistently inspirational and always fun to read.


If you're headed to San Diego Comic Con this weekend, stop by the Andrews McMeel Publishing/GoComics booth (#1503) on Friday 3.30-4.30pm and on Sunday 12.30-1.30pm to meet Gavin and see some examples of his upcoming book.





Peter Mann, the artist and writer of The Quixote Syndrome, teaches in the Humanities program at Stanford University, where he occasionally uses these comics as teaching materials. The above illustration from last week presents a Franz Kafka parable in its entirety, with artwork that drives home the disorientation and reminds us how "Kafkaesque" came into the commen lexicon. You'll need to enlarge it to keep from squinting, but its well worth your while. Catch more Quixote Syndrome here.





Eleri Mai Harris, of Eleri Mai Harris Cartoons, has been doing a great series about American history and civic identity, including this strip from earlier in the year depicting the Solidarity Singers of Madison, Wisconsin. I visited Madison over the weekend, and though I didn't make it into the State House in time to hear the 11:00 a.m. singing protest, I did hear a couple of the Solidarity Singers sharing their message outside the State House at the weekly farmer's market. Check out more of her recent large-format cartoons on GoComics.

GoComics Staff Pick: Off the Mark by Mark Parisi

Off the Mark by Mark Parisi


This week's pick comes from our Director of Digital Content, David: Off the Mark's daily panels are like comic popcorn (or insert other bite size snack that you can’t seem to stop eating). 


Off the Mark by Mark Parisi


This comic has been a consistent favorite of George Takei and his massive following on facebook. Take a few seconds and treat yourself to a snack.


➜ Add Off the Mark to your GoComics homepage!


ABOUT: The off-the-wall humor of off the mark puts a refreshingly spin on the things we see everyday... from your favorite icons to your least favorite trends, from commercials to pets to computers. Slightly skewed and just a little twisted, off the mark scores a bull’s eye with readers looking for a laugh.




Visit R.C. Harvey's Blog



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