GoComics Staff Pick: Cornered by Mike Baldwin

From the office conference room to the gates of heaven, Cornered offers a twisted perspective on life’s ups and downs. Mike Baldwin has quite a talent for taking relatable situations and turning them on their heads. The result is a giggle and a snort. 

 

Take this one where a woman is shopping for a coffin. Now this is not everyday comic material, but Baldwin has taken this morbid task and spun it in an unexpected direction.

 

Cornered by Mike Baldwin

 

But the ones that always make me laugh out loud are set in the office. Oh man. Baldwin has it covered in every department. Here are a some favorites:

 

 

The Troubleshooter

 

Cornered by Mike Baldwin

 

 

Human Resources

 

Cornered by Mike Baldwin

 

 

The Vice President

 

Cornered by Mike Baldwin

 

 

The CEO

 

Cornered by Mike Baldwin

 

When life has me Cornered, I check out this comic, and I always walk away with a smile on my face. 

 

Cornered by Mike Baldwin

 

—Sarah Peiper, Manager of PageCaptain Pagination  

 

 

Add Cornered to your GoComics homepage!

 

About Cornered: How do you react when you're cornered? Talk your way out, prepare for battle or insist you're just fine and dandy? Mike Baldwin's "Cornered" characters reflect the full spectrum of these reactions - all the while doing their very best to be taken seriously. From dark to light to blindingly brilliant, the results delight, amuse or even confuse - but it's well worth the risk. No one's ever lost an eye reading "Cornered" (aside from one reader who got WAAAY too close - you know who you are). In the end it's discovering the inconvenient truth of being "Cornered" that sets you free. 





Nominations are Now Open for Tank McNamara's Sports Jerk of the Year Award

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Tank McNamara by Bill Hinds

I love sports.

 

To put it another way: "Hi, my name is Clint, and I have a sports problem."

 

OK, OK, so maybe it's not quite that bad. (Yes it is.) But, seriously, I'll watch almost anything. For me, sports are as much a part of my reality as anything else. And, as the editor of the comic strip Tank McNamara, sports also are part of my career on a daily basis.

 

And one of my favorite annual sports events is here once again — Tank McNamara's Sports Jerk of the Year.

 

TankSJOY

 

The Sports Jerk of the Year doesn't care about teams — friend or foe. It is an infamous individual dis-honor that transcends sports and delves into the essence of the human condition. It goes beyond loyalty and performance and achievement, and instead highlights a far less admirable quality: being a jerk.

 

Some athletes like being jerks. Others don't mean to be, but just are. Maybe someone didn't want to be a jerk, but it just worked out that way so they stuck with it. No matter how it happened, it is now time to recognize these individuals for being high-quality, grade A, first-class, top-shelf, all-natural, premium jerks.

 

Nominations will be accepted through Friday, February 6 in the following formats:  

 

 

The “Sports Jerk of the Year Award” winner will be announced on Friday, February 20 via the GoComics blog, its social media outlets, the Tank McNamara Facebook page and the Tank McNamara comic strip.





Giveaway: Signed SDCC 2014 Jim Benton Cartoons Print

 

JimBentonGiveaway

 

The blustery January weather has us dreaming of those sunny, hot July days we spent in San Diego at SDCC. We want to share some throwback SDCC action with you by giving away three SDCC 2014 special-edition prints signed by Jim Benton!

 

To enter, comment on this blog post and include your FIRST and LAST names. Limit one entry per person. This contest will end on Tues., January 27 at 10 a.m. CT. The winner will be announced that day on this blog. This contest is open to all readers worldwide.

 

Read Jim Benton Cartoons here.





Giveaway: Big Nate’s Greatest Hits – Winner Announced

BigNateGreatestHits

 

Thank you to all who entered to win the newly-released "Big Nate's Greatest Hits!" We have randomly selected a winner!

 

Congratulations to Patty Leidy! Please contact us at rewards@gocomics.com with your shipping address and phone number. Please note: You must contact us by Tues., January 27 or your prize will be forfeited.





