GoComics Staff Pick: Ballard Street by Jerry Van Amerongen

Ballard Street by Jerry Van Amerongen

 

When I was a kid and I read The Far Side, I enjoyed picturing Gary Larson as a real guy who lived in a real place that occasionally saw the very public ending of a long-standing feud between a duck and a man, or where small herds of cattle walked upright among humans and ordered coffee. I liked the idea of normal guy Gary Larson drawing comic strips as a coping mechanism/cry for help from within the midst of this real place, like doodled distress signals we were all misinterpreting as humor.

 

I don't know Jerry Van Amerongen, but I like to imagine that he really lives on Ballard Street, a place where getting old doesn't mean losing the spirit of adventure. It could happen. I want Jerry's neighbors to really wear animal masks when they get together to eat cake, just for giggles, because "wouldn't that be fun?" I want to believe that every day, normal guy Jerry sits on his porch and watches his adventurous elderly neighbor have a mishap with rocket roller skates or homemade wings, which Jerry documents with a cartoon and publishes, like a little "Wish You Were Here" from two blocks over.

 

—Josh, Assistant Editor

 

 

Subscribe to Ballard Street!

 

 

ABOUT: If you think your neighbors are weird, wait ’til you meet the wacky denizens of Ballard Street. Jerry Van Amerongen’s strip presents one-panel vignettes about the neighborhood. From the synchronized cell-phone users to the schemes of pets, Ballard Street’s inventive scenarios and hilarious illustrations will make you pay a little more attention to your neighbors.





WuMo!

Since being introduced to American newspapers in fall 2013, WuMo has been picked up by over 350 publications and media outlets. A longtime favorite in Europe, WuMo's sharp humor, social irreverence and general hilarity have made it a fan favorite here as well. Writer Mikael Wulff and illustrator Anders Morgenthaler are willing to skewer just about any topic, and though not all of their gags make it into print, WuMo never loses its edgy spirit. Below are a dozen of my recent favorites. You'd be hard-pressed to find anything on the funny pages with this level of artistic detail and startled, bug-eyed expressions, to say nothing of the offbeat humor and subtle — or stinging —  social commentary. Enjoy!

 

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Read more WuMo comics every day right here at GoComics!





GIVEAWAY: Pooch Café Cartoon Collections

image from http://s3.amazonaws.com/hires.aviary.com/k/mr6i2hifk4wxt1dp/14090920/80ac7c22-182d-405f-8f72-ff5194f7f9e0.png

 

Calling all Pooch Café fans! We’re giving away THREE copies of “No Collar, No Service: A Pooch Café Collection.”

 

To enter, comment on this blog post and include your FIRST and LAST names. Limit one entry per person. This contest will end on Tues., Sept., 16 at 10 a.m. CT. The winners will be announced that day on this blog. Sorry, worldwide comics fans -- this contest is open U.S. and Canada residents only.

 

Did you know that Pooch Café creator Paul Gilligan is also the co-cartoonist of Poptropica? Check it out here! 





Giveaway: Signed Heavenly Nostrils Print – Winner Announced

Hev

 

Thank you to all who entered to win the special edition SDCC 2013 SIGNED Heavenly Nostrils print! We’ve randomly selected one winner!

 

Congratulations to Craig Wittler! Please email us at rewards@gocomics.com with your shipping address and phone number. Please note: You must contact us by 9/16/14 or your prize will be forfeited.





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 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.

 

 

 

Bushy Tales  9-5-14

 

 

 

 

 9-5-14

 

 

And now...  9-6-14

 

 

 

 

Buns  9-6-14

 

 

 

 

9-6-14

 

 

 

Suburban Wilderness  9-6-14

 

 

 

 

Onion & Pea  9-8-14

 

 

 

 

Questions for Kids  9-8-14

 

 

9-8-14

 

 

 

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

 





RHYMES WITH ORANGE

As a big fan of Hilary Price's RHYMES WITH ORANGE (and of its title) I thoroughly enjoyed the "how I became a cartoonist and how I work" talk she gave at a recent CT NCS chapter meeting. Shortly thereafter she posted "Visiting The Inner Sanctum of Beetle Bailey" on her web site  with some great photos, including these:

 

Hilary Price visiting Mort Walker 2014

 Hilary Price and Mort Walker.

 

Mort Walker notes 2014

Mort's notes: where the pencil meets the paper.

 

Brian Walker's figures 2014

A mere portion of Brian Walker's awesome collection of figures.

