Success in Comics 2013

Success In The World of Comics Seminar 2013

Last weekend I was lucky enough to be one of the presenters at Tundra Comics3rd Sorta Annual Success in Comics Seminar. (I also presented at the first seminar back in 2009.) Other speakers included Tom Gammill, Tom Richmond, Amy Lago, Jeff Keane, Stephen Silver, Ed Steckley, Mark Simon, Tim Brennan, and, of course, Bill Kellogg & Chad Carpenter.

If you want a great full accounting of the entire weekend you should totally check out the Daily Cartoonist’s coverage, but I thought I’d share just a few of my favorite moments:

Chad and Bill started things off talking about self-syndicating Tundra into over 500 newspapers. (I mean, come on, that’s amazing!) I think the thing here that most bears repeating is the idea that you shouldn’t wait for success. Not syndicated? Can’t get into the New Yorker? No one wants to publish your book? Don’t wait, do it yourself.

Also, be professional. Be nice, hit your deadlines, it’s a business.

I was surprised by Amy Lago‘s presentation. I know people are concerned about what kids might read in a newspaper comic (are kids even reading newspaper comics?) but “bite me” isn’t allowed? And it sounds like syndicates basically aren’t launching new strips currently. So if you’re pinning your hopes on a syndicate contract, see Tundra’s advice above.

Tom Gammill was all kinds of entertaining, and I thought his technique of using cartoons to pitch ideas was pure genius. And keeping an informal journal of little things that make you happy/sad/angry/anything is a great idea for generating material later.

Here’s just a bit of Tom’s TV writing:

Isn’t that great?

Mark Simon has some really good ideas for self-promotion. One thing that I was glad to have confirmed was sending links to your material instead of attachments.

The next day began with Mad’s Tom Richmond who was, I think, the only one there who actually went to an art school. Unfortunately they frowned on cartooning so he paid his cartoon dues doing live caricatures. More good reminders from Tom on being professional and making yourself easy to work with.

Unfortunately the last person I was able to see was Stephen Silver who gave a really inspirational talk. The part I liked best was if you figure you really get started career-wise at around 30, and you’d like to retire at 65, you’ve got just over 10,000 days to work within. Make every day count! (And a huge thanks to Stephen for the advice on my brush pen nibs!)

It was at this point that I had to leave to catch the plane home so we could pick up the kids, but The Daily Cartoonist has plenty on Jeff Keane, Tim Brennan and Ed Steckley.

I wanted to take a moment to say thanks again to Chad & Bill for having me. This is something I wish I could have attended when I was starting out. Also, a big thanks to Mark for making my presentation work. And thank you so much to all of the attendees I met! I hope I gave you a good talk, and I had a great time chatting with all of you!!

LEGO Valentine Spaceship

For me there’s nothing more fun to build in LEGO than a spaceship. I love the engines, the cockpit, the space minifigs, and that swooshing sound I can’t help making as I fly it around the house. I love LEGO spaceships!

So, since Valentine’s day is fast approaching I thought I’d channel some of that love into this all-red heart-shaped fighter:

LEGO Valentine Spaceship Top

The dual engines swivel independently for maneuverability and easy landing, it’s armed to the teeth with four underside cannons, and its small size and stealth geometry keeps it off enemy radars until it’s too late.

But a recent skirmish has left our intrepid and beautiful pilot, Capt. Val N. Tine, with an enemy rocket lodged in the fuselage! Can she make it back to base? Why didn’t the rocket explode? And will she discover her enemy attacker was actually her secret admirer, Q-Pid?

Enjoy some more pics:

LEGO Valentine Spaceship Rear

LEGO Valentine Spaceship Q. Pid
LEGO Valentine Spaceship Front
LEGO Valentine Spaceship Side
LEGO Valentine Spaceship Front
LEGO Valentine Spaceship Bottom

Wanna see some more of my LEGO creations? Here’s a few you might like:

Marvel Superhero Valentines (1979 Hallmark)

From 1979 Hallmark and Marvel come these super awesome superhero valentines!

You’ve got Captain America, Ms. Marvel, the Hulk, Spider-Man, Iron Man, and, my personal favorite, The Thing!

(And be sure to check out these 1966 Batman valentines and the SuperFriends Action Valentine Playbook as well as my valentine cartoons.)


Captain America Valentine
Captain America Valentine Back
Ms. Marvel Valentine
Iron Man Valentine Back
Hulk Valentine
Hulk Valentine Back
Spider-man Valentine
Spider-man Valentine Back
Iron Man Valentine
Iron Man Valentine Back
Thing Valentine
Thing Valentine Back

Valentines Day Cartoons – 2013 Collection

Valentines Day cartoons are some of my favorite holiday cartoons to draw. You get to talk about love, candy, hearts, and a flying mostly naked baby with a bow and arrow. The cartoon possibilities are almost endless!

So, since Valentine’s day is just about here, here are some new cartoons I hope you’ll love:

Valentine's Day Cartoons 1

Valentine’s Day is all about telling that special someone how you feel, even if that someone is another company. You know though, if corporations really are people, there’s a vastly underserved market here! (Note to self – Valentines for corporations.)

Valentine's Day Cartoons 2

Whenever I can get a caption down to one word I do a happy little dance. It’s a shame you can’t see it, it’s quite something. I really get into it.

Valentine's Day Cartoons 3

I thought this might be too geeky for general consumption, but when you consider The Avengers is one of the highest earning movies ever made, I think I’m OK here. Also, I dare you to fine another Valentine’s Day cartoon with the Hulk in it. I dare you. I double dare you.

Valentine's Day Cartoons 4

Cupid is certainly a staple of Valentine cartoons, but I gotta tell ya, drawing the little guy is a pain. Wings, arrows, quiver, bow, sash, and all on a baby to boot! Yeesh!

Valentine's Day Cartoons 5

You know for a cartoon that’s about how a non-scripty font is bad for greeting cards, I sure chose an odd font to represent the greeting card company’s name on the wall. Just sayin’.

Valentine's Day Cartoons 6

It’s not weird enough that a flying infant shoots you with love arrows, but then he’s also got arrows that are intentionally romantically disappointing? Not cool, man.

Valentine's Day Cartoons 7

You know I was sure someone had done this, but I looked and looked and looked everywhere I could think to look online and could not find a Facebook like candy box instead of a Valentine heart candy box cartoon anywhere. Now, of course, having said that, 14 people will email some to me. But I swear I looked!

Valentine's Day Cartoons 8

I bet that hurts.

Valentine's Day Cartoons 9

I like cartoons that suggest a more involved back story, and you just know the back story in this Valentine’s Day cartoon is really something.

Valentine's Day Cartoons 10

The only thing worse than drawing a cupid, is drawing two of them right next to each other.

Well, that does it for 2013, but you can see all of my Valentines Day cartoons here. I know you’ll love them!