Comics Sherpa: Editor's Picks

This recurring LAUGH TRACKS feature highlights individual Sherpa strips and panels that for one reason or another caught the fancy of the aide de sherpa. It could be anything; the drawing, the writing, the humor, the coloring, that they tried something interesting, or that it's a new step for that particular creator.

 

We hope this quirky sampler will alert you to features you might not yet have noticed amid Sherpa's abundant, ever-changing, and eclectic mix, and that it gives Sherpa creators a modicum of helpful feedback.

 

 

 

Don't Pick the Flowers  1-16-15

 

 

 

 

1-16-15

 

 

 

 

GramDragon  1-16-15

 

 

 

 

 Specktickles  1-16-15

 

 

 

 

1-16-15

 

 

 

 

Blue Skies Toons  1-17-15

 

 

 

 

Buns  1-17-15

 

 

 

 

1-18-15

 

 

 

County Line  1-19-15

 

 

Soccer Earth  1-19-15

 

 

 

A complete list of all the Sherpa features can be found here.

 





Rat and Pig Meet Montreal

Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis
Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis

 

Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis

 

The City of Montreal is feeling the love from Stephan Pastis’ Pearls Before Swine!

 

As the story goes, Pastis explored Montreal for the first time last fall and found himself extremely impressed with all the city had to offer. Inspired to reference the city in his comic strip, the Jan. 19 and Jan. 21 Pearls Before Swine comic strips are centered around Montreal.

 

Montreal residents, including Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, are charmed and entertained by Pastis’ storyline this week, and it’s making major news!

 

“Pastis is, unarguably, one of the most successful cartoonists on the planet. Pearls Before Swine runs in more than 750 newspapers, including the Montreal Gazette. He has an estimated 17.6 million readers a day. Pastis’s professed love for our city is not just idle talk, either. He is providing Montreal a showcase that will leave tourism officials here drooling. Pastis has drawn two Pearls Before Swine strips – to appear on Monday and Wednesday in our paper and worldwide – not only extolling the merits of our bagels, smoked meat, poutine et al but also this declaration from his Pig character: “I AM MOVING TO MONTREAL!!” – via The Montreal Gazette

 

“He fell in love with Montreal on his first trip to the city last fall, and now the American cartoonist Stephan Pastis is shining the spotlight on Montreal in two strips of his popular comic strip Pearls Before Swine. The comics will be published today and Wednesday in over 750 newspapers around the globe, including the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Chicago Sun Times.” – via NewsWire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Pearls Before Swine here.





Weekend Faves (January 18)

 

Ordinary Bill by William Wilson
Ordinary Bill by William Wilson

Oof. I feel your pain, Will.

--Julie

 

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz
Peanuts by Charles Schulz

This is me when the Sarah McLaughlin animal cruelty commercials come on.
-- Amanda

 

Dogs of C-Kennel by Mick & Mason Mastroianni
Dogs of C-Kennel by Mick & Mason Mastroianni

The struggle is real.
--Elizabeth

 

Steve Benson by Steve Benson
Steve Benson by Steve Benson

The fight continues. See more comics honoring Martin Luther King Jr. here.

--Julie

 

Lio by Mark Tatulli
Lio by Mark Tatulli

Still terrifying, if you ask me.

--Lucas





New Comic Alert! The Daily Drawing by Lorie Ransom

The Daily Drawing

 

The Daily Drawing is a series of random scenarios with a fleeting cast of quirky (and often inanimate) characters. Sometimes there’s a dialog, but sometimes not.

 

“Life is weird,” says author Lorie Ransom. “I try to find a bit of ridiculous in the mundane things that most everyone can relate to.” Ransom likes to keep the subject matter light and whimsical, but will occasionally veer into the realm of saucy, just to keep you on your toes.

 

Read The Daily Drawing here.





Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.

Today, we honor the great man who fought hard to end racial discrimination. A true leader, Martin Luther King Jr.’s nonviolent activism transformed America.

 

We’ve gathered a collection of thought-provoking, sentimental and humorous comics celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

 

Grand Avenue by Steve Breen and Mike Thompson
Grand Avenue by Steve Breen and Mike Thompson

 

The Meaning of Lila by John Forgetta and L.A. Rose
The Meaning of Lila by John Forgetta and L.A. Rose

 

Nancy by Guy Gilchrist
Nancy by Guy Gilchrist


 

See the entire collection here.