 

And an experience I had recently compels me to also post this great summer RHYMES WITH ORANGE toon -- now, before the leaves start turning and such joys and agonies are blown into distant memory:

 

Rhymes with Orange - The Conspiracy Theory

 





Weekend Faves (September 7)

Prickly City by Scott Stantis
Prickly City by Scott Stantis

Food for thought.

--Julie

 

Lio by Mark Tatulli
Lio by Mark Tatulli

This book is a lie — there is no way to EVER understand a cat.
--Elizabeth

 

Dsoth-topper Dark Side of the Horse by Samson
Dark Side of the Horse by Samson

Yep, pretty accurate!

--Julie

 

Frazz by Jef Mallett
Frazz by Jef Mallett

No kidding. I swear summer get shorter each year. Though, I am ready for fall. Bring on those cooler temps and brilliant leaves!

-- Lindsay

 

Reality Check by Dave Whamond
Reality Check by Dave Whamond

True hipsters never identify themselves as such. Everyone else on the Internet is already busy doing it for them.

--Lucas





New Comic Alert! The Awkward Yeti by Nick Seluk

The Awkward Yeti

 

The Awkward Yeti encompasses a variety of comics about life, introversion, science and the balance of our inner dialogue. See mundane ailments turned into epic stories, decide whether you’re more of a Heart or a Brain and try to see which of your friends is the most “Lars.” The Awkward Yeti is like reading multiple webcomics in one series, all from the same creator.

 

Read The Awkward Yeti here.





Happy Grandparents Day!

What comes to mind when you think “grandparent?” Is it fresh cookies? Hugs and love? Grouchy old men? Cat naps? Warmth?  

 

You’ll find a wide cast of personalities among the grandparents who make appearances in GoComics features. In honor of National Grandparents Day, let’s take a look:

 

Ben and Olivia are warm, funny and full of gentle humor as they babysit their grandchildren. With so much affection, Ben has won the hearts of fans all over the world.

 

Ben by Daniel Shelton

 

Ben by Daniel Shelton

 

Grand Avenue star Kate Macfarlane has her hands full caring for her two grandchildren. Not your typical cookie-baking granny, Grandma Kate is a spunky, smart, power-walking, sports fan.

 

Grand Avenue by Steve Breen and Mike Thompson

 

Opinionated, loving and newly married, Stone Soup’s Grandma Evie keeps us on our toes.

 

Stone Soup by Jan Eliot

 

Lola, a witty sharpshooter, is much too busy living life to the fullest to worry about political correctness, exercise and proper diet.

 

Lola by Todd Clark

 

Sincere, sweet and, at times, a bit senile, we can’t get enough of Earl and Opal Pickles. 

 

Pickles by Brian Crane

 

Happy Grandparents Day! Who are your favorite GoComics grandparents?





Meet Your Creator: Mark Parisi (Off the Mark)

I draw a comic panel called Off the Mark.

 

Otm01
 

When I was a kid, if you had told me I would be drawing cartoons for a living, I wouldn't have believed you. I mean, I'm supposed to believe some spooky stranger?

 

I was a big fan of Peanuts, MAD Magazine and Wacky Packages. If you don't know what Wacky Packages are, look them up. They are product-parody-collector-sticker-cards produced by Topps. They came before Garbage Pail Kids. Here is one I drew for fun when I was about 12 or 13.

 

Otm02
 

(Now that I am an adult, I get to design Wacky Packages for real. I don't paint the finals, but I create the concepts and they buy them and have them painted. Like this one.)

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When The Far Side showed up, that changed everything. That was the type of humor I felt was right for me. I drew a bunch of gags, to make sure I could keep it up, then showed the strongest ones to a local editor. She offered to pay me to publish them once a week. I was lucky to have that early success. It was the confidence boost I needed to stick with it.

 

This is the first Off the Mark cartoon ever published -- from 1987.

 

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That Nails cartoon soon became a T-shirt design that appeared in catalogs. It made good money and I got BIG EYES. I figured if I could get a few more T-shirts into these catalogs, I could clean up. Rake it in. Live the life of Riley. But, of course, no other T-shirt design performed like that Nails design. That was a lesson and I don't take any success for granted.

 

Anyway, I soon started self-syndicating Off the Mark to other weekly papers. My client list slowly grew and I went daily in 1991 and added a Sunday in 1995. In 2002, Off the Mark was picked up by United Media, and then went Universal Uclick in 2011.

