Happy end of the summer, GoComicers! With the turn of the leaves, we can see the dwindling light at the end of the beach and BBQ tunnel, making way for the shorter, darker and somewhat dreaded days of winter.
With most proclaiming their love for the fall foliage, crisp air and spiced beer that accompany Autumn, there are those of us who find it difficult to function. The loss of daylight hours, coupled with the thought of the impending winter months can bring an already fragile psyche down into Oscar the Grouch-level dumps. Call it what you will: depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder... Laziness. It’s a real thing, happening to real (and now fake) people.
Allow me to ‘splain…
Usually, when I find myself slipping into that dark place of deep depression, I slide further beneath my covers, cry at the sun, howl at the moon and shake my fist at daytime TV. This could last for days, weeks or even months. However, the unfortunate reality is that I have work to do, deadlines to miss and dogs to pet. With that in mind, I’m constantly on the lookout for new ways to cope, or at the very least, get through the day without blubbering over the latest TV commercial featuring celebrity puppies and/or stray puppies in need and/or celebrity puppies helping stray puppies in
This year, when the crippling anvil of depression hit, I remembered that old pearl of wisdom for the ever-struggling writer, “Write what you know.” Okay, well, I know I can’t find the motivation to brush my own teeth, bathe or get out of my pajamas. I know that I’m considering allowing my hair to grow for one year, just to see if I can fashion hair-cup holders for each side of my head. I know that I can’t remember why it’s important to eat…
So, with these irrational thoughts in full exercise, I decided to project through a week of THE ELDERBERRIES comic. The story unfolding this week is that Dusty Winter’s best friend, Boone, falls into a cycle of complete and total “meh”. While Boone tries to find the reason for his sudden lack of interest in all things human, Dusty and friends attempt to snap him out of it anyway they can, including pie.
Hopefully, the exercise helps ME climb out of my dark hole, while simultaneously providing good material for my paying job. I’ll let you know if it all works out next week.
*On a personal and serious note, clinical depression is a very real and sometimes dangerous thing. My own struggles with life and overcoming feelings of massive inertia, while hardly trivial, have not reached the depths of what some people can experience when deeply depressed. My success in keeping out the very dark depths can be attributed to a great circle of close friends, an understanding wife and a competent and helpful therapist. My reading and understanding of the causes and remedies for depression have helped in my awareness of what’s happening to me when I get depressed and how to deal with it, before it becomes overwhelming.
If you get depressed, or you have friends that seem to suffer from depression and it seems like there’s no hope, please seek proper treatment from a professional. I absolutely can’t stand feeling the way I feel when I’m depressed, but because I sought help, I now know there’s a way out and a way to feel better again.
Remember: The most important things in life involve laughter. And comics. Especially my comics.
Words, Harpoon Winter Warmer Ale and leaf peepers,
With the ice-breaking introductions of last week out of the
way, we now find ourselves on a second blog date, where the drinks go down a little
easier and fill up a bit more frequently. I’ll scoot my chair closer, so I can
“listen” to your hopes, dreams, lies and frightful realities, while you can
gaze into my now tipsy eyes and wonder at what point you’ll have to subdue my
growingly inappropriate advances, with a can of mace and basic training combat techniques.
Ah, the joys of an awkward, new relationship…
How is everyone, really? Did you all have a good week of
reading comics? Did you see that Disney bought Marvel? How many Scrooge
McDuck/Iron Man mash-up jokes have you heard on Twitter?
How many of you had to install corks on your forks, for
In all seriousness, let’s get down to business. The serious
business of comics is a serious thing, with serious consequences and should be
discussed seriously, in serious clothes, at serious venues.
So, seriously, here are some things I’d like to see come out
of this blog in the near future:
A public awareness of what it means to be a cartoonist in
today’s chaotic society.
An explanation of the comic process, including and probably
not limited to, my own.
Funny, for funny’s sake, though unique conversations with
cartoonists, editors, comedians and if at all possible, my dog, Norman.
A regular paycheck*
* Should be filed
under October’s “unattainable goals in comics and comic strips” post.
So, maybe we should begin with a bit about how I go about
doing the comics that I do. Perhaps a short description of the formation of an
idea and then we can share the advancement of that idea into comedy gold through
Okay. We’ll do that, then.
THE MAKING OF AN IDEA, EPISODE I: DAILY DOOM AND DESPERATION
Bill Watterson once said he spent “every waking hour”
thinking about jokes for his comics. Clearly, he didn’t own a house, have a
family with laundry or pets with stomach problems.
Don’t get me wrong, I think about jokes all the time, I just
have other things I think about all the time, which leads to a broken head,
even broker deadlines, lack of sleep and an unhealthy relationship with barley
So I’ll twist Mr. Watterson’s claim by saying, “I spend
every waking hour thinking about EVERYTHING… Usually at some level of panic.”
Feel free to use that. Just footnote me when I’m dead.
What’s my process, then? How do I get my ideas? What
jumpstarts the Fake Rockstar train wreck? The answer is simple:
I HAVE NO EARTHLY IDEA.
Some say they need a quiet room to think. Others need music
at a Spinal Tapped “11” volume. I’ve heard some claim they sit and watch people
for hours, where they “wait for the muse to strike”.Some say, “Great coffee” or “Never read other’s strips” or
I can honestly claim no one single thing. I can write in a
bar, on a subway or from the trunk of Tony Soprano’s car. I don’t need a quiet
office, candles or the music of the ocean. I can also write when I’m drunk, but
no one’s allowed to read the result. NO ONE.
