Confessions of an Introvert

 

A great part about working at GoComics is the opportunity to learn about our cartoonists. It’s fascinating to see how a person’s experiences and upbringing can influence them to start cartooning. By reading Lela Lee’s “Meet Your Creator” post, I learned more about her past and how it brought her to where she is today. Reading Khalid Birdsong’s Q&A session, I was intrigued to see that living overseas was his inspiration for the Little Fried Chicken and Sushi storyline and characters. I can empathize with him as I read the comic. 

Littl Fried Chicken and Sushi by Khalid Birdsong
I grew up in Germany, so I know what this feels like.

 

Doing some of my own self-reflection, I took the Myer Briggs personality test last week (not that anyone asked me to, but because I was curious). It turns out learning more about yourself is helpful in many ways.  Professionally, it helps me to articulate my strengths and weaknesses, and on a personal level, it helps me understand my relationships better. My results were ISTJ, which stands for introvert, sensing, thinking and judging. This comic from Four Eyes accurately depicts a map of the introvert’s heart.

Four Eyes by Gemma Correll

I’ve learned from the “Meet Your Creator” interviews that many cartoonists are introverts. I wonder if we have any other things in common? I am a type A personality. For those of you who don’t know, this describes someone who is highly organized, concerned with time management, and proactive.

 

Cornered by Mike Baldwin

 

 

Real Life Adventures by Gary Wise and Lance Aldrich

 

With the seasons changing, more of my introverted side will be coming out. When it’s cold, I don’t want to leave the house for anything. It takes so much effort to put on all the layers of clothes that I need to keep me warm. By the time I get all of the clothes on, I start to break a sweat. Then I have to go outside and possibly scrape ice and snow off of my car.  Finally, I warm my car up and drive to the party or event. This process is played in slow motion in my head while I think about going out, and it seems daunting. Needless to say, I would rather be called a party-pooper than put myself through all of the trouble to go someplace where I’m not guaranteed a good time. I’m actually looking forward to the cold weather because it gives a legitimate excuse to not go out.

 

--Lauren





The Art of Richard Thompson [Video]

The beautiful and incredible book "The Art of Richard Thompson" debuts next week! Learn more about Cul de Sac cartoonist Richard Thompson in the moving video below.

 

 

  

 

 

"Losing myself in his work is akin to walking into a magnificent cathedral that doubles as an amusement park funhouse. It’s a holy experience that is humbling, hilarious, inspiring, crushing and uplifting, all at once.” -- Carter Goodrich, award-winning freelance illustrator, "The Art of Richard Thompson"





Giveaway: Calvin and Hobbes Sunday Comic Prints

Chgiveaway

 

In celebration of the 29th birthday (November 18) of our favorite boy and tiger duo, we’re giving away FOUR archive-quality Calvin and Hobbes comic strip prints!

 

To enter, leave a comment on this blog post and include your FIRST and LAST names. This contest will end Tues., Nov. 25 at 10 a.m. CT. Four winners will be announced that day on this blog. This contest is open to all readers worldwide.

 

Feeling nostalgic? Read the entire Calvin and Hobbes archive starting here!





Giveaway: Peanuts Holiday Prize Pack – Winner Announced

PeanutsPrizePack

 

Thank you to all who entered to win the Peanuts Holiday Prize Pack! We’ve randomly selected one winner!

 

Congratulations to Colin Peth! Please email us at rewards@gocomics.com with your shipping address and phone number. Please note: You must contact us by 11/25/14 or your prize will be forfeited.





This Just In!

Courtesy of our friends at FOX, GoComics proudly presents the official “Peanuts” movie trailer! Watch the exclusive clip below!

 





Sherpa Review: Suburban Fairy Tales (Part Two)

 

Suburban Fairy Tales

 

For those just tuning in, this is the first installment of a four-part editorial review of the Sherpa comic strip Suburban Fairy Tales. I introduced the strip yesterday, and include the above strip just for fun; it is not referred to in the comments below. And away we go!   -- DS

 

 

Today's commentary is from Shena Wolf, UU's Acquisitions Editor:

 

There are a lot of things that this strip is doing well, and some areas that could be strengthened. I think that the depth of the world is really good, the differentiation in characters that comes across in the writing, and some of the humor is very solid.

