Ask A Cartoonist: Year in Review!

By Tea Fougner

2016 seems to have come and gone in the blink of an eye! But so many great things happened here at King Features, for so many of your favorite cartoonists. As the year draws to a close, I asked our cartoonists to look back on the year and their personal favorite highlights from the past 12 months. So many cartoonists here at King Features have done pretty incredible work and accomplished amazing things, and I’m so excited to share them with you right now!

John Rose, Barney Google & Snuffy Smith:

Professionally, in 2016, there are three things I am most proud of. The first happened in February when I had my second Snuffy Smith comic strip book collection published. It was a true joy to create! The book is entitled Balls Of Fire! More Snuffy Smith Comics and features over 350 of my favorite Snuffy Smith comic strips from 2013-2015. It retails for $19.50 and can be found here on Amazon.com

The second highlight was in the spring when I was among a group of cartoonists in The National Cartoonists Society who were asked to draw for the children at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. It was a truly humbling experience to draw cartoons for these remarkable children!

The third event happened in October when my fellow King Features cartoonists, Gary Brookins (Shoe, Pluggers), Marcus Hamilton (Dennis The Menace dailies) and I, were the keynote speakers at the Southeast Chapter of The National Cartoonists Society annual meeting in Roanoke, VA. We also collaborated on a special drawing of our comic strip characters that was auctioned off in a benefit charity auction. It was such an honor for me to speak alongside these two great cartoonists, who I truly admire, to such an extremely talented group of individuals!

Bill Griffith, Zippy the Pinhead:

I’m proudest of my 2016 Eisner Award for Best Writer/Artist for my graphic memoir, “Invisible Ink.” Here’s how to get an autographed copy, with a free original drawing of your choice by me in the book.


Bill Holbrook, Kevin & Kell, On the Fastrack, and Safe Havens:

The thing I was most proud of in 2016 was the honor of being nominated by my NCS peers for the Silver Reuben Award in the category of Online Comics (Short form) for “Kevin & Kell.” It’s something I’ll never forget.

I also had two new collections come out:


Fastrack 2013: 9 to 5 Goth

Safe Havens 2013: The Wedding Switch

Alex Hallatt, Arctic Circle:

Looking back on 2016, the work I’m proudest of is my chapter book, FAB (Friends Against Bullying) Club. It is the book I would have liked to have read as a middle-grader. The hardest thing wasn’t writing it, editing it, or illustrating it. It was publishing it. I had to get to grips (with help from friends and Youtube) with InDesign and negotiate the idosyncracies of Createspace and Ingram Spark. But now it is available in off and online bookstores and the feedback has been fantastic. I hope it entertains a lot of 8-12 year olds this Christmas.


Terri Libenson, The Pajama Diaries:

Although 2016 was a challenging year for a lot of people, professionally, it was probably my best yet. Go figure. The highlight was winning the Reuben Award for “Best Newspaper Comic Strip” in May. When I actually have a second to dwell on it, I’m still reeling. That was a dream moment, and one I’ll never forget.


I also did a lot of traveling and presentations this year, including being a guest speaker at “ToonFest” in Marceline, MO and a guest panelist at “TCAF” in Toronto. Both were great, and any chance I can get to hang with fellow cartoonists is always a bonus.

And lastly, I’ve been toiling away at my latest project all throughout the year: developing two middle grade books, the first of which will come out May 2, 2017. You can preorder “Invisible Emmie” and read a little about it here. Hope you enjoy, and Happy Holidays!

Karen Moy, Mary Worth:

This year, 2016, marks the start of my great collaboration on “Mary Worth” with brilliant artist June Brigman. Art legend Joe Giella retired from drawing “Mary Worth” prior to that. Some of the best work that Joe and I did together is collected into two books available on Amazon.com: “Love and Other Stories of Mary Worth” and “Searching and Other Stories of Mary Worth.” I like to look back at my work with Joe and maybe you do too. These make great gifts for yourself or someone you love!


Love and Other Stories


Searching and Other Stories

Isabella Bannerman, Six Chix:

t’s been a good year (with the glaring exception of the presidential election) with a lot to be thankful for. One of the things I am thankful for is that I started working with a group of artists here in my neighborhood. We call ourselves the “Studio Collective”, and we are: Ed Young, Gina Randazzo, Diane Brawarsky, Barbara King, and myself. We have a group show currently up until January 18, in the Village Hall ,7 Maple Avenue, Hastings on Hudson, NY 10706 open Mon – Fri, 10 AM – 4 PM.

Here is my painting, which is available as a print. I will also be available from time to time to give tours of the show if you are in the area. My next tour will be this Sat. Dec. 10 from 10 – 12.

I am also very grateful for the visit I made to see my mom this year, because we started working on a project of her memoirs, but I don’t have much of that ready to show – yet!

Marcus Hamilton, Dennis the Menace

For several years our church has been using DENNIS calendars as fundraisers for mission projects. We raise approximately $4,000 each year.

The money collected has been used to dig a well in a community, in India, that had no water.
Another year, we purchased groceries for 30 underprivileged families of students at a local school…”Book Bags of Love”.

This year all of the money is going toward sponsoring a child in the Make-A-Wish program.
It’s encouraging to see how something as simple as a calendar can put smiles on many faces,
and make Christmas special for them.


 What have been some of the comic highlights of YOUR year?