And look, I’m not bragging, here. I just have no time to
“prepare” myself for the “muse to hit”. I’m always late with deadlines, so when
something needs to get done, there’s no time for self-doubt or personal introspection.
That sort of mind bending saved for drinking time after the fact.
In summary, I guess you can say my process, if I have one,
is in this order:
Panic over coffee.
Draw 28 comics and think of the dialogue later.
Adjourn to the pub.
I’ll use the details of how #4 happens to fill a future
Howdy, GoComic fans! Let me begin by expressing my gratitude
for the warm embrace of the GoComics universe. Not only have the fine folks of
Gocomics and Universal Uclick allowed me to share four different comics with
you all, they’ve invited me to bother you further through their official blog!
In an effort to familiarize you all with my intentions,
hopes, dreams and paralyzing fears, I thought I’d make this first blog post a
short Q & A session of Who, What, Why, How and Again?!
Let’s begin with the Who:
Q: Who the heck is Corey “Fake Rockstar” Pandolph and what
in Uncle Miles’ name is a Fake Rockstar?
A: Corey Pandolph is a cartoonist/comedy writer wannabe
currently responsible for four daily comic strips: The internationally
syndicated THE ELDERBERRIES through U/U and three web-syndicated strips available
through GoComics: BARKEATER LAKE, TOBY. ROBOT SATAN and GREENE WITH ENVY. Corey
also writes for the comedy web portal, Drink at Work.com…Yes, it’s exactly
what you think it is.
A Fake Rockstar is someone you encounter at that rare moment in
time when the word “Ridicularity™” makes sense.
A: What, yourself. See “Who”.
A: Because I said so. Also, because I love writing, reading
and drawing comics. So much of that simple ideal seems to be lost in these days
of dying newspapers, growing webcomics and the ongoing industry debate that
often resembles a slap fight between brace-faced 11 year-olds. To me, there is
no better sound than the scrawl of my quill pen across white Bristol. I truly
love what I do, so it makes sense that I’m considered insane, unorthodox and an
outsider. I refuse to take sides and I have angry eyebrows that I’m not afraid
to use when provoked.
A: Hopefully I can share that in future posts on this blog.
I’d love to talk about the ins and out of my process – how and where I get
ideas, my favorite tools of the trade and ideal places to work. Of course, I’ll
need you all to sign and fax back to me a simple non-disclosure form, two
proofs of birth, one 12-pack of High Life and two pounds of thick-cut, Apple
A: Yes. Every week.
Thanks for tuning in and I hope you’ll check back next week,
and every week to read a Fake Rockstar on
If we could choose just one word that characterizes cartoonist Corey Pandolph, that word would be "super-mega-talented-comics-rockstar-genius."
He's the creator of three GoComics features - The Elderberries, Toby Robot Satan and Barkeater Lake. He blogs for the humor site DrinkAtWork.com as well as Macgasm.net, and his feature Rob, the Evil Backstabbing Robot Temp appears frequently in the pages of Mad Magazine. He also blogs regularly on his own site, FakeRockstar.com. Obviously, Corey is a busy dude. And if you've seen his work (or, let's be honest, if you've ever asked him), you know he's supremely talented.
That's why we're so excited to make several excellent Pandolph-related announcements today!
First: Corey launches a brand-new comic on GoComics today - Greene With Envy! This daily strip follows the adventures of Steve and Nancy Greene, a couple who chose to forgo children and opt instead for a quiet and "free" lifestyle. As the Greenes watch their suburban neighborhood's population explode, however, they soon realize their decision often marks them as the odd couple out, breeding a friendly interest from some and a bright green streak of envy from others. Click here to check it out!
Second: As of today, the ONLY place to find Toby, Barkeater Lake and the just-launched Greene with Envy is GoComics.com! That's right - you no longer need to go chasing Pandolph all over the Internet (though he's extremely flattered when you do). We are the one-stop exclusive home of your daily Pandolph comics fix!
Third: Corey will be a regular contributor to the GoComics blog! His new weekly blog feature will launch this week, and we're 100% certain the stuff you will see from Corey right here on the Laugh Tracks blog will BLOW YOUR MIND. Watch for Corey's first post later this week!
Phew! So there you go - lots of big Pandolph news on this August Monday. Don't forget to celebrate this unofficial "Pandolph Day" by checking out Greene With Envy, and keep dropping in right here this week to see the debut of Corey's new blog feature!
"From where I sit, any feature launching today has about five years to battle it out for a limited newspaper slot. After that, its promise will be on the web. If I were to pick a partner with whom to launch, their digital strategy and capabilities would weigh heavily on my mind. Right now, Universal Press and Uclick has the upper hand in that department.”
Mark Tatulli (Lio) and Dave Coverly (Speed Bump), winners of this year's Reuben awards for Newspaper Comic Strip and Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year, respectively, were recently interviewed by Tom Racine for Tall Tale Radio. Listen here.
The Daily Cartoonist, that most excellent site for news from the cartooning industry, has posted the image and link to what can only be described as a bento artist (bento is basically lunchbox in Japanese) who created this Calvin and Hobbes bento! If you browse through her blog, you'll find lots of images of her amazing creations. She apparently made the Calvin and Hobbes bento for her boyfriend, who may now be officially considered one of the luckiest guys on earth.