 

I like what you’re doing with the backgrounds in the forest scenes. Very complicated, lots going on, nice camera POV changes.

 

I like some of the running gags (pun unintended), particularly the Gingerbread Man.

 

The longer story lines are interesting but I’d suggest watching out for getting too text heavy. It isn’t that you’re necessarily overwriting, but there are some good art opportunities that are being missed because panels are turning into walls of text.

 

There are some art issues -- this is such a rich world visually that I find myself wishing the art (human character art, particularly, as the stylized look is working pretty well for the fairy tale animals) was more polished.

 

There are a lot of pretty groan-worthy puns, which I only point out because there are some pretty sophisticated setups and punchlines that work really well. There’s a lot of humor in the strip, and the bad puns seem like a step back for the writing.

 

 

Tomorrow: Editor Lucas Wetzel

 





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 anything; 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.

 

 

 

Batch Rejection  11-14-14

 

 

 

 

 

County Line  11-14-14

 

 

 

Green Pieces  11-14-14 

 

 

 

 

Kirby's Treehouse  11-14-14

 

 

 

 

 

Elmo  11-15-14

 

 

 

Frank Blunt  11-16-14

 

 

 

 

Good With Coffee  11-16-14

 

 

 

 

11-16-14

 

 

 

 

Regular Creatures  11-17-14

 

 

 

 

 

Snow Sez...  11-17-14

 

 

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

 





Part Two of Kid Beowulf Begins Today!

Kid Beowulf

Exciting news! Part Two of Alexis E. Fajardo’s Kid Beowulf begins today on GoComics!

 

Inspired by the epic poem "Beowulf," Kid Beowulf is an action-adventure story that follows 12-year-old twin brothers Beowulf and Grendel as they travel across distant lands and meet fellow epic heroes therein. The strip begins with the twins' origin story, "Kid Beowulf and the Blood-Bound Oath," a tale that goes back several generations to Beowulf and Grendel's grandfather, Hrothgar. Hrothgar is a hotheaded prince of Daneland on a quest for power – one that leads him to a fiery dragon, an enchanted sword and an oath sworn in blood. When Hrothgar breaks his oath, he breaks his kingdom, and the only thing that will save it is a family he's forgotten and heroes not yet born!

 

Read Kid Beowulf from the beginning here!





"Peanuts Movie" Sneak Peek!

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Source: USA Today

 

USA Today published a sneak peek into "The Peanuts Movie," arriving in theatres next year, and we can’t wait!

 

Moviegoers can expect to see 3-D computer-animated characters including Snoopy, Woodstock, Linus and Peppermint Patty. However, even with modern technology and animation coming into play, director Steve Martino has made it a priority to stay “true to the look and feel of the comic strips.”

 

With Peanuts celebrating its 65th anniversary next year, we are excited to see the gang come to life on the big screen!

 

Read the full article on USA Today here.





Wizardly Crossover

Celebrating its 50th anniversary this month, we’re excited to announce the launch of Wizard of Id Classics! In tribute of this incredible comic strip’s milestone anniversary, Wizard of Id references are popping up on GoComics. We love white-hot crossover action, and we’ve compiled them here for you to enjoy!

 

B.C. by Mastroianni and Hart
B.C. by Mastroianni and Hart
 
Pooch Cafe by Paul Gilligan
Pooch Cafe by Paul Gilligan

 

 

Scary Gary by Mark Buford
Scary Gary by Mark Buford

 

 

Shoe by Gary Brookins and Susie MacNelly
Shoe by Gary Brookins and Susie MacNelly

 

  

The Barn by Ralph Hagen
The Barn by Ralph Hagen

 

 

 

Ballard Street by Jerry Van Amerongen
Ballard Street by Jerry Van Amerongen

 

 

Momma by Mell Lazarus
Momma by Mell Lazarus

 

Speed Bump by Dave Coverly
Speed Bump by Dave Coverly



Pickles by Brian Crane
Pickles by Brian Crane

 

 

Garfield by Jim Davis
Garfield by Jim Davis


 

Off the Mark by Mark Parisi
Off the Mark by Mark Parisi




Weekend Faves (Novemember 16)

F Minus by Tony Carrillo
F Minus by Tony Carrillo

An edible backpack that you can fill to the seams with ice cream? Someone please point me in the direction of this ice cream shop because I'm heading there right now.

