ARE WE HAVING WHITE-HOT CROSSOVER ACTION YET?

Until last night I had somehow missed both the remarkable four-day ZIPPY THE PINHEAD series that Bill Griffith and Bil Keane did together, and Zippy's appearance in FAMILY CIRCUS.  I hasten to pass along word of these marvels, which Bill Griffith explained in the Appreciation he wrote shortly after Bil Keane's passing, here.

 

Zippy in Family Circus 3-7-95

 



Relating to the Comics

Summer is finally here and I am beyond excited! It’s finally time for bonfires, swimming, campouts, bike rides and s'mores! 

 

 

Stone Soup by Jan Eliot
Stone Soup by Jan Eliot

 

 

So often, when I’m reading through the daily comics, I am reminded of my family, which makes me miss them that much more. 

 

 

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

 

 

I hate salt -- end of discussion. Any time we go to a Mexican restaurant as a family, I always ask them to bring me tortilla chips that they haven’t salted yet. (I’m well aware that I’m strange.) The rest of my family puts extra salt on theirs. Therefore, we always have to request two separate baskets of chips wherever we go. Now that I’m gone, my mom likes to text me pictures of herself salting chips and point out that there is only one bowl for the whole family on the table. (Then she follows it with how much she misses having that second bowl of chips on the table, because if it were there, I would be, too.)

 

 

This Red and Rover comic reminded me of my youngest brother:

 

 

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

 

 

Everyone has to deal with bad habits. Despite my efforts to keep mine a secret, my little brother told my parents, just as Red did here.

 

I’m really glad the “I’m too cool for family” and the “I have to pick up habits I don’t like so I fit in” stages of my life are over. My family is actually the coolest group of people I know. Now, instead of bad habits, I picked up biking as a hobby. It’s a far better habit, despite one little issue: 

 

 

Close to Home by John McPherson
Close to Home by John McPherson

 

 

This had me laughing. It really is the only complaint I have. Everything else about biking is great! I love the exercise and the weird sense of freedom I get when I go down a really big hill -- but I hate the bike seat. I should get used to it pretty quickly, though. This week I started training for a 200-mile ride coming up in a few months. I’ve got a lot of work to do!

 

Let’s hear which comics you feel your life relates to most. Share in the comments below. 



Adam @ 30

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Like so many others, I've grown up with Adam@Home. When I first read it in the Kansas City Star in the '80s, I was a kid who enjoyed Clayton and Katy's sense of mischief and Adam's interest in computers (we had a spiffy Apple IIGS at the time). These days, as a sleep-deprived parent with perpetually disheveled hair and an ever-present mug of coffee in front of his MacBook, I can identify much better with Adam himself. Hard-working Laura's skepticism and dry sense of humor keeps the rest of the family in check, while baby Nick makes everyone smile without needing to say a word.

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While the artwork and color in Adam@Home has always bounced right off the page, it's really Brian Basset's (and now Rob Harrell's) writing that sets it apart from other family strips. Adam@Home is full of goofy ideas and little details, seamlessly incorporating over-the-top humor into everyday settings. Even better, the characters seem to genuinely like each other, giving the strip a warmth and charm that you won't find on television or even many other places on the funny pages.

 

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Recently I've found myself going back through the archives on GoComics (available from 1995 on) and appreciating how much humor and weirdness Bassett was able to wring from what looks on the surface like a very ordinary suburban life. The settings in Adam@Home were always fairly normative (manicured lawns, stucco houses, streets and drive-thrus lined with minivans), but the characters' wry observations and overactive imaginations made it clear that these neighborhoods were actually made up of quirky, whimsical individuals like the Newtons. It's a strip that promotes individuality by gently lampooning the universal.

 

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While as a younger person I mostly read Adam as a good-natured spoof of the middle-class family life, I now view it as a healthy way of retaining one's sense of humor in the face of growing older. The beauty of this (and other) comics is that they all mean different things to different people, and without a doubt Adam@Home has left — and continues to leave — a lasting impression on many thousands of readers each day.

