GoComics Creators Discuss Future of Comics at Toronto Comic Arts Festival

Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2016
Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2016

 

If you’re attending the Toronto Comic Arts Festival this weekend, be sure to stop by the “Newspaper Comics in a Digital World” panel at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday!

 

The six-person panel will feature three of our creators: Paul Gilligan of Pooch Cafe, Dana Simpson of Phoebe and Her Unicorn and Jonathan Mahood of Bleeker: The Rechargeable Dog. They will join fellow syndicated comic artists Sandra Bell-Lundy, Terri Libenson and Rina Piccolo to discuss how comics have evolved from a traditionally print medium in the digital age.

 

Dana Simpson will also speak at 11:45 a.m. Saturday as part of TCAF Kids Day. A book signing will follow her presentation.

 

Admission to the festival is free. For more information on both events, visit the Toronto Comic Arts Festival website.





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.

 

 

 

5-10-16

 

 

 

 

Spaceport 51  5-10-16

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stale Crackers  5-10-16

 

 

 

Weasel Ink  5-10-16

 

 

 

 

 

And now...  5-11-16

 

 

 

 

Don't Pick the Flowers  5-11-16

 

 

 

 

Dust Specks  5-11-16

 

 

 

 

No Ordinary Life  5-11-16

 

 

 

 

Sleepytown Beagles  5-11-16

 

 

 

 

 

Underdone  5-11-16

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 





"Fearless" chronicles the life and career of JumpStart cartoonist Robb Armstrong

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 3.35.46 PM

 

For 27 years, comic strip readers have known Robb Armstrong as the creator of the syndicated comic strip JumpStart. The daily comic is one of the most popular African-American family strips of all time, appearing in 300 papers in the U.S. and abroad.

 

JumpStart stars the Cobb family — police officer Joe, nurse Marcy, and their spunky offspring — and a rotating cast of family and friends. The strip is funny and lighthearted, full of truth and surprise (without those two elements, you'd have no humor, Armstrong explains). But the life story of the strip's creator is one full of challenges and adversity — the kind you would truly need to be fearless to overcome. In his new illustrated memoir, "Fearless," Armstrong is pulling back the curtain to tell the story of his own life and career.

 

And what a story it is.

 

As a child growing up in a rough part of Philadelphia, Armstrong dealt with all kinds of family adversity. His dad left when he was a baby, and his two brothers were both killed in tragic accidents. He became the first in his family to go to college, but shortly after he started, his mother passed away. He forged ahead with his dream of getting his degree and becoming a cartoonist, but the trials didn't end there. Two children born with health problems, a divorce and a struggle to get on track financially followed.

 

In a recent interview with The Hartford Examiner, Armstrong said: "'Fearless' is a reliable account of my own trials, tribulations, and lessons learned. It is not a sermon. Suffering is the only thing we all have in common, but not everyone learns useful lessons from suffering. My book explores the value of hardship, and demonstrates how to use it for personal empowerment."

 

The book chronicles the high points as well — a syndication deal with United Features in his twenties, the chance to meet his hero, Charles Schulz, a happy second marriage, and decades worth of entertaining cartoons, public speeches and volunteer efforts. In addition to making you laugh and cry, "Fearless" will make you a better cartoonist as well. At the start of each chapter are different drawing lessons, from drawing contour lines to drawing a cartoon version of yourself. Each chapter then ends with a short "life lesson."

 

And, of course, there are plenty of comics. For the 234-page book, which was published in April by Reader's Digest, Armstrong and his editor hand-selected 100 of the most popular JumpStart strips from across his 27-year career. (I just got my copy yesterday and have been almost too absorbed reading it to finish this blog post.)

 

To pick up a copy of "Fearless," visit your local bookstore or Amazon.com. And to read JumpStart every day (and dig through Armstrong's extensive JumpStart archives), visit GoComics.com.

 

— Lucas

 





GIVEAWAY: Liō 10th Anniversary Prize Pack

Since May 15, 2006, Mark Tatulli’s Liō has delighted readers with his mostly silent adventures involving weird science, robots, cephalopods and other extraordinary creatures.

 

We’re celebrating 10 years of Liō with a giveaway! One lucky winner will receive a copy of “Zombies Need Love Too: And Still Another Liō Collection” and a collectible, archive-quality Liō print!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Click here to browse more Liō collections and other books by Mark Tatulli!