--Julie

 

Biographic by Steve McGarry
Biographic by Steve McGarry

Yes, yes and yes!

--Julie

 

Stone Soup by Jan Eliot
Stone Soup by Jan Eliot

Believe it or not, you’ll miss these moments when you’re all grown up.
--Lauren

 

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

Pretty progressive of Red's folks to let him get a tattoo of his dog's face on his arm at age 8.

--Dave

 

Pooch Cafe by Paul Gilligan
Pooch Cafe by Paul Gilligan

Love seeing gorgeous art like this in the funny pages.
-- Elizabeth

 

Thatababy by Paul Trap
Thatababy by Paul Trap

Single tear. :(
--Lindsay





New Comic Alert! Wizard of Id Classics by Brant Parker and Johnny Hart

 

Wiz141117

 

In 1964 cartoonist Johnny Hart, creator of B.C., came up with an idea for a second comic strip while flipping through a deck of playing cards. He enlisted longtime friend and mentor, Brant Parker to help co-produce and illustrate the Wizard of Id. To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Wizard, we have launched Wizard of Id Classics here on GoComics. Join us daily and follow the antics of Wiz, Blanche, Bung, Rodney, the King and all the other “ID-iots” from the very beginning!

 

Read Wizard of Id Classics here!





Sherpa Review: Suburban Fairy Tales (Part One)

 

Welcome to the second-ever Sherpa Review, a week-long series of posts in which Universal Uclick editors offer comments, suggestions, and feedback on one feature. Today's post gives some background information, and offers you the chance to familiarize yourself with the work. The next four days will each offer a different editorial take.

 

SFT 7-9-14

Title: Suburban Fairy Tales

 

Creator: Francis Bonnet

 

Premise: A large cast of familiar fairy tale characters live in a modern suburban community, and some of them attend high school together.

 

Characters:
Pinocchio
Frog Prince/Prince Charming 1
Prince Charming 2
Rapunzel
Red Riding Hood
Three Little Pigs
Goldilocks
Humpty Dumpty
Rumpelstiltskin
Big Bad Wolf
Mr. Gepeto
Gingerbread Man
Cheshire Cat
Pied Piper
Mrs. Hagatha
Bo Peep
The Lost Sheep
Santa Claus
And more...

Francis Bonnet in his booth

 

Notes:

Francis Bonnet graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2001 with a degree in illustration. From 2003-2005 he published the strip Crunchy, about a crazy turtle, on Comics Sherpa. He ended that feature and launched Suburban Fairy Tales in 2005. He paused it from 2006-2008 in order to do Made To Malfunction, a strip about a robot. Suburban Fairy Tales resumed in 2008, and has appeared three times a week ever since (except for a very brief hiatus in 2013 during which he experimented with a short-lived strip called Insane Forest).

 

In addition to running on Sherpa, Suburban Fairy Tales appears on francisbonnet.com and Facebook. Bonnet has self-published four Suburban Fairy Tales books, and sells and signs at various Comic Cons.

 

Preparation:
Read a curated sampling of strips from the past seven years here.
To read the most recent five months of the strip, begin here.
Read the complete 2008-2015 Sherpa run, from the beginning, here, or backwards from today, here.

Tomorrow's Review:

Shena Wolf, UU's Acquisitions Editor

 

-- David Stanford, aide de sherpa

 





Meet Your Creator: Alexis E. Fajardo (Kid Beowulf)

SHILD_FrontCVR

 

 

The first cartoon book I remember reading was a Pogo collection. It had a ratty, crimson-colored cover with frayed edges and a yellowed picture of Pogo on the front, doffing his hat to the reader. I didn’t get any of the jokes in the book, but I remember poring over the drawings and loving Walt Kelly’s artwork. When I was 8 years old, I remember being introduced to the French comic Asterix, and I immediately fell in love with Albert Uderzo’s artwork and Rene Goscinny’s writing – it was the perfect mix of humor, history and cartooning. I knew then and there I wanted to draw like that some day. The other book that had a direct impact on me was Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. It was the first superhero comic I read with a beginning, a middle and an end; I loved how Miller made it feel like a movie – that book showed me that a comic could convey depth of story and character. Those three comics – mixed with a healthy dose of history and mythology – are the primary influences on Kid Beowulf.