 





Meet Your Creator: Lincoln Peirce (Big Nate)

Bn140505

 

There’s an old song by the Carter Family called “Hello, Stranger.”  It’s more or less a musical greeting in which the singer tells whoever is listening:  “We don’t know each other, but let’s be friends.”  I’m no singer, as anyone who’s heard me can surely attest.  But I like the song. And I like making friends.

 

So: Hello, stranger. Welcome to my blog.

 

Lp4

 

As I write this, it’s early January 2015, which means that my comic strip, Big Nate, has been in print for almost exactly twenty-four years. I’m pleased and proud to have hung around that long, because cartooning is not necessarily an easy way to make a living. But even at a young age, I got the feeling that it was an occupation that would suit me. I remember reading a quote from my boyhood idol, Charles Schulz of Peanuts fame, which went something like this: To be a cartoonist, you need to be a good artist, not a great artist; and a good writer, not a great writer. And I thought to myself: “I’ve found my dream job.”

 

Peanutsdrawing2

 

But, finding my dream job didn’t mean I practiced a lot. The drawing shown here notwithstanding, I wasn’t one of those kids who spent countless hours mastering my craft. I loved to draw, but I enjoyed plenty of other things, too – like playing sports, watching Saturday morning TV shows, and having the occasional near-death experience while climbing trees or riding bikes. So even though I identified myself as a cartoonist starting in about 2nd or 3rd grade, I always knew there were plenty of other people who could draw better than I could (as Charlie Brown’s lower body in this masterpiece clearly indicates). To be honest, I spent more time reading comics than I did drawing them. I collected a few comic books avidly – Uncle Scrooge, Batman and Spiderman were some of my favorites – but my real passion was newspaper comic strips. Peanuts was at the very top, of course, but I read ‘em all. I loved B.C., Doonesbury, Andy Capp, Tumbleweeds, Blondie and Fred Basset. Later, in high school, I began to learn about the great strips from the Golden Age of comics, like Krazy Kat, Thimble Theatre, Terry and the Pirates, Little Nemo and Polly and Her Pals. And I read plenty of comics I DIDN’T like, too. That’s a good education in its own right.

 

My progression as a cartoonist through my teens and early twenties was not particularly noteworthy. In high school, I drew comics savaging the teachers I didn’t care for. (Good taste prohibits me from including any of them here.) And in college, I created a weekly comic strip called Third Floor. Here’s a sample:

 

 

Thirdfloor

 

It was basically a Doonesbury rip-off. And this might be the worst drawing of a moose in comics history. But that’s okay. Imitating other cartoonists’ styles, either consciously or unconsciously, is a stage most everyone goes through. So is drawing stuff – like a moose – you have no clue how to draw.

 

Speaking of having no clue, I’d begun submitting ideas to the major syndicates by this time. They were all terrible. I’ll give myself a small amount of credit for making incremental improvements with each submission, but progress was slow until I created a comic strip based on my childhood in New Hampshire. The characters, most of them kids, were loosely modeled on friends I’d grown up with. It was, literally, a neighborhood comic strip. I named it Neighborhood Comix. What an imaginative title!                                               

                                                                                                           

Among the cast were two brothers: Nate on the left, and Marty on the right. Does Marty’s shirt look familiar?

 

Neighborhood2

 

Here’s what happened to Neighborhood Comix. United Media liked the strip, but thought that Nate looked too much like Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes. So I decided to turn the two brothers into one character. I kept Nate’s name, but made him look and act more like Marty, who had a bigger, more outrageous personality. Then I changed the name of the strip to reflect the fact that Nate was now unquestionably the main character. “Big Nate” was what I’d called my brother Jon when we were kids (long story), so I was already attached to the name. Neighborhood Comix was out. Big Nate was in.

 

(Quick note: This process actually took about a year and a half of blood, sweat and tears, but for brevity’s sake, I decided to limit this epic tale to one paragraph.)

