Designing a cover

I’ve been busy finishing up my latest print projects (a new Watusi issue that will serve as a primer to the webcomic, and the self-contained print edition of Sultana), both of which happened to have a pair of crowd-filled scenes for their covers. That’s not really my strong suit (or maybe I just don’t have the patience it requires), but I was happy with how they turned out. Especially the Watusi cover which, I realized as I was cleaning up from these projects, still had all of its steps of production documented in some way. So I’ll share them with you in case you want to see some of my working process…

First, I draw up an initial idea in my sketchbook, fairly small. I did try a couple of different variations for this one (which I don’t always do), but landed on the idea of characters gathered in a library:


I worked that up to actual size with a more detailed drawing. To this, I added clippings from past strips & a logo so that I could share it with local cartoonists for feedback (on the whole issue, not just this cover):


I developed that drawing into more detailed pencil art. I wanted to give Emmett Elder something different to do and have Watusi leap more actively from the screen…


I then inked the artwork with my trusty fountain pen. This image is of the raw inks that I scanned in, which shows some rough areas & notes for myself …

Primer4-inked… that I clean up in production to get this final line art:

Primer5-finalI color that using PhotoShop, which took me a lot longer than I thought it should, partly because I had a hard time coming up with the right background color scheme. The Sultana cover went quicker, so maybe I learned a trick or two from this one! I added the logo (in this case for the Free Comic Book Day variant cover), and it’s ready to send off to the printer! 

Primer7-FCBDKeep an eye out for this issue when it’s released in early May!

[January 2023 UPDATE: this post originally appeared on my now-closed Patreon page.]

I have a question for you…

… if you already read my Watusi the Talking Dog comic online– or maybe especially if you DON’T– what kind of information did/would you like to know before you dive/d into a new body of work? After nearly 10 years and more than that many different storylines, I feel the need to provide an easy introduction for new readers … so I’m assembling a webcomic primer issue of Watusi to serve that function. While I try to make work that is accessible to new readers, I’m often too involved in the process to see things from the reader’s POV. I would love to quench your thirst for understanding (& give you a better reading experience)!

Chime in below & feel free to share …

Bouncing your way– it’s the return of the Human Spring!

While it’s been a long time coming, I’m thrilled to finally share this news– the Human Spring is back!
Of all my many neglected characters, the Human Spring is one of my favorites, and probably the one I’ve been the most frustrated at not using on a regular basis. But that’s all about to change, as the first installment of my Human Spring webcomic is coming to my Patreon patrons as a new full-color Saturday morning cartoon!

The first episode debuts this weekend, with new episodes following on a weekly schedule; it retells the Human Spring’s origin from Smeary Soapbox Press-ents #1, but with new scenes and (did I mention?) in full color! Once that storyline is done, I’ll take a break until the next “issue”, then follow weekly until that one’s done. As much as I’d love to create two simultaneous weekly features, this staggered release is what I can commit to now. I’m planning for three issues a year, mixing new and revised stories with new scenes, subplots, and supporting characters.

I’m really excited about this, and hope you’ll join me in the adventure!

(Not currently one of my Patreon patrons? You can join here! Want to find out more about the Human Spring? Read this!)

[January 2023 UPDATE: I’ve closed my Patreon page.]

Getting to know Watusi

Let’s get this strip off to a start by getting to know Watusi and his cast. Kind of a soft opening, if you will…Getting to know Watusi (pt. 1 of 3)

Getting to know Watusi (pt. 2 of 3)

strip003[January 2023 UPDATE: this post originally appeared in May 2009 as three separate Watusi episodes to kick off his webcomic (and this blog) before I migrated those comics to If you’d like to read more Watusi comics from the beginning, this story continues there.]