 

Read Liō from the beginning here!

 

This contest will end on May 17, 2016, at 12 a.m. CT. We will randomly select one winner and notify the winner via email on May 17, 2016.

 

The next giveaway will be announced on May 18, 2016 at 6 a.m. CT.





THIS JUST IN: “Breaking Cat News” Hits Shelves TODAY!

Breaking Cat News by Georgia Dunn
Breaking Cat News by Georgia Dunn

 

This just in, newshounds (or, more accurately, newscats): The first “Breaking Cat News” collection is now available in bookstores everywhere!

 

“Breaking Cat News: Cats Reporting on the News that Matters to Cats” follows the adventures of reporter cats Elvis and Puck and anchor cat Lupin as they cover breaking news regarding the vacuum, bacon and strange cats in the yard.

 

Based on the real-life pets of author and illustrator Georgia Dunn, “Breaking Cat News” is a must-have for any comics fan or any cat owner who has ever wondered what their cat really thinks of the daily happenings in their home.

 

Order your copy of “Breaking Cat News” here!

 

And click here to read Breaking Cat News on GoComics. 





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.

 

 

Cleo and Company  5-6-16

 

 

 

 

Courageous Man Adventures  5-6-16

 

 

 

Don't Pick the Flowers  5-6-16

 

 

 

 

Green Pieces  5-6-16

 

 

 

 

People of Earth  5-6-16

 

 

 

 

5-6-16

 

 

 

 

5-7-16

 

 

 

 

5-7-16

 

 

 

Alison Ward  5-9-16

 

 

 

 

Windsock  5-9-16

 

 

 

 

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

 

 





Beakman & Jax Creator Jok Church Passes Away at 66

Jok Church
Jok Church

 

Jok Church, beloved creator of You Can with Beakman & Jax, passed away on April 29, after a heart attack.

 

Beakman & Jax, which debuted in 1991, utilizes a Q&A format to answer questions from young readers, such as “How do you make pasta?” and “Why does our stomach grumble when we’re hungry?” Most comics also include an experiment readers can perform at home to help illustrate a specific scientific concept.

 

Several bestselling Beakman & Jax books have been published, and the comic was also adapted for television as “Beakman’s World” in the mid-1990s.

 

Church will be missed by his young fans and his friends at GoComics. Rest in peace.

 

Read through past Beakman & Jax installments here.





New Comic Alert! Owlturd by Shen T

Owlturd by Shen T
Owlturd by Shen T

 

Owlturd is a thrice-weekly humor webcomic which features a cute exterior but sometimes dives into dark subject matter. Owlturd follows Shen, a "modern man" who frequently finds himself at odds with student loans, winter and life, among many, many other things.

 

Read Owlturd here!





Happy Mother's Day!

If you think about all the amazing, wonderful things that mothers do, it doesn’t seem fair that we only set aside one day each year to honor them. Of course, if we tried to tell our mothers how much we appreciate them as frequently as they deserve, we probably wouldn’t have time for much else.


This Mother’s Day, we’d like to say "thank you" to all the moms in the world for their patience, understanding and thoughtfulness.

 

 

On A Claire Day by Carla Ventresca and Henry Beckett
On A Claire Day by Carla Ventresca and Henry Beckett

 

 

For their advice, often unappreciated at the time, which always turns out to be accurate.

 

 

Brain Squirts by Frank Cummings
Brain Squirts by Frank Cummings

 

 

For passing along all of their best qualities.

 

 

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

 

 

For the many roles they play in our lives.

 

 

Betty by Gary Delainey and Gerry Rasmussen
Betty by Gary Delainey and Gerry Rasmussen

 

 

Basically, for doing the impossible every single day — and somehow making it look easy.

 

 

Luann by Greg Evans
Luann by Greg Evans

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the amazing moms out there! Thank you for loving us despite everything we put you through.



For more aww-inducing comics, check out our Mother’s Day collection here!





Meet Your Creator: David Cahill (Pictures in Boxes)

MYC_blog_header

 

The GoComics “Meet Your Creator” series brings you firsthand insight into the lives and careers of your favorite cartoonists. Each week, we hand over the keys to one of our talented creators, who share their inspirations, achievements, creative processes, studios and more! Read on to hear from this week’s featured cartoonist: David Cahill of Pictures in Boxes

 

 

Davie Cahill

 

How did you begin your career as a cartoonist? When did you start cartooning?

