To be young, gifted and opinionated

Though I often think of GoComics as a happy place I can go to read comics and escape the world's insanity, it's also a great destination to get a little perspective and a dry, humorous outlook on many of the big stories and issues currently setting our world aflame. The GoComics Editorial roster includes Pulitzer Prize winners and heavyweights like Pat Oliphant, Tom Toles and Signe Wilkinson, but I often find myself turning to some of the younger voices for both unconventional styles and an extra degree of outrage.


Here's a smattering of recent offerings from three of my favorites, starting with this trio from Darrin Bell.








And from Matt Bors...








and from Jen Sorensen





Nick Galifianakis ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 1.30.22 PM



You’ve probably seen the #IceBucketChallenge videos spreading like wildfire across social media, which are raising awareness for ALS. A few of our GoComics creators have recently been challenged to take part!


In the video below, Nick and Zuzu creator Nick Galifianakis nominates Richard Thompson (Cul de Sac), Stephan Pastis (Pearls Before Swine) and Calvin and Hobbes cartoonist Bill Watterson (with Lee Salem, C&H editor and former Universal Uclick/GoComics president, as Watterson’s stand-in).


Will these talented cartoonists accept the ALS #IceBucketChallenge? Stay tuned…




Giveaway: Limited Edition Pearls Before Swine Prints



Last week, the auction for the originial artwork featuring the Stephan Pastis/Bill Watterson collaboration ended with the combined total bringing in more than $74,000! Particularly noteworthy, a significant portion of the proceeds will be donated to Team Cul de Sac, which benefits Parkinson’s research.


For those of you who weren’t lucky enough to win the incredible, original artwork, we’re giving you a chance to win a special edition print of the Pearls Before Swine comic strips illustrated by Bill Watterson! We’ll randomly select THREE winners for this giveaway.


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., August 26 at 10 a.m. CT. The winners will be announced that day on this blog. This contest is open to all readers worldwide.


Can't wait to win? Purchase the prints here!




Thank you to all who entered to win the SDCC prize packs!


We have randomly selected two winners!


Congratulations to Ken Warford and Austin O'Connell-Milne! Please email us at with your shipping information and phone number. Please note: You must contact us by Tues., August 26 or your prize will be forfeited.


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.




Winding Roads  8-15-14











County Line 8-16-14









Frank Blunt 8-17-14





Good With Coffee 8-17-14



Green Pieces 8-17-14





Batch Rejection 8-18-14





Magic Coffee Hair 8-18-14




Onion & Pea 8-18-14


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


Weekend Faves (August 17)


F Minus by Tony Carrillo
F Minus by Tony Carrillo

My hope is that one day, my descendants will be born into a world free of homework.




Baldo by Hector D. Cantu and Carlos Castellanos
Baldo by Hector D. Cantu and Carlos Castellanos

Oh, Gracie, get used to it. This is how all book clubs work in adulthood.

  Biographic by Steve McGarry

Huge Hendrix fan here. Cannot wait for the biopic!


Dark Side of the Horse by Samson
Dark Side of the Horse by Samson




Bloom County by Berkeley Breathed
Bloom County by Berkeley Breathed

It's tough work being in the comics industry. Thank goodness for deadlines.


Meet Your Creator: Peter Mann (The Quixote Syndrome)


The following excerpt is from an interview with an ill-mannered journalist who invited me to coffee on the pretense of asking me a few questions about my comics. I present them to you, reader, not because I presume that you wish to know the sordid details of my life or the gruesome mechanics behind the gleaming façade of a finished comic, but because I would like to show you how admirably I acquitted myself in the face of this man’s boorish interrogation. May my rectitude serve as an example to the denizens of this World Wide Web.

~Peter Mann, author and longtime sufferer of The Quixote Syndrome


Loutish Journalist [LJ]: How did you come to cartooning in the first place?


PM: I came to cartooning after a boyhood at sea. At the tender age of eleven, while visiting San Francisco for the National Youth Spelling Bee, I was shanghaied by a buxom chaperone with a chloroform-laced kerchief. I awoke hours later aboard a packet on the Pacific with the business end of harpoon poking at my boot heel. My whaling apprenticeship had begun. But, as I realized years later, after I had been thoroughly brined with ocean water, caked with spermaceti, and perfumed with ambergris, my schooling in cartooning had also just commenced. In those empty hours after a catch, after the decks had been swabbed, the baleen stacked, and the blubber casked, I would nestle down in my coil of ropes with a rusty knife nicked from the galley and scratch the content of my mind’s eye into the ivory tooth of whale.


