Tuesday, March 17, 2015


I am elated and relieved to announce that I've managed to raise the $5,000.00 needed to replace my car. It's been only twenty three days since my accident, and twenty two days since I opened the commission drive to raise the funds, but with the last commission received today (thanks, Motz!), I can call this a successful rebound--and I have so many of you to thank for making this happen.

From the start of this mess, I had friends, family and fans popping up everywhere to commission me, to spread the word about my commissions drive,  to share their concern for me and to show their support in personal ways. As wholeheartedly as I can express it, I am touched, humbled, and ever appreciative of everyone who helped me turn this tough situation around.

And as quickly as my car was taken away from me, it has been replaced! Thanks in good measure to my friend Steve Nemzek for driving me around from car lot to car lot to find the perfect car for me (note: this is the second time Steve sacrificed a day off to help me buy a car--he was there back in December to help me find Smuggler's Blues, may she rest in pieces)--I am now the proud owner of a 2008 Chevy Cobalt, which I have dubbed "CLUTCH CARGO"--named partly after a cheesy cartoon character from the 60's, partly because I found the car and bought her in a "clutch", i.e. really damn quickly, and because it has ample cargo space in the trunk for my convention gear. 

Once more, all my love and appreciation to you all, for everything you've done and for all you mean to me. And to those who are waiting for their commissions to arrive, rest assured I'm happily plugging away at them, and hope to have these wrapped up no later than early May. You've given me some wonderfully fun things to draw, and I appreciate that aspect of all this, too!

All the best to you, my friends! Here's to a great Spring and Summer for us all!


Thursday, March 12, 2015


If you're familiar with my work, you probably identity me as a cartoonist--and thank you for that. I'm worked a long time for the distinction. But it may slip your definition to think of me as a writer. With only one exception, I've always written my own comics, and I'm as proud of that fact as I am the art side of it. My friend Alicia VanNoy Call is also a writer and artist, and called upon myself and others to answer some questions about their writing. For anyone interested, here's what I had to say:

1. What are you working on right now?

I'm writing the script for issue #2 of BODIE TROLL: FUZZY MEMORIES--the newest Bodie Troll mini-series. Writing may be overstating a bit. I have the plot in a notebook and tumbling around in my head. I just need to take the next step and put it to paper. I'm also writing the next gag for NECRONOMICOMICS, though the term 'writing' is even more overstated in this case. I haven't a clue what I'm doing yet, but it'll come to me.

2. How does it differ from other works in its genre?

I think the main reason BODIE TROLL differs from other all ages comics is that many (though not all) all-ages comics on the mainstream market these days are based on existing properties--toys, cartoons, and such. BODIE, by comparison, is just from me, my interests, my emotions, my experiences. That makes Bodie a tougher sell to new readers, I think. But it allows me to keep BODIE more personal, and to do things the way I feel is best for my comic without a corporation telling me what to do and how to be most marketable.

Having said that, I am a contributing artist on the MY LITTLE PONY comic book, which is based on a toy, and does fall under corporate scrutiny. but I am pleased to say that I haven't experienced any pressure or interference in what I've done on that book at all. It probably doesn't hurt that I'm not the book's writer, who is much more in the gaze of the licensor. Plus, my style naturally jibes with the established Pony style, at least enough to please the licensor while maintaining my own artistic identity.

3. Why do you write what you do?

I entered the comics industry with my sights set on continuing the bawdy humor traditions of the underground comics movement of the 60's and 70's. I maintained that status quo on my first graphic novel, DEAD DUCK, for a few years. Gradually, I came to realize that that sort of humor wasn't really who I was. I was a shy, emotional person who loved stories with characters you could really love and root for. That changed my whole perspective on what I wanted my professional identity and creative output to be. That's why I created BODIE TROLL.  

4. How does your writing process work?

The spark of an idea comes first, and never when I'm trying to find it. I'll be on a walk, in the car, even in the shower, wherever it's least convenient to grab a piece of paper to jot down my inspiration. Once I do get it on paper, the development process comes slowly, often in the form of loose scribblings devoid of any proper sentence structure, spelling or punctuation. Doodles follow--LOTS of doodles, that will sometimes wind up in my notebook, but mostly in a separate sketchbook. The best ideas come to me when I'm in a diner, ideally ones with paper placemats that are blank on one side. Most of my comic creations started on placemats. All this rough development eventually gets piled into a typed script that also has very little proper script form initially. I write in a stream of consciousness, trimming away the fat, adding more fat, scrapping whole sections of story that I'd previously thought were brilliant, until I find the best way to tell my story. Inevitably, chunks of dialogue will get changed when I'm drawing the actual comic page, if I find a gag that's funnier, or a name or word that seems to fit better than what I'd originally written. There is no straight path or set formula for my writing. It's a very organic process that, inexplicably, works for me every time, and always within the constraint of a set page count and whatever deadline I may have.