 

Well. I haven’t always been an artist. It wasn’t until my final year of my undergraduate degree that I picked up a pencil and began drawing. I used it as a form of stress relief while writing my thesis and studying for my exams. I felt it was a better alternative to the routine I had gotten myself into anytime I took a break from studying. Before that, I would just throw myself in front of the television and try to zone out for an hour. It kept my brain active and helped relieve a lot of stress. I turned to comics because I had always had a huge interest in them since childhood, beginning with Calvin and Hobbes and continuing up to the present day. I had actually created several different comics in my various notebooks before Pictures in Boxes that, thankfully, have never seen the light of day. They were all geared toward specific original characters, but I never felt they were strong enough to post anywhere. It wasn’t until I began dipping into pop culture references and broadening my sources that things began to take off. I also take a long time to create a strip and I usually have to spread one over the course of several days in order to get it exactly how I want it. I am quite far behind on a lot of deadlines, so I think in the future, I am definitely going to have to take on less work before I start really annoying a lot of people.

 

 

What inspires you?

 

 

Pictures in Boxes by Davie Cahill

 

The main thing that keeps me going is the enjoyment I get from drawing. I mostly do it for myself and the feeling it gives me. It is fantastic that I have received so many nice messages from people telling me they enjoyed my work and that my anxiety comics have helped when they needed it, so there is definitely a lot of reasons that allow me to continue. I also love seeing the incredible reception that my fellow webcomic artists have been receiving in recent times. All their work over the last few months has been absolutely amazing and it has really driven me to improve every aspect of my process in order to produce higher-quality strips.

 

 

What were your favorite childhood comics? What comics do you read today?

 

Oh, there are too many to name. Growing up it was definitely Calvin and Hobbes. I own every single book and still go back and read them all once a year. There is something so incredible and relatable about them that’s difficult to put into words. Nowadays, I read lot of graphic novels during the day and usually webcomics at night when I’m in bed. I recently finished Persepolis by Majane Satrapi. It was absolutely fantastic and completely blew me away. I think I finished the entire book in one sitting. I have also been completely enamored by Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. It was such a beautiful and brilliantly thought-out story and I recently learned that the films rights were acquired by 20th Century Fox Animation. I would truly love to see that story as an animated feature film. In regards to webcomics, if I had to list my favorites, I would be here all day. There are so many that are so incredible and funny that I actually get annoyed with how amazing they are. Heart and Brain by Nick Seluk and Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah Andersen are definitely two recently published books that should be mandatory reading for anyone who is interested in webcomics and any aspiring cartoonist out there.

 

 

Do you have any upcoming projects or appearances?

 

 

Pictures in Boxes by Davie Cahill

 

Later in the year I am hoping to finally publish a collection of my favorite comics. I have been receiving a lot of emails recently asking me if I had any such plans and I’m beginning to think it’s time to set those wheels in motion. It has always been a dream of mine to have a printed version of my work, so with any luck it may be something I can look forward to over the coming months.

 

In relation to appearances, I am hoping to attend Boston Comic-Con this summer. I had originally meant to be tabling at the event with some of my fellow webcomic friends, but unfortunately I had to give up my seat after being involved in a minor car accident that forced me to temporarily move home back to Ireland from North America at the beginning of the year. I am hoping to return within the next several months, so hopefully I will at very least be making an appearance if not tabling.

 

 

Tell us about your studio or workspace.

 

 

Pictures in Boxes by Davie Cahill

 

Well, over the last year while I was travelling, my studio space has consisted of any bench, floor, couch or coffee shop that will have me. I’ve become an expert in cramming into tight spaces and having my drawing pad and laptop piled on top of me while I try desperately to reach my deadlines. Things have definitely calmed down since I returned back home, so I am currently in the process of setting up my brand-new work station. At the moment, it’s just my laptop on a desk, but hopefully, I’ll be able to add a little color to it over the coming weeks.

 

 

What is one piece of advice you wish you had received upon starting Pictures in Boxes that would have helped you as a comic artist?