LJ: Alright, alright, could you stop wasting everyone’s time? Write your phony novel on your own time, bub. What say you just answer my questions truthfully and to the point?


PM: Oh. I just thought…Okay.  


LJ: I’ll ask again: how did you come to cartooning?


PM: I only recently—as in, within the last year— started drawing comics with any regularity or seriousness of purpose. I’ve always enjoyed drawing since I was a kid and have been a compulsive doodler for as long as I can recall. At some point in my childhood I wanted to be a cartoonist, but it never felt like a singular burning desire. Instead, I always wanted to be a cartoonist-writer-artist-comedic actor-filmmaker-gentleman farmer, and I didn’t really see a problem with that when I was 11 (I still have trouble seeing why that’s a problem). But I clammed up sometime in middle school and my drawing went pretty much dormant through high school. Thankfully, I got back into it in college. I took a couple art classes and drew the comics page of Wesleyan’s student paper with two friends for a little over a year before we got the sack. These comics were crude in both form and content. My most recurring strip was called “Fatty McJerkface,” featuring the random and excessively violent exploits of a loathsome bully with a vulnerable core.


LJ: Ok, pal, let’s not get too bogged down in the early years. No one wants to hear about the crap you made when you were a kid or, even worse, an attention-hungry brat in college. 


PM: Right. Sorry.



LJ: Isn’t it true the only reason you kept drawing after college was to evade the crippling anxiety of being a normal talentless dullard?


PM: Um, well, that and I liked drawing.


LJ: So then what? How did you go from being a fresh-faced college graduate with a wishy-washy interest in art and no real commitment to comics to a thirty-something-year-old man-child talking people’s ear off about his “artistic process”?


PM: After college, I got serious about making art, though I forgot about comics for a while. But I did so by going to graduate school in history—that is, after first spending two years doodling on beer coasters in Prague as an English teacher, followed by more doodling on post-it notes at various office jobs around San Francisco. A history PhD was a circuitous route to making art, I suppose, but I’m glad I did it. I got to read a lot of good books and soak my brain in the past, which has been fantastic for collecting raw material for stories and images. I studied Modern European Intellectual history so that I could sprawl across disciplines and study literature, art, philosophy, and history all at once. It was really a choice born of intellectual gluttony more than anything.


LJ: So that’s why your comics are so pretentious and backward looking!


PM: Meanwhile, I was becoming increasingly wrapped up in printmaking: woodcut, linocut, lithograph, and etching. Ever since college, German Expressionism and early twentieth-century graphic art in general have been a huge influence. And since 2009, I’ve been steadily making prints and drawings and exhibiting them in local galleries in San Francisco. Most of my “fine art” work tends to have a similar historical/literary bent, since that’s what I’ve been immersed in for the last several years of my life.  My most recent big projects have been a print series of social types from turn-of-the-century San Francisco and a collection of drawings on every page (physically) of Don Quixote, which were covertly placed inside books in San Francisco bookstores. 


LJ: So why did you all of a sudden start making comics? Was it because you realized you were mediocre hack of a woodcut artist?


PM:  I still make prints and drawings, in addition to comics. But last fall I decided to throw myself into comics with a new project involving my day job. I teach in a freshman humanities program at Stanford called Structured Liberal Education, so I decided I would do a comic each week to go with one of the weekly readings from our syllabus.  I also opened the challenge to my students and encouraged them to submit comics related to the course.  I really enjoyed it. I found the syncing of syllabus and comic to be a helpful constraint for deciding what to draw that week, as well as a great way to engage with the text in a new, more playful way than teaching or scholarship.  It was satisfying to have a weekly output to balance the input of heavy reading—at least that’s my comics-as-enema theory of artistic creation. And the quick turnover is especially nice, in contrast to some of the other creative projects I’m currently slogging through. I also enjoy reading with a sense of creative purpose. Whether your purpose is to teach a class, draw a comic, write an essay or a novel, it can redeem some otherwise tough and recalcitrant reads. What I love about comics in particular is how so many different artistic domains merge on the page: not just visual art and writing and the wonderful alchemy between them, but also cinematic concerns of composing shots and stories in sequence. It’s like Wagner’s idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk without all the agonizing music.  


LJ: Gesundheit! Look, I nodded off there for a while, but from what it sounds like, this whole comics thing is just a school assignment, huh?