 

I decided to continue to make cartoons about inanimate objects and always make sure I create at least one a month. Other subjects I really enjoy tackling are cats and dogs. In real life, they enjoy tackling me. We have four cats and a dog, so there's no shortage of ideas. Or fur.

 

Otm04

 

I have always enjoyed parodying other cartoon characters. As a kid, I remember drawing Charlie Brown looking back as he ran with his kite, all excited to finally get it in the air, not realizing he was running off a cliff. I also remember having Fred Flintstone devour Barney Rubble for some reason. I've carried that parody mentality to Off the Mark.

 

Otm06
 

Technology is a fantastic place to get new ideas because it's always changing. The problem with that, though, is a cartoon can become obsolete quickly. Computers no longer look like this.

 

Otm07

 

It can be challenging working with constant deadlines, but I don't think I'd get anything done without them. In fact, I'm writing this at the very last minute. Maybe I'll end up staying up until 3 a.m. to get the rest of my work done.

 

Single-panel cartoons can be versatile in both subject matter and application. For subject matter, I can pretty much draw whatever ideas I come up with (within the bounds of taste). For application, they work well on things besides newspapers … greeting cards, day-to-day calendars, books, newsletters, presentations, etc., so my income is diversified.

 

My freelance work varies. I did a cartoon for Billboard magazine for a few years, and that led to me working with the Dixie Chicks. I periodically work on a project for the military called That Guy, which aims to discourage binge drinking. I get to draw urine and vomit and other things I secretly like to draw but have a hard time working in to my cartoon since it appears in family newspapers.

 

Otm08
 

I draw my cartoons with Rapidograph pens and Micron markers on Bristol board. Before that, I pencil and erase a lot. Then I scan the drawings into Photoshop.

 

My wife, Lynn, and I run the offthemark.com cartoon site. The cartoons are broken up by category and there's an awesome search engine. Come on by and look at all 8,000 cartoons and feel free to critique each and every one for me.

 

Being a cartoonist still feels like a dream I'm supposed to wake up from. The National Cartoonists Society awarded Off the Mark "Best in Newspaper Panels" in 2008 and 2011, and I was also honored with "Best Greeting Cards" in 2013. When I was a kid, if you had told me …

 

Otm09

 

Read Off the Mark here.





Twitter Q&A with Donna A. Lewis of Reply All and Reply All Lite

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If you missed our Q&A with Donna A. Lewis, catch up on the chat below!

 

 

 

 

➜ Add Reply All to your GoComics homepage

 

ABOUT: Reply All highlights those moments in today's information-overloaded environment when you forget your adult-self and toss the megaphone to your fifth-grade inner child.

 

Next Friday, we'll be chatting with Heavenly Nostrils creator Dana Simpson! Join us on Twitter under the hashtag: #AskDanaSimpson





Spiked Rivers

Spiked rivers

 


After some discussions with the ineffable Glenn McCoy, our editors and Glenn decided to go with a little softer version


 





R.I.P. Joan Rivers

Known for her stand-up comedy, frank fashion advice and satirical style of humor, Joan Rivers made the world laugh while keeping things interesting.

 

Our GoComics cartoonists are celebrating the life of this successful, talented, unapologetic woman.

 

Darrin BellDarrin Bell
 
 
Joe Heller by Joe Heller
Joe Heller

 

Glenn McCoy
Glenn McCoy
Henry Payne
Henry Payne
Steve Benson by Steve Benson
Steve Benson

 

Mike Luckovich by Mike Luckovich
Mike Luckovich




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 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.

 

 

 

Jillpoke Bohemia  9-3-14

 

 

 

Smith  9-3-14

 

 

 

The Boobiehatch  9-3-14

 

 

 

9-4-14

 

 

 

 

 

Courageous Man Adventures  9-4-14

 

 

 

 

Far Out!  9-4-14

 

 

 

 

H.I.P.  9-4-14

 

 

 

Millennialhood  9-4-14

 

 

 

 

9-4-14

 

 

 

Regular Creatures  9-4-14

 

 

 

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

 





The Stacks, H-L

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As has become the custom over the last few weeks, we again find ourselves hip-deep in my fabled Archive Selects folder, clutching the fronts of our collective shirts in our fists as we attempt to keep its hem unsullied by the brackish, inky waters. We wade forward, ever forward, towards a horizon that promises Garfield-orange sunrises and the dawning of comics drawn after 2009. We've come so far already, and yet, judging by the faded letters nailed to fenceposts (I'm envisioning this as a sort of forgotten swamp), we're not even halfway home. This would be cause for despair, were this an actual journey through soggy, uneven terrain and not a silly framing device for me to share more great comic strips with you. Our spirits are buoyed enormously by this news.