 

SOR_SPLASH

 

 

It would take a very long time for those influences to filter down into my work, though. My first foray into cartooning was comic strips, and I had dreams of being a syndicated cartoonist. I did a strip in high school and through college called Plato’s Republic, which I carried over to the Web in 1998 and would submit to syndicates. I did it daily for about five years; it was very much a hybrid of Doonesbury and Bloom County, but it never got any traction in the comic strip world, and I have countless rejection letters from syndicates to prove it. 

PlatosRepublicStrips

 

Eventually, as my artwork and storytelling got better, I wanted to break out of the confines of the four-panel strip. That’s when I started to play around with comic books.  I had a friend at the time doing a fantasy zine and he suggested I contribute a story. My tendency is always toward the classics, and I happened to be re-reading BEOWULF at the time. Somewhere along the way, it struck me as funny to imagine Beowulf as a kid, and before I knew it I started drawing a story about it. Kid Beowulf started life as a six-page zine – I never expected I’d still be doing it over 10 years and 600 pages later!

 

OriginsMasthead

 

 

It took time for Kid Beowulf to find its legs – both in the writing and the drawing. I’m primarily self-taught, so whatever drawing style I have is born out of my limitations as an artist. I love the lush line-work of classic cartoonists like Walt Kelly, Albert Uderzo and Peyo, but I also admire the action storytelling of shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender. When the drawing days are good, I’m able to mash all those influences together, and hopefully, it comes across on the page.

 

CID_BULLS_Page

 

I’m also very lucky to have a day job in the comics industry working at the Charles M. Schulz Studio (Creative Associates) in Santa Rosa, California. Located on the same campus as the Schulz Museum, the studio handles PEANUTS licensing, offering editorial and content direction to licensees worldwide.  The studio is filled with artists, cartoonists, and sculptors, all of whom have great affection for Schulz’s legacy.  One of the projects I’m involved in is the new series of PEANUTS monthly comic books from BOOM! Studios; I help put each issue together with editorial direction, and will occasionally write or ink a story.

 

LexInking_PEANUTS_SMALL

 

 

My home studio is about a 10-foot walk from the back door of my house. I try to do some work every day, whether it’s writing, sketching, drawing or coloring, and my dog, Loki, always accompanies me to and from the studio. There are three books done so far in the Kid Beowulf series – the first of which is being colorized and featured on GoComics. I’m really excited to bring the series to a whole new audience – it’s certainly a different experience to read one page a day versus reading a book all at once, and I hope readers are enjoying the story.

 

 

Untitled

 

 

My most recent work is stand-alone adventure from a new series I’m doing called The Kid Beowulf Eddas – these are short stories featuring the secondary characters in the KidB. Universe. The newest story is called “Shild and the Dragon,” and it’s the story of how the Dragon lost his eye and Old King Shild lost his hand. For those reading Kid Beowulf on GoComics, they may have remembered this scene, which inspired the new story…

Kb140917

 

Shild and the Dragon is available online and in print form.

 

Right now on my drawing table is the next Kid Beowulf Edda featuring fan-favorite, Holger (Hrothgar’s well-adjusted younger brother).  After I’m done with the series of short stories I’ll rejoin twin brothers Beowulf and Grendel and begin the next chapter in the cycle. In addition to the new work, I’ve also begun a Patreon campaign, so if you are enjoying Kid Beowulf and want to see it succeed, this is the best way to show your support and get some behind-the-scenes goodies on the creation of the series. So stick around – the story is just getting started!

 

Read Kid Beowulf here, follow Lex on Twitter or become a patron of Kid Beowulf at Patreon!





Twitter Q&A with Mike Shiell of The Wandering Melon

WanderingMelon_3

 

Special thank to cartoonist Mike Shiell of The Wandering Melon for joining us on Twitter! If you missed the Q&A, check out the conversation below:

 

 

 

Add The Wandering Melon to your GoComics homepage

 

 

ABOUT: When my melon goes off on a free-style cerebral stroll, untethered from the constraints of boring stuff like logic and reason it sometimes just meanders aimlessly for a while and then eventually returns empty handed. Other times however, it comes back bearing some interesting little nuggets. For example; an idea for a weird invention or toy, a goofy little animation, a quirky memory from childhood or a slightly dark gag cartoon. Who knows what the wandering melon is going to drag home from its journeys?!  