PM: The first 30 comics from this year bear the indelible stamp of the syllabus I teach, but now I’m free to do whatever and am drunk with a sense of possibility. I plan to move into some longer serial projects this winter, but I still aim to keep The Quixote Syndrome in the same literary/historical ambit: often irreverent, occasionally profound, and always with a heavy dose of strange. There are so many stories to be fashioned and refashioned from the landfill of history, and I’m excited to keep rummaging. I still have a lot to learn about making comics along the way.




LJ: You can say that again! Did you even read any comics when you were a kid? You strike me as the kind of jerk who never read the Sunday funnies or comic books. Is that true?


PM: Kind of. I’ll admit I’ve never been into superheroes. My friends give me hell for it, but I just don’t see the allure of stories about people with world-saving super powers. I much prefer stories about people with earthly powers and outsized neuroses. And while I was never a habitual reader of syndicated strips, I was a big fan as a kid (and still am) of book editions of Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side. I even wrote Bill Waterson a fan letter when I was 10 or 11 years old. MAD and Cracked magazines also made a huge impression on me. So did a series of books called Illustrated Classics: Robin Hood, The Three Musketeers, Treasure Island, and the like, all abridged and illustrated for kids.


As an adult, the comic works I keep in my treasure chest are: everything by R. Crumb and Joe Sacco, Franz Mazereel’s woodcut novels, George Grosz’s Weimar era cartoons, Charles Burns’s Black Hole, Art Spiegelman’s Maus, Jason Lutes’ Berlin series, Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics, Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s From Hell, the one-of-a-kind Vivian Girls of Henry Darger, and the brilliant and hilariously crude art of David Shrigley.  I think in general I’m more drawn to long-form comics because I come to them from a novel-reading sensibility. That, and because it’s the form I’d ultimately like to work in.


LJ: Alright, I can’t stomach much more. Last question: do you ever worry that your sickeningly arcane subject matter will drive readers either away from your comics or to your house with pitchforks and bags of flaming feces?


PM: Nah. There’s plenty of comics out there for everyone. And I live several floors up, high above the pitchforks and feces.


LJ: Well, there you have it folks: Peter Mann: comics greenhorn (someone buy this guy a straight ruler, please!), frustrated historian, and insufferable dilettante. In short, a real mess.


PM: Who are you talking to?


LJ: Shut up and finish your coffee.


Read The Quixote Syndrome here

Twitter Q&A with Ryan Pagelow of Buni




This week, we chatted with cartoonist Ryan Pagelow (Buni comics). If you missed the Twitter Q&A, catch up on the chat below.





➜ Subscribe to Buni comics


ABOUT BUNI: Buni is a dark comic about an optimistic bunny with terrible luck. Always positive, Buni doesn’t understand that the cute world he lives in is really out to get him, whether it’s at the hands of mafia teddy bears, garden gnomes or zombies. However he remains undeterred, even when it comes to the girl he loves who clearly has a boyfriend and is uninterested in Buni. ­­The comic’s simple dialogue-free format is designed for an international audience and was one of the 10 finalists in the Comic Strip Superstar contest.



Tune in next week on Twitter for a chat with Oh, Brother! creators Bob Weber Jr. and Jay Stephens!   

Comics that Bite

In case you hadn’t heard (and let’s face it, how could you not), IT’S SHARK WEEK!


While I have to admit I haven’t actually caught (no pun intended) any of the Shark Week specials on TV, I’ve gotten a few laughs out of the Shark Week jokes popping up across my GoComics homepage this week.


The Wizard of Id’s storyline has a special sharky twist this week.


Wizard of Id by Parker and Hart


Lost Sheep made my heart skip a beat.


Lost Sheep by Dan Thompson



I’ve even seen GoComics editorial cartoonists creatively incorporating well-timed Shark Week references while keeping us covered on current events.


Marshall Ramsey
Marshall Ramsey


Dana Summers
Dana Summers


Perhaps if Shark Week invaded some of my favorite guilty-pleasure TV shows, I’d be more likely to tune in.


Dogs of C-Kennel by Mick & Mason Mastroianni
Dogs of C-Kennel by Mick & Mason Mastroianni


For now, I’ll get my Shark Week fix through my comics.



All That Frazz

From the sound of it, last week's Frazzstravaganza was pretty popular with those of you who enjoy things that are objectively terrific. Glad to hear it-- Frazz gets to feel the love, and I get to feel a little less alone in this big, mean world after noticing how perfectly our respective tastes overlap. I can't wait to find out what else we have in common... I bet you like soft pillows and pepperoni pizza, too!