 

And here’s the first-ever Big Nate daily strip, from January 7, 1991:

 

Bn910107

 

Check out Nate’s long, skinny legs! Poor kid, he’s actually grown shorter and stubbier with the passage of time. (And, thank goodness, my drawing skills have improved.)  Anyway, back then the strip had only a handful of characters: Nate, Dad, Ellen, Francis, Jenny, Mrs. Godfrey and Mr. Rosa. Characters who have since become important contributors – Teddy, Chad, Coach John, Artur, Gina, Mrs. Shipulski, Principal Nichols, Spitsy, Mrs. Czerwicki, School Picture Guy and others – have been added along the way.   Some of them are really fun to draw and write for, and it’s impossible for me to imagine the strip without them.  But Nate is the star of the show, and always will be.

 

  Big Nate In a Class by Himself cover spot

 

When I’m asked to describe Nate, I often say that he’s his own biggest fan. He’s only eleven years old, remember, and I think most kids that age tend to be interested primarily in their own lives – not because they’re selfish or conceited, but because eleven year-old children aren’t SUPPOSED to be filled with empathy and humility and all that stuff.  That’s what adulthood is for, and Nate’s definitely not an adult yet. So I don’t want to make him wise beyond his years, or endow him with traits that an eleven-year-old couldn’t possibly possess.  I want him to look, act, and sound like a real kid. Real, but not ordinary. He’s a little more over-the-top than your everyday 6th grader, but after all, it’s a cartoonist’s job to exaggerate.

 

Soon after I started the strip, I discovered that the jokes and stories I enjoyed the most were the ones that focused on Nate’s school experiences. That wasn’t a surprise, since I’d been a high school art teacher/baseball coach for three years after finishing graduate school. So P.S. 38, the school where Nate attends 6th grade (year after year), moved to the center of the strip and stayed there. I like it that way. Schools can be very funny places.  Here are a few strips I like dealing with school themes:

 

Bn070915

 

Bn121017

 

Bn120918

 

Untitled

 

Bn101006

 

Bn_c100918

 

After 24 years of this, I have to admit that coming up with fresh, funny ideas is getting more challenging. But my routine hasn’t really changed. I begin each day by reading the comics in each of the two morning newspapers. (My favorite strip is Monty, by my friend Jim Meddick. Hilarious.) Then I go to my office, which is a three-second commute across the dining room, and get to work.  I write and doodle in small sketchbooks or on Post-it notes, and that usually helps spark an idea or two.

 

Sketchpage

 

And when the time comes to actually draw a strip, I’m still using the same supplies I started with all those years ago.

 

Stencil

 

  • 14” x 17” smooth Bristol board
  • panel stencil
  • wooden ruler
  • non-photo blue pencil
  • correcting tape
  • Staedtler pigment liners

 

I have made a couple of concessions to technology. I now color my Sunday pages in Photoshop instead of using colored pencils. And I scan my strips and upload them to some sort of magical dropbox called Cyberduck instead of sending my original drawings to the syndicate via U.S. mail. Otherwise, though, I create the strip just the way I did when I started it back in ’91. I sketch it lightly in blue pencil, then do all the drawing, lettering, and shading by hand in ink. Part of that’s due to the fact that I’m a technophobe, but mostly it’s because I just like the way my stuff looks when it’s hand-drawn. And it helps me stay connected to the strip and the characters when I draw each panel individually, rather than use the copy/paste tool to replicate the same drawing time after time. 

 

Lp2

 

I’ve been very fortunate. In a day and age when newspapers are struggling and many cartoonists are losing clients, my work has been able to reach an entirely new generation of readers, thanks to a series of illustrated Big Nate novels published by HarperCollins. I wrote the first one in 2009, it came out in 2010, and suddenly – without really knowing what I was doing – I was known as a children’s book author. It was kind of terrifying at first, but I’ve since become more accustomed to the idea. I go on book tours, speak at schools and bookstores, and do signings at events like BookExpo America and New York Comic Con. I’ve attended the premiere of “Big Nate: The Musical” at Adventure Theatre in Glen Echo, Maryland. I’ve even been a guest on the Today Show for taking part in a successful effort to break the world record for the longest comic strip by a team. This highly unlikely mid-career turn of events has been a real blessing for my family and me, and I’m very grateful.