 

 

Pictures in Boxes by Davie Cahill

 

 

It sounds like such generic advice, but don’t get too stressed about what people think. Do it all for yourself and, most importantly, just have fun. When you start getting stressed and begin tailoring your comic to what you think other people would enjoy – even though it may be counter to your original vision – then that’s when things begin to go wrong. Do what you enjoy doing, and everything else will fall into place.

 

 

Pictures in Boxes by Davie Cahill

 

 

Read Pictures and Boxes here. And, follow along on Facebook and Twitter.





“Cul de Sac” Play to Take the Stage in June

Cul de Sac by Richard Thompson
Cul de Sac by Richard Thompson

 

 

Cul de Sac fans, rejoice! Richard Thompson’s much-beloved comic, which ended its print run in September 2012, has been adapted as a play, and is scheduled to premiere at Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre in Arlington, Va., on June 3!

 

The play, written by Richard Thompson’s wife, Amy, will follow 4-year-old Alice Otterloop and brother Petey as they “learn about friendship and the importance of being yourself,” according to a press release shared on Richard Thompson’s blog.

 

When the Cul de Sac comic strip debuted in 2007, Richard Thompson’s incredible artistic talent quickly drew the attention of comics superstars such as Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson, who wrote the introduction to the first Cul de Sac collection.

 

"[Cul de Sac] is one of those rare visions that shows how surprising the ordinary world really is. Richard Thompson's wonderfully peculiar Otterloop family is closely observed with deep sympathy and rings absolutely true. I'm a huge fan."

 

Sadly, Thompson retired from cartooning in 2012, just a few years after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. For fans who thought they had seen the last of the Otterloop family, the Cul de Sac play is a welcome return.

 

For more information on performance dates and ticket prices, head over to the Encore Stage & Studio website!

 

Can’t make it to the live show? Click here to read Cul de Sac on GoComics!


Congratulations to Richard and Amy Thompson on this exciting new adventure!





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.

 

 

Dysconnected  5-3-16

 

 

 

 

The Old Man & His Dog 5-3-16

 

 

 

 

5-4-16

 

 

 

 

5-4-16

 

 

 

 

5-4-16

 

 

 

 

5-4-16

 

 

 

 

Charmy's Army  5-5-16

 

 

 

 

 

No Ambiguity  5-5-16

 

 

 

 

Spectickles  5-5-16

 

 

5-5-16

 

 

 

 

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

 

 





Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Bust out the guacamole and pass the chips and salsa - it's Cinco de Mayo! While you’re engaging in celebrations of Mexican heritage (in a safe, responsible and non-offensive way), why not take a few minutes to peruse our lineup of comics in Spanish?

 

FoxTrot en Espanol by Bill Amend
FoxTrot en Espanol by Bill Amend

 

Whether you’re learning English or Spanish, reading your favorite comics in both languages is a great way to test your understanding and learn new vocabulary!

 

Dozens of GoComics features are available in Spanish, including Dilbert, Calvin and Hobbes and Big Nate. The list also includes some features that are ONLY available in Spanish, such as Gaturro!


Click here to browse the complete list of comics en Español!

 

Prickly City by Scott Stantis
Prickly City by Scott Stantis

 

Happy Cinco de Mayo, comics fans!





Celebrate Cartoonists Day With a Little History Lesson!

From cave paintings to Egyptian hieroglyphs, humans have a long history of communicating with simple drawings. The modern comic as we know it, however, is a relatively recent development. Today is Cartoonists Day, and we’d like to honor the history of cartooning with a little help from Peter Maresca’s Origins of the Sunday Comics!


The very first color newspaper cartoon appeared in the New York World on May 5, 1895 — 121 years ago today — and featured a character who would later become known as the Yellow Kid. (That’s him in the blue nightshirt in the bottom-right corner of the top cartoon.)

 

Origins of the Sunday Comics by Peter Maresca
Origins of the Sunday Comics by Peter Maresca

 

The Yellow Kid became an instant hit, leading to a merchandising empire and essentially paving the way for full-color Sunday comics to become a routine part of American life.


For more cartooning history, check out Origins of the Sunday Comics!





Happy Star Wars Day!

Eek! by Scott Nickel
Eek! by Scott Nickel

 

Beginning with the premiere of the first film in 1977, the Star Wars franchise has become a pop culture juggernaut, inspiring tie-in novels, videogames, toys and, of course, more movies, including the most recent installment last December.