I'm tempted to use this week's entry to burn off the thousand or so leftover words I cut from last week's entry about Frazz's joke structure and my complicated numerological theories where every third numeral that appears in the strip actually spells out the true name of God (it's "Ricky"), but a jam-packed workload this week means I'll have to dispose with the haughty nonsense until sometime down the road. Instead, have another sip from the fire hose!


































Ah, refreshing! Thanks, Frazz.



GoComics Staff Pick: Ripley's Believe It or Not!

Ripley's Believe It or Not!


Thanks to Aaron, Manager of Consumer & Client operations, for this week's Staff Pick!


Did you know that there is a tick that causes hamburger allergies?  How about the fact that ancient Egyptians believed rubbing a dead mouse on your tooth could cure a toothache?  As the “longest continuously published cartoon panel,” the comic strip Ripley’s Believe It or Not! has entertained readers with odd facts and trivia for nearly 100 years.  According to the book Charlie Brown & Charlie Schulz, this strip even helped launch Charles Schulz’s career by printing a piece of artwork that was the inspiration for the character that eventually became known as Snoopy.  If you are looking for a comic to read with friends and family this would be a great option!


➜ Subscribe to Ripley's Believe It or Not! here!

R.I.P. Robin Williams

Steve Kelley by Steve Kelley
Steve Kelley


The world is mourning the loss of the very talented Robin Williams. A beloved actor and comedian, Williams kept us laughing throughout his career. The GoComics community is honoring his memory this week with many touching tributes, and I wanted to share them here.


Marshall Ramsey
Marshall Ramsey


Gary Varvel
Gary Varvel
Nick Anderson
Nick Anderson


Henry Payne
Henry Payne


Jeff Stahler
Jeff Stahler
Phil Hands
Phil Hands
Steve Breen
Steve Breen
Darrin Bell
Darrin Bell
Jerry Holbert
Jerry Holbert
Mike Luckovich
Mike Luckovich
Clay Jones
Clay Jones
Bob Gorrell
Bob Gorrell

The Saurus is my favorite dinosaur



If this were an actual trap, I would have been caught. Most of my colleagues would have been, too. English majors (and copy editors) like me really can't resist wanting to reach into the screen to grab the erroneous "you're," pluck out the apostrophe like an errant eyebrow hair, hack off the "e" and squish it all back together. We do it every day, less out of pedantry than compulsion.


My only question with this "Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal" is who is hunting English majors, and why? Are these flannel-clad men job hunters? Sensitive chaps who want to corral free ghostwriting and proofreading skills for the autobiographies they've always wanted to write but haven't ever felt confident enough to do so? We'll probably never know. But that little bit of mystery, combined with the epic levels of sugary whimsy found in every SMBC, is what keeps me reading.


As for the whole grammar/spelling stickler thing, I can't promise us English majors are going to tone it down any. Not while Deer Jesus is still out there, anyway...







We had a blast at San Diego Comic-Con meeting fans, hosting creator interactions and being surrounded by comics madness! We want to share some SDCC souvenirs with you! We’re giving away TWO SDCC prize packs!


The sets include the following SIGNED prints:


- Angry Little Girls

- Badlands

- Bloom County

- Jim Benton

- Kid Beowulf

- La Cucaracha

- Last Kiss

- Lola

- Luann

- Molly and the Bear

- MythTickle

- Pickles

- Sunshine State

- The K Chronicles

- Tomb of the Zombies

- Too Much Coffee Man


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., August 19 at 10 a.m. CT. The winner will be announced that day on this blog. This contest is open to all readers worldwide.


Want more SDCC action? Check out our Pinterest board for a gallery of awesome pictures!




Thank you to all who entered to win The Fusco Brothers signed print!


We have randomly selected a winner!


Congratulations to Jim Benson! Please email us at with your shipping information and phone number. Please note: You must contact us by Tues., August 19 or your prize will be forfeited.


Editor's Picks will resume on Tuesday, August 19th.

Weekend Faves (August 10)

Momma by Mell Lazarus
Momma by Mell Lazarus




Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller
Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller

Good luck to everyone going back to school this week!


Frazz by Jef Mallett
Frazz by Jef Mallett

"Eensy weensy"?! In my day, spiders never got smaller than "itsy bitsy" and we liked it that way, because you could always keep your eye on 'em!



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

Well, you know what they say about karma...