 

Jump on Twitter next week, Friday, Nov. 14 for another live cartoonist Q&A on Twitter with Kid Beowulf creator Alexis Fajardo! #AskLexFajarado 





The Art of Richard Thompson

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Source: Amazon

 

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m addicted to technology. It’s rare to see me without my phone in my hand or my fingers tapping away on my laptop.

 

Yet there’s still something so enchanting about a beautiful, hardcopy book. It’s magical to flip through glossy pages and get lost in the art and the words. 

 

I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of “The Art of Richard Thompson.” With contributions from Universal Uclick and GoComics creators Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes) and Nick Galifianakis (Nick and Zuzu), the highly illustrated book presents Cul de Sac creator Richard Thompson’s work.

 

10676309_10204786671174433_7660081575092611001_n
Richard Thompson and Nick Galifianakis; Source: Nick Galifianakis

In an interview with Michael Cavna of The Washington Post's Comic Riffs, Bill Watterson speaks to the book’s beauty, saying, "About 80 percent of Richard’s career was news to me when we put this together, so I assume the variety and quality of Richard’s caricatures, illustrations and comics will astonish other readers, too. It’s some beautiful stuff, and I hope the book finds its way into the hands of young artists, especially. The book was a real labor of love for all of us.”

 

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Source: Amazon

 

Stay up-to-date on book signings and reviews on Facebook or visit Richard’s blog for bonus material. And preorder “The Art of Richard Thompson” here!





REVIEW PREVIEW

 

Next week LAUGH TRACKS will present the second Sherpa Review, in which GoComics editors take a close look at Francis Bonnet's Suburban Fairy Tales. The review will run in four parts, beginning on Monday. See you then!

 

Suburban Fairy Tales lift art





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 anything; 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  11-11-14

 

 

 

Lili and Derek  11-11-14

 

 

 

Promises Promises  11-11-14

 

 

A.P..E. (anmal puns 4 every 1)  11-12-14

 

 

 

Boogerbrain  11-12-14

 

 

 

 

Girth  11-12-14

 

 

 

 

Smith  11-12-14

 

 

 

11-12-14

 

 

 

 

Buns  11-13-14

 

 

 

Mort's Island 11-13-14

 

 

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

 





GoComics Staff Pick: Grand Avenue by Steve Breen and Mike Thompson

Grand Avenue by Steve Breen and Mike Thompson
Grand Avenue by Steve Breen and Mike Thompson | gocomics.com/grand-avenue

 

I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to discover Grand Avenue, but now that I have, I’m completely hooked. I can’t get enough of the sports-loving, power-walking Grandma Kate who spends her days caring for siblings Gabby and Michael. Modern, realistic and witty, it’s easy to get lost in the archives, which I do, frequently. 

 

—Julie, Marketing & Publicity Coordinator 

 

 

Grand Avenue by Steve Breen and Mike Thompson

ABOUT: Grand Avenue stars Kate Macfarlane, an avid sports fan who powerwalks to stay in shape. Not your typical cookie-baking granny, Grandma Kate has her hands full with her terrific twosome, who are best buddies even though their personalities clash. Gabby is an ambitious, newspaper-reading little girl who plans to become a billionaire before she's 30. Her brother Michael is a more sensitive soul who prefers riding his skateboard or performing scenes from Shakespeare to just about anything else.

 

 

Add Grand Avenue to your GoComics hompeage!

 





Giveaway: Peanuts Holiday Prize Pack

 

PeanutsPrizePack

 

Want to count down to the holidays with Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the gang? We’re giving you the chance to win a Peanuts Christmas Advent Calendar PLUS an archive-quality Peanuts comic strip print!

 

To enter, leave a comment on this blog post and include your FIRST and LAST names. This contest will end on Tues., Nov. 18 at 10 a.m. CT. The winner will be announced that day on this blog. This contest is open to all readers worldwide.

 

The countdown to the holidays is on! If you’re looking for the perfect gift for family and friends, be sure to check out our gift suggestions!

 

P.S. Did you know Peanuts is celebrating its 65th anniversary next year? Browse the archives here.

 






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