May 2nd, 2018

Ask A Cartoonist: Sibling Revelry

by Tea

It’s National Brothers and Sisters Day!

Gosh, siblings. Those are those people who tried to steal the Sunday comics pages from you every morning when you were a kid, right?

Love ’em or hate ’em, siblings pay an important part in everyone’s lives. So, this week, I asked our cartoonists to share stories about siblings– their own, or their favorite cartoon siblings. 

Bill Griffith, Zippy the Pinhead:

[the following entry contains depictions of abuse]

In my graphic memoir, “Invisible Ink”, I talked about my father’s abuse of me and my sister, Nancy (physical and emotional, not sexual). Here’s the section of the book dealing with his anger and how it affected my family. I was 10 at the time, Nancy was 8. The first part is from the bottom of page 56. The next is all of page 57.




Isabella Bannerman, Six Chix:

I have 2 amazing sisters, and it would take me way too long to describe all the ways they inspire me, and why they are important to me, so I’ll just start with this sketch I made of my sister Francesca. We were traveling together in London in 1992. She was the one who figured out which trains to take to visit our friends, and she bought the postcards to write to family back home to tell them about the trip. Organized, intrepid, loving and loyal – just a few of her qualities. And by the way, trying to write on a moving train isn’t the most flattering pose. In real life, she is a lot better looking than this.

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

Fastrack’s Dethany comes from a large family, but she’s closest to her sister Grace who is a year older than her. Grace had a specific challenge with her schoolwork, and Dethany did her best to help.






Ron Ferdinand, Dennis the Menace:

Dennis is still an only child but his hope springs eternal!

John Rose, Barney Google and Snuffy Smith:

Over the many years that I have been drawing cartoons, I think I have drawn almost all my family members in my cartoons. And many of my friends, as well. My brothers, Mike and Andy, grew up watching Saturday Morning Cartoons and Disney movies with me. Mike loved Hong Kong Phooey and Andy loved Tom and Jerry. Of course, me being a future cartoonist, I loved them ALL! While this is not a Snuffy Smith comic strip, this Earth Day cartoon I created for my local newspaper chain many years ago included both Mike and Andy and their two young daughters, my nieces Emma and Sydney.

Jeff Parker, Dustin:

I come from a family of five boys and one girl (Catholics)– and we’re all Js, Jimbo, Joe, John, Jeff, Jane, and Jack. My Dad always reasoned that they named us this way so we could all share the same monogrammed luggage. My Mom always called us, “The Tribe” (and still does). We five boys shared the same bedroom for a long time. At it’s most populated zenith, our bedroom sported two sets of bunk beds, a pull out for my oldest brother, and a lot of dirty laundry on the floor. We could never all get out of bed at the same time without causing grievous bodily harm to one another. It was great growing up in a big family. Mom still pops us in the back of the head from time to time despite our being middle-aged now. And we still love getting together when possible to mostly laugh a lot, and to toss our sister Jane into whatever body of water lays nearby.

Here’s a photo from the last time we were all together. I love these goobs…






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