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So before you dive into your favorite Adam@Home book collection or dig into the GoComics archives, please join me in raising a hefty mug of hot coffee in a birthday salute to one of the funny pages' true originals. Happy 30th, Adam!

 

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Subscribe to Adam@Home here!



GIVEAWAY: ADAM@HOME PRINTS

Adam@Home is turning 30 this week! To celebrate, we’re giving away THREE Adam@Home prints!  

 

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To enter, comment on this blog post and include your FIRST and LAST names. Limit one entry per person. This contest will end on Tuesday, July 1 at 10 a.m. CT. The winners will be announced that day on this blog. This contest is open to all readers worldwide.

 

After you enter for your chance to win, take a trip down memory lane by reading the Adam@Home archive!



GIVEAWAY: PEARLS BEFORE SWINE PRINTS ILLUSTRATED BY BILL WATTERSON – WINNERS ANNOUNCED

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Wow! This certainly was a popular giveaway. We love the enthusiasm of the nearly 2,000 fans who entered to win this commemorative print of the Pastis/Watterson collaboration!

 

We’ve randomly selected three very lucky winners.

 

Congratulations to Eron Norris, Hollie Turner and Alan Haarstad! Please email us at rewards@gocomics.com with your shipping information and phone number. Please note: You must contact us by Tuesday, July 1, or your prize will be forfeited.

 

To those of you who didn’t win, never fear! You can order your very own special edition print by clicking below. 

 

Limited-watterson-prints



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.

 

 

Buns  6-20-14

 

 

 

6-20-14

 

 

6-20-14

 

 

 

6-20-14

 

 

 

Sleepytown Beagles  6-20-14

 

 

 

 

Boogerbrain  6-21-14

 

 

 

Frank Blunt  6-22-14

 

 

 

Blue Skies Toons  6-23-14

 

 

 

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

 



Weekend Faves (June 22)

 

F Minus by Tony Carrillo
F Minus by Tony Carrillo

Not a bad idea. I'll have to remember that.

--Julie

 

Monty by Jim Meddick
Monty by Jim Meddick

 

One of the only times in history that a cat has intentionally improved someone's mood. It makes sense that the means of comfort involve destruction, and the mood in question is depression.
--Dave

 

Drabble by Kevin Fagan
Drabble by Kevin Fagan

…And when everyone still called remote controls "clickers." Evolve or die, pops!

--Dave

 

The Duplex by Glenn McCoy
The Duplex by Glenn McCoy

The first few days of swimming season make me feel like I'm still trapped in winter.

--Jessi

 

The Meaning of Lila by John Forgetta and L.A. Rose
The Meaning of Lila by John Forgetta and L.A. Rose

I almost didn't read this whole comic strip because it made me so mad. Now, I'm glad I did.

--Julie



NEW COMIC ALERT! The Martian Confederacy by Paige Braddock and Jason McNamara

We've added a brand new comic!

 

The Martian Confederacy by Paige Braddock and Jason McNamara

 

Toxic air. Bloodthirsty politicians. Drinking bears. Welcome to Mars in the year 3535. Stripped of its natural resources and forgotten as a vacation destination, Martians struggle to afford breathable air. Boone, Spinner and Lou were three outlaws looking out for them selves. But when a cure for Mars’ toxic air falls into the wrong hands, thieves are forced to become heroes. And as an entire planet gasps for air these three redneck outlaws will do whatever it takes to save their planet. Or die trying.

 

Read The Martian Confederacy here.



UNICORN EXECUTIONS

Steve Breen -- two-time Pulitzer-winning editorial cartoonist and co-creator of the strip GRAND AVENUE -- has published this unusual book, the cover of which speaks for itself. As Michael Cavna explains: "Three of his sons would toss out ideas for illustrations that combined Lincoln and 'Wolverine' Logan, or Trump and a Tyrannosaurus – when not imagining alien abductions or Jedi mutations or, in a particularly notable example, death by cute fantasy animal." (Read the complete Cavna WaPo column here.)