 

Some might say that such an established and celebrated phenomenon deserves a day of recognition. Thankfully, the perfect day for such festivities is built right into the calendar! Today, May 4th, is Star Wars Day — as in, “May the Fourth be with you.”


Cartoonists tend to walk on the nerdier side of life, so it’s no surprise that they’ve embraced, referenced and parodied Star Wars in their comics.

 

Super-Fun-Pak Comix by Ruben Bolling
Super-Fun-Pak Comix by Ruben Bolling

  

We’ve rounded up our favorite Star Wars comics for you to enjoy: This is the collection you’re looking for.


Happy Star Wars Day! May the Fourth be with you!





GIVEAWAY: “Breaking Cat News” Book

Ace cat reporters Lupin, Elvis and Puck make their print debut on May 10 in the very first collection of Breaking Cat News comics!

 

We’re giving our readers the chance to win a copy of “Breaking Cat News: Cats Reporting On the News That Matters to Cats,” hot off the press!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

This contest will end on May 10, 2016, at 12 a.m. CT. We will randomly select one winner and notify the winner via email on May 10, 2016.

 

Don’t want to wait? Pre-order your copy of “Breaking Cat News” here!

 

In the meantime, click here to read Breaking Cat News on GoComics!

 

The next giveaway will be announced on May 11, 2016 at 6 a.m. CT.





Ciao, Italia! Lines of Fans Greet Sarah Andersen During Italian Book Tour

Adulthood Is a Myth” author Sarah Andersen recently completed a 10-day tour of Italy to promote the Italian edition of her book, including stops in Bologna, Padova, Milan and Napoli Comicon!

  Sarah Andersen

 

Sarah Andersen

 

Sarah Andersen

 

 

Andersen’s appearances drew large crowds of fans, proving that when it comes to comics about “growing up,” there is no such thing as a language barrier.

 

 

Adulthood Is a Myth: A "Sarah's Scribbles" Collection by Sarah Andersen
Adulthood Is a Myth: A "Sarah's Scribbles" Collection by Sarah Andersen

 

Buy your copy of “Adulthood Is a Myth” here!


And click here to read Sarah’s Scribbles on GoComics!





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.

 

 

 

 Misc Soup  4-30-16

 

 

 

 

 

Whiteouts  4-30-16

 

 

 

 

5-1-16

 

 

 

 

5-1-16

 

 

 

 

5-1-16

 

My Son is a Dog

 

 

 

 

5-1-16

 

 

 

 

The Magic Forest  5-1-16

 

 

 

 

5-1-16

 

 

 

 

 

 Soccer Earth  5-2-16

 

 

 

 

Spectickles  5-2-16

 

Spectickles

 

 

 

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

 

 

 





New Comic Alert! Edge City by Terry LaBan and Patricia Rich

Edge City by Terry LaBan and Patricia Rich
Edge City by Terry LaBan and Patricia Rich

 

Meet the Ardins! They're the stars of Edge City, a nationally syndicated, groundbreaking comic strip about a hip, Jewish-American family juggling relationships, careers and tradition at the fast pace of modern life. Fueled by caffeine and gasoline, Len and Abby and their kids, Colin and Carly, power their way through self-employment, after-school activities, pursuing their dreams and lining up for carpool. It's life on the edge every day in Edge City!

 

Read Edge City here!





New-York Historical Society Debuts Mo Willems Exhibit

Photo by Marty Umans
Photo by Marty Umans

 

 

Mo Willems, an accomplished, award-winning children’s author, GoComics creator and authentic New Yorker, is the subject of a new career retrospective exhibit at the New-York Historical Society!

 

The Art and Whimsy of Mo Willems presents Willems’ original art, sketches and inspirational drawings spanning his decade-plus-long career.

 

Ruben Bolling, creator of Tom the Dancing Bug, wrote about the exhibit for New York Family, describing it as “a bright, funny, appealing look at the work of this rock star of the preschool universe.” The wonderful article also includes a brief yet illuminating interview with Willems. Read it here!

 

The exhibit runs through September 25. For more information on the exhibit, visit the New-York Historical Society's website here!


Click here to read Mo Willems’ GoComics feature, From the Mo Willems Sketchbook!





New Comics on GoComics

Enter this week's GoComics giveaway!

Meet Your GoComics Creator: A behind-the-scenes glimpse into the lives of our talented creators.





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