 

Arizona

 

 

BN_The_Musical_Logo_Final[1]

 

 

TODAY

 

But I’m still a cartoonist, first and foremost, and the comic strip is my real love.  Someday soon, I’ll stop writing the Big Nate novels. A book series can’t, and shouldn’t, continue indefinitely. Comic strips, though, are forever, and I’d like to keep mine going for a long time to come. I enjoy my work. I still get a kick out of coming up with good gags and storylines. It’s still a thrill to see my work in print every day.  And it’s an honor to meet and become friends with so many other cartoonists whose work I admire. 

 

Big Nate is sometimes described as a “kids’ strip,” and, even though I write it for readers of all ages, I don’t mind that label one bit. Childhood is when most of us first become aware of cartooning, and if my strip gets some young people interested in comics, I’m all for it. One of the joys of my life is getting letters from kids telling me – sometimes in words, sometimes in pictures – that Big Nate matters to them in some way. Which brings me back to how I started this blog. These kids aren’t people I know. Chances are I’ll never meet them in person. But they’ve taken the time to write to me and tell me a little bit about themselves. Isn’t that just another way of saying “Hello, stranger”?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

AMcover

 

Read Big Nate here, Big Nate: First Class here or like the comic on Facebook!





Twitter Q&A with Nick Seluk of The Awkward Yeti

AwkwardYeti_3

 

Nick Seluk, creator of The Awkward Yeti comic, joined us on Twitter this afternoon for an hour-long Q&A with fans! 

 

 

 

Join us on Twitter next Friday (Jan. 23) for another cartoonist Q&A with Andrew Hart (creator of Winston comics). Tune in using the hashtag: #AskAndrewHart

 





A Winter Wonderland of Comics

Baby, it’s cold outside!

 

Though the dark and snowy days of winter are here in full force, our goal at GoComics is to always keep you laughing! We’ve compiled a collection of winter-related comics to brighten the dreary days.

 

Full of skating, sledding, snowmen and even some sunlight, these comics are guaranteed to bring you out of the dreaded winter daze.

 

Frank & Ernest by Thaves
Frank & Ernest by Thaves

 

Grand Avenue by Steve Breen and Mike Thompson
Grand Avenue by Steve Breen and Mike Thompson

 

Heart of the City by Mark Tatulli
Heart of the City by Mark Tatulli

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz
Peanuts by Charles Schulz

 

See the entire collection of winter-themed comics here.





Comics Sherpa: Editor's Picks

This recurring LAUGH TRACKS feature highlights individual Sherpa strips and panels that for one reason or another caught the fancy of the aide de sherpa. It could be anything; the drawing, the writing, the humor, the coloring, that they tried something interesting, or that it's a new step for that particular creator.

 

We hope this quirky sampler will alert you to features you might not yet have noticed amid Sherpa's abundant, ever-changing, and eclectic mix, and that it gives Sherpa creators a modicum of helpful feedback.

 

 

County Line  1-13-15

 

 

 

1-14-15

 

 

 

 

Girth  1-14-15

 

 

 

 

1-14-15

 

 

 

1-15-15

 

 

 

 

Rackafracka  1-15-15

 

 

 

 

A complete list of all the Sherpa features can be found here.

 





GoComics Staff Pick: Garfield Minus Garfield

Somewhere inside Garfield Minus Garfield there is a college English paper on the essence of dark humor and why we are amused by the pain and suffering inherent in human existence. But this is the Internet, not a place of learning, so I'll spare you.

 

If you've never read it, the name sums up the strip rather nicely: Garfield Minus Garfield is a collection of Garfield strips with the titular character removed. The result is a strip that's often simply a melancholy account of Jon Arbuckle's life. Whether he's pondering our fleeting existence,

 

 

GMG11.10.14

 

reminding us of our life's failings,

 

GMG12.5.14

 

 

or fighting the good fight in that horrible world called "dating,"

 

 

GMG7.18.14

 

 

Jon helps us chuckle at the unpleasant experiences that befall everyone at some time or another. So, in a way, all this unpleasantry should bring us all a little comfort.