 

BREENunicover



Meet Your Creator: John Lustig (Last Kiss)

Dive into the world of Last Kiss creator John Lustig in today’s Meet Your Creator post.

 

When I was a kid, I didn’t want to grow up to be the President. Or a super spy. Or anything as easy or ordinary as that.

 

I wanted to be Stan (The Man!) Lee and write The Amazing Spider-Man and The Fantastic Four.

  John Lustig at San Diego Comic-Con

 

(If those comics weren’t available, I was willing to do The Avengers or even Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos. But not Millie the Model or any of those icky romance comics. I mean, jeez! A guy has got to have some self-respect!)

 

So, of course, now I write Last Kiss – a humor strip using old romance comic art with new dialogue.

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Last Kiss’s not-so secret origin began in 1987. I’d been a Seattle newspaper reporter and columnist, but I was shifting over to doing comics – writing Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge comics (something I still do). But I was looking for a project of my own – where I would own the rights.

 

Meanwhile, Charlton Comics was going out of business and selling off rights to its series. And I got this crazy – and by that I mean “stupid” – idea: “Hey, if I buy this stuff, all I have to do is rewrite the dialogue. I can do my own comics. It’ll be easy!”

 

So, I looked for the most comics I could buy for the least amount of money. And that turned out to be First Kiss. Sight unseen, I bought the rights to all 40 issues for $400.

 

Back then, I thought great comics meant guys in tights bashing bad guys. So my jaw dropped when I received the First Kiss art. There was no action. None. Mostly it was just women standing around yearning for romantic bliss – and being very, very unhappy. (Until the last panel where they finally got kissed.)

 

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So I went back to writing Donald Duck.

 

Years later, I realized the obvious. These romance ladies were virtuous icons of morality and repressed emotion. But they could be saying anything. And, the more outrageous, the funnier!

 

In 1996, Last Kiss debuted in Comics Buyer’s Guide poking gentle fun at the comics industry and its fans. By 2000, Last Kiss was a regular feature, and thereafter appeared in every issue until CBG’s demise in 2013.

 

Along the way, Last Kiss became a comic book miniseries, a newspaper comic (in The Seattle Times for a year) and was featured on a gazillion tons of merchandise.

 

But it wasn’t until Last Kiss launched on GoComics in early 2009 that the series really came into its own. Instead of weekly, I started doing Last Kiss three times a week.

 

Suddenly, I was getting tons of feedback from readers. (Some of it very funny.) And, as those readers formed a community, the comments started to shape my gags. I started doing more and more outrageous jokes – particularly about sex.

 

Apparently GoComics readers like sex. (Who’d have thought?)

 

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Wacky lust has always been part of Last Kiss. But I’m particularly grateful to GoComics (Thanks, Shena!) for trusting me to walk (or even skip) even farther along that oh-so-narrow line between clever sexual suggestion and crass sexuality.

 

And – along the way – I’m having a ball. I’m learning a lot about myself, my readers, the romance genre and (Yes!) even sex.

 

Last Kiss is continually evolving. Besides First Kiss, I’ve begun using art from old public domain comics. (Redrawn and colored for me by the amazing Diego Jourdan Pereira.) Most of it is romance art, but we’ve also used panels from Westerns and other genres. (Expect some surprises in the future!)

 

But what about my aspirations for writing for Marvel? Of being Stan Lee?

 

Well, a few years ago, Marvel asked me to be one of the writers on a five-issue series. Irony #1? It wasn’t a superhero title. It was Marvel Romance Redux featuring old Marvel romance comics with funny new dialogue.

 

MarvelRomanceReduxRevised4Web2

 

Irony #2. It turns out many of Marvel’s romance comics were written by Stan Lee.

 

So, it seems I’m following in Stan’s footprints after all.

 

Read Last Kiss here or follow along on Facebook or Twitter.




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