 

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This week, let's all get trenchfoot by stomping around in highlights from Herman, Jump Start, Knight Life and Lola! I'll put on some Creedence to get us in the mood. 

 

 

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What a fantastic workout! It's almost worth it just for the feeling of getting to peel our waterlogged socks off afterwards. For now, let's rest. While we may not speak the same language as the feral natives who make their homes here, one needs no Rosetta Stone to translate their chanted incantation of what lies ahead: "Marmaduke, Marmaduke, Marmaduke." I just hope he doesn't require a sacrifice. Sees youse nexts weeks!

 

--Dave





GoComics: Blind Items

We here at the GoComics blog hear some very interesting tidbits from our creators, editors and readers:  


Which outwardly happily married cartoonist “has a very dark personal side” and indulges in an inwardly happy marriage at home? ... Which NCS category nominee loudly groused in a high-level meeting about being frustrated with his syndicate by yelling: “They should be called the Publishers-'Hell' Syndicate?" . . . Which scandal-hit penman was spotted chatting up a woman at a SDCC event saying, “I do like to wear tank tops and rollerblade along the promenade"? ... Which cartoonist is juggling multiple lovers including her competitor at a rival syndicate and her strip's own lead character?


I'm not saying, that is for sure! *wink*!
-JG




GoComics Staff Pick: Sarah's Scribbles by Sarah Andersen

Thanks to Shena (or Acquisitions Editor) for this week's Pick!

 

Sarah's Scribbles by Sarah Andersen

 

 

Sarah Andersen has a way with a line. The subtlety of emotion in the faces of her characters is particularly remarkable when you look at the deceptive simplicity of her art. Sarah's Scribbles never fails to make me smile, and I see moments I relate to all the time when reading through her archives. Sometimes these moments are hilarious, and sometimes they're poignant, but they always have a core of truth to them that do nothing but make the humor sharper and the sense of recognition more sublime. This all makes it sound so clinical and serious, but the comic strip is anything but. Give it a shot and you'll see what I mean.

 

 

Sarah's Scribbles by Sarah Andersen

 

 

Add Sarah's Scribbles

to your GoComics homepage!

 

 

ABOUT: Sarah doesn't like waking up in the morning, being productive, or dealing with social situations. “Sarah's Scribbles” is a comic strip that follows her life, finding humor in that which is weird, awkward, and embarrassing. This comic is for barely-functioning people, created by a barely-functioning person.





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 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.

 

 

 

A Bit Sketch  8-29-14

 

 

 

 

Apple Creek Comics  8-29-14

 

 

 

 

8-29-14

 

 

 

 

8-29-14

 

 

 

 

Magic Coffee Hair  9-1-14

 

 

 

9-1-14

 

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

 





Giveaway: Signed Heavenly Nostrils Print

Hev

 

Today is an exciting day for Heavenly Nostrils fans! “Phoebe and Her Unicorn,” the first Heavenly Nostrils book published by our sister company Andrews McMeel Publishing, is available for purchase!

 

We love following the bubbly adventures of this 9-year-old daydreamer and the vain mythical beast, and we're celebrating the release of the book with a prize for one lucky fan! We’re giving away a special edition SDCC 2013 SIGNED Heavenly Nostrils print! 

 

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., Sept. 9 at 10 a.m. CT. The winner will be announced that day on this blog.

 

Want to learn more about “Phoebe and Her Unicorn”? Go here!





GIVEAWAY: BIG NATE PRIZE PACK – Winner Announced!

Big Nate Prize Pack

 

Thank you to all who entered to win a Big Nate prize pack! We’ve randomly selected one winner for each prize pack!

 

Prize Pack #1 – David Sanchez

-       Signed Big Nate print

-       “I Smell a Pop Quiz”

-       Big Nate boxed set, which includes “Big Nate: In a Class by Himself” and “Big Nate: Strikes Again

 

Prize Pack #2 – Thomas Walkup

-       Signed Big Nate print

-       “I Smell a Pop Quiz”

-       “Big Nate: Here Goes Nothing

 

If your name is listed above, please email us at rewards@gocomics.com with your shipping address and phone number. Please note: You must contact us by 9/9/14 or your prize will be forfeited.






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