Ask a Cartoonist
Comic characters live on the page, and while we occasionally see them brought to life in animation or live action television or movies, when we read their speech bubbles, the only hints we have to their voices are in the words that cartoonists choose to put in their mouths.
This week, I asked cartoonists to talk about character voice-- who or what inspires them, who they imagine their characters sound like, and how they distinguish between characters when they write them. Keep Reading
Yesterday was apparently "National Teddy Bear Day" --I actually looked up whether it was Teddy Roosevelt's birthday, and lo and behold, it was not!
One of the fun things about working at King Features is that there's always a lot of licensed merchandise around the office. We don't have a lot of teddy bears but we DO have a lot of Betties, and Bimbos, and Pudgies booping around!
Today, I asked our cartoonists to tell me about toys they love to draw, or toys that inspire them. Keep Reading
I've always loved cartoons about animals, and how cartoonists use animals to get to the essence of humanity. We all have animals that we love in our lives, and we can see ourselves in so much of what they do. And animals depicted as characters in their own right, with feelings, personalities, and language, are a time-honored tradition of cartooning.
This week, I asked our cartoonists to talk about the animals they enjoy drawing most. Keep Reading
We all have friends in our lives who constantly say and do things that would make great fodder for comics. Mine is my dad-- he's a big fan of Richard Nixon and Hannibal Lecter, and his favorite food is mint chocolate chip ice cream with butterscotch sauce. He's one of those people who almost always has a quip on the tip of his tongue. I've probably drawn more comics based on my dad than on anyone else in my life! But certainly basing cartoons on people I know is one of my favorite things to do.
I asked our cartoonists to tell us about characters and cartoons based on their families and friends this week. Keep Reading
Today is International Left Handers' Day! As a lefthanded person, I've decided that this means that today, everyone needs to write right-to-left so that all you righties can experience the agony of having ink smudged all over the side of your hand when you have to write something out with a pen! (Though personally, I'd love to switch to a bottom-to-top language-- it seems the most fair!)
For thse of you who read every day, you know that August is Tree Check Month (and if not, you can learn more from Mark Trail). And apart from protecting our trees, there's a lot of geat stuff to do outdoors this time of year.
I asked our cartoonists to share their favorite outdoor objects to draw in today's blog post.
Summer is great for spending time with our families-- I had a great time visiting my grandparents with my mom and dad earlier this month.
My dad was definitely the person who most encouraged my comics habit when I was a little kid-- and his stepmother always had a refrigerator covered with Family Circus cartoons. My mom's parents-- the ones I visited-- used to clip and save all the comics that didn't show up in my own local paper, which is how I read Prince Valiant as a child.
This week, I asked our cartoonists to tell us a story about their family-- or a family in their comics.
With Comic-Con buzz in the air, it's the time of year for meeting our favorite cartoonists! So I asked our cartoonists to tell me about a memorable meeting with a fan! Keep Reading
Welcome back to the Comics Kingdom Blog! I'm your Comic Strip Critic, and we're halfway through my week hosting here on the Blog. I've actually had the chance to ask cartoonists some questions before on my show.
Okay. So, to have a job in comics, you have to be a little bit of a geek, right?
I know I am, unabashedly so-- and I'm getting to be more of one as I get older. Funny story: about a year ago, I went to a talk on one of my favorite comic books, to listen to some world-renowned experts talk about the history of the comic, and at one point in the talk, a fan asked a question. The experts on the panel chatted amongst themselves for a minute, then looked out into the audience and said, "Tea, could you answer that?"
I'd mean it as more of a brag, but gosh, I have a lot of brainspace dedicated to comic trivia. (Probably only about a quarter of what the Archivist does, though!) Keep Reading
It's National Beauticians' Day, so remember to give your hairdresser a hug (my mom gave me my last haircut, awwww) when you're done reading this!
Hair is one of my favorite things to draw. I have super curly hair, so I spent a LOT of my childhood drawing squigglies on self-portraits. Once I started learning about dimensionality in art, hair was one of the first things I learned how to shade-- it was the 80s, and I spent a lot of time trying to make my ponytails look EXTRA POUFY.
Today, some of the Comics Kingdom cartoonist chimed in about drawing hair and about their favorite cartoon hairstyles! Keep Reading
Well, we've celebrated animal-themed days and food-themed day and career-themed days, but today pretty much takes the cake-- it's International Panic Day!
(Ready to panic? On three..) Keep Reading
My dad is the person who introduced me to comics: every Sunday, sitting on the floor of our living room, reading the comics was a family tradition. With Father's Day coming up, I asked our cartoonists to share some of their memories of dads-- real ones and cartoon ones!
It's National "Hug Your Cat Day!"
I thought it would be fun to check in with the cartoonists and find out about their favorite pets-- real and fictional. So today we're going to hear about their favorite pet memories. Keep Reading
Every Memorial Day Weekend, comics luminaries from around the globe get together for the annual Reubens Weekend, a weekend of events and activities for members of the National Cartoonists Society, culminating in the prestigious Reuben Awards. Keep Reading
Today is National Waiter and Waitress Day! I've never worked as a waitress, but I have worked as a bartender, and I know what a thankless job it is to wait tables.
We've all had those jobs we've done either for love or money or just out of desperation, so today I asked the cartoonists to talk about their oddest job experiences before or even during their cartooning careers-- or to talk about some of their characters' jobs! Keep Reading
We're fast approaching graduation season! So while students across the country are donning their caps and gowns, I decided to ask our cartoonists for their best advice to pass along to graduates! Keep Reading
So, Monday was National Cartoonists' Day; today is Teacher Appreciation Day, because obviously those teachers had to put up with a lot of rowdy cartoonists earlier in the week, oops!
I asked our cartoonists to share stories about their favorite teachers today. Keep Reading
Today is National Honesty Day!
Honesty is a great theme in comics-- after all, how many great punchlines are the result of a little white lie-- or a big freaking whopper? And there are always those great characters who can't manage not to tell the truth when it might be better to keep their mouths shut.
Today, I asked our cartoonists to share something they wouldn't normally reveal-- about themselves, or about a character! Keep Reading
As we all know, yesterday was Earth Day, one of our favorite days here at King Features. So, of course, today, I've asked our cartoonists to fill us in on what they (and their characters) do to celebrate Earth Day and to celebrate the Earth year-round! Keep Reading
Hey, Team Comics Kingdom!
Did all the US residents get their taxes in on time? Appropriately enough, the day after Tax Day is…NATIONAL STRESS AWARENESS DAY.
Writing and drawing a comic strip can be a time-consuming effort when you have to have a new cartoon every day, but so many of our cartoonists manage to meet their deadlines and find time to take part in their own personal creative endeavors. This week, I asked our cartoonists what kinds of hobbies and creative outlets they're interested in when they aren't cartooning. Keep Reading
Sad news: our scratch n' sniff comics feature had to be removed from the site, as we've been informed it was severely slowing down page loads and causing allergic reactions.
We hope you survived April Fools' day intact! This week, I asked cartoonists to share some of their favorite pranks-- ones they've played, ones people have played on them, and ones featured in their comics. Keep Reading
Happy National Spinach Day!
Did you know that was a holiday? I had no idea-- until it popped up on my calendar, and naturally, when you work for King Features, there's only one think National Spinach Day could possibly mean: It's time to talk about Popeye!
Spring is, as the old saying goes, just around the corner-- at least, we're pretty sure it is, as long as the Polar Vortex isn't a wormhole into a frosty dimension with longer winters than Game of Thrones...and I'm extremely excited about the possibility of no longer wearing three coats to work.