Ask A Cartoonist: National Stress Awareness Day

By Tea Fougner

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.

Not joking. That’s actually today. So, I guess we’re supposed to be extra-extra aware of our stress today. Thanks, day!

(No…really, it’s a day for acknowledging how stress affects our well-being.)

In acknowledgment of the day, I asked our cartoonists to answer a couple questions about stress and stress relief!

What stresses you (or your characters) out?



We don’t see Dethany stressed very often, but Comic Con is one of those times.



–Bill Holbrook, On the Fastrack and Safe Havens

When Zippy won’t get out of bed because today’s installment of “Judge Judy” was preempted by a baseball game. –Bill Griffith, Zippy the Pinhead

–Ron Ferdinand, Dennis the Menace

The most stressful thing anyone asks me to do is appear in front of crowds as a speaker. I don’t know about other cartoonists, but I got good at this work by going to my room at night as a kid and drawing while everybody else was out developing social skills. So it’s very stressful for weeks ahead of any speaking event I accept in a moment of weakness. I’ve learned that it subsides if I prepare ahead and mentally run through my topics and stories. But the best thing I can do when asked to speak is to answer, “Is there some other way I could help you?” –Jim Borgman, Zits

 J.C. Dithers – get’s stressed out when he finds Dagwood asleep at his computer, after his long lunch break!  –Dean Young, Blondie

Ted is pretty easy going guy but TREVOR, the new addition to ED-N-SON LIGHTBULBS, can get under Ted’s skin with his over-excitment and mood swings. –Bill Bettwy, Take it from the Tinkersons

Here’s what Stresses out Reverend Bob:

Here’s what stresses out Dr. Pork:


Here’s what stresses out Sid:


–Bud Grace, the Piranha Club

I get a bit stressed out about deadlines, getting my work done on time. Beetle, obviously, is often severely stressed out by Sarge. In turn, Sarge is stressed by Beetle. –Greg Walker, Beetle Bailey

Doing my best to come up with seven quality cartoon ideas a week, every week, is my greatest source of stress. –Hilary Price, Rhymes With Orange

I used to be stressed out by work, but then I became a cartoonist. –Alex Hallatt, Arctic Circle

What do you (or your characters) do to relieve stress?

Stress? I can handle any stress with solitude, a glass of wine, and a good book. Doodling also helps to get my focus back — it works a lot like meditation. –Rina Piccolo, Tina’s Groove and Six Chix

Unwinding from stress usually takes Dethany to her “Special Place.” –Bill Holbrook, On the Fastrack and Safe Havens

For me: play my ukulele. For Zippy: Another dozen Ding Dongs! –Bill Griffith, Zippy the Pinhead

A good, swift kick in the seat of Dagwood’s pants! –Dean Young, Blondie

The characters in my cartoons all meditate on a daily basis, which is an excellent way to reduce stress. As for me, I watch Cosmos on TV and remember how incredibly small and meaningless our planet is in the big picture, and all my problems disappear. –Dan Piraro, Bizarro

I, like General Halftrack, try to relax by playing golf. Unfortunately, this most often results in more stress. –Greg Walker, Beetle Bailey

When things get to be too much, Ted likes to unwind at ZACHS SPORTS BAR with Carl. Nothing a couple Yuenglings and some popcorn can’t cure. –Bill Bettwy, Take it from the Tinkersons

To unwind, I play ice hockey and walk my dog, but not at the same time.– Hilary Price, Rhymes With Orange