Over the Hedge by T Lewis and Michael Fry
Over the Hedge by T Lewis and Michael Fry

Right now a good friend of mine is working at Burning Man guarding the festival's namesake figure. Another is planning his own mini-Burning Man at a farm in Southeast Kansas. That sounds fun and all, but I'd much rather go to Burning Dog.


Lio by Mark Tatulli
Lio by Mark Tatulli

I think it might be time to introduce Lio to Alix from Stone Soup.

MEET YOUR CREATOR: Ruben Bolling (Super-Fun-Pak Comix)

Today, we bring you a guest post from Ruben Bolling!


It’s not always easy being the editor of the immensely popular worldwide sensation Super-Fun-Pak Comix.


Managing the artistic output and schedules of as many varied cartoonists as we have at Super-Fun-Pak is a constant challenge. Some never meet a deadline, others’ writing is so laced with obscenities that preparing them for publication is more like translating than editing. One cartoonist submits his comics by mysteriously leaving soiled envelopes on my pillow (no matter how many times I change the locks on my door).


But when I was approached years ago by Nerrex, Inc. to assume the mantle of the most esteemed (indeed, the only) anthology comic strip, I knew it was an honor I couldn’t refuse.


Who wouldn’t leap at the chance to work with comics legend Rex Feinstein on his delightful domestic comedy Marital Mirth?



Or edit Steve Heisseldorf, the great-great-grandson of comics pioneer Wolfgang Heisseldorf, on one of the classic comic strips of all time, Immigrant Kids, as timely a look at the German immigrant experience as ever?



Or present to the world the latest hijinks of Dinkle, the UNlovable loser?



My day starts at Nerrex headquarters, where I undergo my daily radiation baseline testing. (In addition to Super-Fun-Pak Comix, Nerrex is also the world’s leading producer of industrial byproduct waste management products.)



Then it’s off to the salt mines (another of Nerrex’s industrial interests), where I make a left, take elevator bank L to the 23rd floor, pass the break room and settle into my office.



My mornings are usually taken up by slotting various comic strips into upcoming Super-Fun-Pak installments and fielding complaints from readers, clients, cartoonists, Nerrex executives, advertisers, printers and my parents.  There isn’t a single constituency of, or interest in, the comic strip that doesn’t complain loudly, angrily and constantly.  But as they say, you can’t please everyone.


When it’s time for a well-deserved lunch, I always find a quiet, tasteful restaurant without a liquor license, where I will be certain not to run into any of the Super-Fun-Pak cartoonists who may be in town dropping off their contributions.


The afternoons usually consist of a few martinis with the boys from accounting, followed by a nap, or, if the quarterly budget reports are due, a jaunt to the track.


And there you have it: an inside look at the typical day your humble editor. I’ve always dreamed of being in the entertainment/literary field; I don’t think there’s a higher calling than giving the world chuckle and a different way of looking at life. Yet editing Super-Fun-Pak Comix isn’t a bad alternative, because the hours are good, plus Nerrex has a decent dental plan. (They have to, because of the radiation.)



Please read Super-Fun-Pak Comix every day, and retweet and share with your online pals. 


-Ruben Bolling


Read Super-Fun-Pak Comix here or follow Ruben on Twitter.

It's World Cat Day right Meow!



Happy World Cat Day, GoComics readers!




Here at the GoComics HQ, we're pretty big fans of cats.  Lots of us have them, and everyone loves seeing them in our comics.






Who are your favorite cartoon cats?  How are you celebrating this very important day?  I wish I was celebrating like Andy from "Parks and Recreation":




(Be sure to click here for a bunch of great cat gifs and here for a list of the best cartoon cats ever -- though they're egregiously missing our buddy Garfield.) 


-- EAP

Twitter Q&A with Graham Nolan of Sunshine State




Miss today's Q&A with Sunshine State's Graham Nolan this afternoon? Catch up on the chat below!





➜ Subscribe to Sunshine State here!


ABOUT: Sunshine State is your vacation spot on the comics page! A place to go when the news is bad or the weather is cold. A place to leave the troubles of the day behind and enjoy a warm breeze and a cool drink. Join Mel, Dink, Liz and Paul on their excursions of whimsy as they try to navigate the increasingly technological encroachment of the 21st century. So kick off your shoes and slip on your flip flops, it's time to have some "FUN IN THE SUN”!


Tune in to next Friday's Q&A with Buni creator Ryan Pagelow



Visit R.C. Harvey's Blog



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