 

 

GMG9.17.14

 

Yep, lots and lots of comfort.

 

—Amanda Banion, Chief Productivity Enhancement Engineer (AKA: Barista) 





Big News for Big Nate, And We're Lovin' It

 

BigNateClass
Source: Amazon

 

Fun-loving kids across the world flock to McDonald’s for the trinket toys that are included in the Happy Meal. Now, these lucky kiddos can have their French fries with a side of Big Nate!

 

A partnership between McDonald’s, Harper Collins and nonprofit organization Reading is Fundamental arranged for McDonald’s Happy Meals prizes to include 17 million copies of four books, including "Big Nate: In a Class by Himself." 

 

This is big news for Big Nate! Learn more about the partnership at PEOPLE Magazine.

 

Can’t make it to McDonald’s? Read Big Nate or Big Nate: First Class.





Getting plugged

0a14d09078410132bbee005056a9545d

 

The only question left unanswered by this comic -- Between the Smith & Wesson in his left pocket and the Colt revolver in his right, which one is the "security system" and which is the "backup"?

 

OK, one more unanswered question: Isn't connecting your suspenders directly to your belt loops a fundamentally "insecure system"?

 

Read more Plugger mysteries here.





Giveaway: Big Nate’s Greatest Hits

BigNateGreatestHits

 

Released just last week by our sister company Andrews McMeel Publishing, "Big Nate's Greatest Hits" collects three bestselling e-book only collections -- "Big Nate Makes a Splash," "Big Nate Dibs on This Chair" and "Big Nate Pray for a Fire Drill" -- in this supersized paperback edition.

 

We’re giving ONE lucky fan the chance to win this brand-new book!

 

To enter, comment on this blog post and include your FIRST and LAST names. Limit one entry per person. This contest will end on Tues., January 20 at 10 a.m. CT. The winner will be announced that day on this blog. Sorry worldwide comics fans, this giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada residents only.

 

For more Big Nate-related fun, check out the newly launched Big Nate: First Class!





R. Crumb Weighs In

"Robert Crumb is considered by many to be the single best cartoonist America has ever produced. The creator of counter culture icons like Fritz the Cat, the Keep On Truckin guy and Mr Natural, Mr. Crumb was inducted into the comic book Hall of Fame in 1991, the same year he moved his family to France, where he has resided ever since. Writer Celia Farber reached him at his home on Friday, January 9, 2015, to talk about the massacre of cartoonists and others in Paris this week..."

 

Read the full New York Observer interview here.

 

 

Crumb re Hebdo





Comics Sherpa: Editor's Picks

This recurring LAUGH TRACKS feature highlights individual Sherpa strips and panels that for one reason or another caught the fancy of the aide de sherpa. It could be anything; the drawing, the writing, the humor, the coloring, that they tried something interesting, or that it's a new step for that particular creator.

 

We hope this quirky sampler will alert you to features you might not yet have noticed amid Sherpa's abundant, ever-changing, and eclectic mix, and that it gives Sherpa creators a modicum of helpful feedback.

 

 

 

Amanda the Great  1-9-15

 

 

 

 

And now...  1-9-15

 

 

 

 

Blue Skies Toons  1-9-15

 

 

 

 

1-9-15

 

 


 

 

 

1-9-15

 

 

 

 

Onion & Pea 1-9-15

 

 

 

 

1-9-15

 

 

 

 

Teacher Ink  1-11-15

 

 

 

 

Frank & Steinway  1-9-15 and 1-12-15

 

 

 

 

1-12-15

 

 

 

 

I'm Telling Mom  1-12-15

 

 

 

A complete list of all the Sherpa features can be found here.

 





Phoebe and Her Unicorn

Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson

 

Heads up, Heavenly Nostrils fans! The comic you know and love has been renamed. Now called Phoebe and Her Unicorn, the sparkly, fun adventures of Phoebe and Marigold continue. So, never fear! The name may have changed, but the storyline remains the same!

 

Read Phoebe and Her Unicorn here.






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