Sherpa Review: Suburban Fairy Tales (Part One)


Welcome to the second-ever Sherpa Review, a week-long series of posts in which Universal Uclick editors offer comments, suggestions, and feedback on one feature. Today's post gives some background information, and offers you the chance to familiarize yourself with the work. The next four days will each offer a different editorial take.


SFT 7-9-14

Title: Suburban Fairy Tales


Creator: Francis Bonnet


Premise: A large cast of familiar fairy tale characters live in a modern suburban community, and some of them attend high school together.


Frog Prince/Prince Charming 1
Prince Charming 2
Red Riding Hood
Three Little Pigs
Humpty Dumpty
Big Bad Wolf
Mr. Gepeto
Gingerbread Man
Cheshire Cat
Pied Piper
Mrs. Hagatha
Bo Peep
The Lost Sheep
Santa Claus
And more...

Francis Bonnet in his booth



Francis Bonnet graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2001 with a degree in illustration. From 2003-2005 he published the strip Crunchy, about a crazy turtle, on Comics Sherpa. He ended that feature and launched Suburban Fairy Tales in 2005. He paused it from 2006-2008 in order to do Made To Malfunction, a strip about a robot. Suburban Fairy Tales resumed in 2008, and has appeared three times a week ever since (except for a very brief hiatus in 2013 during which he experimented with a short-lived strip called Insane Forest).


In addition to running on Sherpa, Suburban Fairy Tales appears on and Facebook. Bonnet has self-published four Suburban Fairy Tales books, and sells and signs at various Comic Cons.


Read a curated sampling of strips from the past seven years here.
To read the most recent five months of the strip, begin here.
Read the complete 2008-2015 Sherpa run, from the beginning, here, or backwards from today, here.

Tomorrow's Review:

Shena Wolf, UU's Acquisitions Editor


-- David Stanford, aide de sherpa


Meet Your Creator: Alexis E. Fajardo (Kid Beowulf)




The first cartoon book I remember reading was a Pogo collection. It had a ratty, crimson-colored cover with frayed edges and a yellowed picture of Pogo on the front, doffing his hat to the reader. I didn’t get any of the jokes in the book, but I remember poring over the drawings and loving Walt Kelly’s artwork. When I was 8 years old, I remember being introduced to the French comic Asterix, and I immediately fell in love with Albert Uderzo’s artwork and Rene Goscinny’s writing – it was the perfect mix of humor, history and cartooning. I knew then and there I wanted to draw like that some day. The other book that had a direct impact on me was Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. It was the first superhero comic I read with a beginning, a middle and an end; I loved how Miller made it feel like a movie – that book showed me that a comic could convey depth of story and character. Those three comics – mixed with a healthy dose of history and mythology – are the primary influences on Kid Beowulf.





It would take a very long time for those influences to filter down into my work, though. My first foray into cartooning was comic strips, and I had dreams of being a syndicated cartoonist. I did a strip in high school and through college called Plato’s Republic, which I carried over to the Web in 1998 and would submit to syndicates. I did it daily for about five years; it was very much a hybrid of Doonesbury and Bloom County, but it never got any traction in the comic strip world, and I have countless rejection letters from syndicates to prove it. 



Eventually, as my artwork and storytelling got better, I wanted to break out of the confines of the four-panel strip. That’s when I started to play around with comic books.  I had a friend at the time doing a fantasy zine and he suggested I contribute a story. My tendency is always toward the classics, and I happened to be re-reading BEOWULF at the time. Somewhere along the way, it struck me as funny to imagine Beowulf as a kid, and before I knew it I started drawing a story about it. Kid Beowulf started life as a six-page zine – I never expected I’d still be doing it over 10 years and 600 pages later!





It took time for Kid Beowulf to find its legs – both in the writing and the drawing. I’m primarily self-taught, so whatever drawing style I have is born out of my limitations as an artist. I love the lush line-work of classic cartoonists like Walt Kelly, Albert Uderzo and Peyo, but I also admire the action storytelling of shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender. When the drawing days are good, I’m able to mash all those influences together, and hopefully, it comes across on the page.




I’m also very lucky to have a day job in the comics industry working at the Charles M. Schulz Studio (Creative Associates) in Santa Rosa, California. Located on the same campus as the Schulz Museum, the studio handles PEANUTS licensing, offering editorial and content direction to licensees worldwide.  The studio is filled with artists, cartoonists, and sculptors, all of whom have great affection for Schulz’s legacy.  One of the projects I’m involved in is the new series of PEANUTS monthly comic books from BOOM! Studios; I help put each issue together with editorial direction, and will occasionally write or ink a story.





My home studio is about a 10-foot walk from the back door of my house. I try to do some work every day, whether it’s writing, sketching, drawing or coloring, and my dog, Loki, always accompanies me to and from the studio. There are three books done so far in the Kid Beowulf series – the first of which is being colorized and featured on GoComics. I’m really excited to bring the series to a whole new audience – it’s certainly a different experience to read one page a day versus reading a book all at once, and I hope readers are enjoying the story.






My most recent work is stand-alone adventure from a new series I’m doing called The Kid Beowulf Eddas – these are short stories featuring the secondary characters in the KidB. Universe. The newest story is called “Shild and the Dragon,” and it’s the story of how the Dragon lost his eye and Old King Shild lost his hand. For those reading Kid Beowulf on GoComics, they may have remembered this scene, which inspired the new story…



Shild and the Dragon is available online and in print form.


Right now on my drawing table is the next Kid Beowulf Edda featuring fan-favorite, Holger (Hrothgar’s well-adjusted younger brother).  After I’m done with the series of short stories I’ll rejoin twin brothers Beowulf and Grendel and begin the next chapter in the cycle. In addition to the new work, I’ve also begun a Patreon campaign, so if you are enjoying Kid Beowulf and want to see it succeed, this is the best way to show your support and get some behind-the-scenes goodies on the creation of the series. So stick around – the story is just getting started!


Read Kid Beowulf here, follow Lex on Twitter or become a patron of Kid Beowulf at Patreon!

Twitter Q&A with Mike Shiell of The Wandering Melon



Special thank to cartoonist Mike Shiell of The Wandering Melon for joining us on Twitter! If you missed the Q&A, check out the conversation below:




Add The Wandering Melon to your GoComics homepage



ABOUT: When my melon goes off on a free-style cerebral stroll, untethered from the constraints of boring stuff like logic and reason it sometimes just meanders aimlessly for a while and then eventually returns empty handed. Other times however, it comes back bearing some interesting little nuggets. For example; an idea for a weird invention or toy, a goofy little animation, a quirky memory from childhood or a slightly dark gag cartoon. Who knows what the wandering melon is going to drag home from its journeys?!  


Jump on Twitter next week, Friday, Nov. 14 for another live cartoonist Q&A on Twitter with Kid Beowulf creator Alexis Fajardo! #AskLexFajarado 

The Art of Richard Thompson

Source: Amazon


I’ll be the first to admit that I’m addicted to technology. It’s rare to see me without my phone in my hand or my fingers tapping away on my laptop.


Yet there’s still something so enchanting about a beautiful, hardcopy book. It’s magical to flip through glossy pages and get lost in the art and the words. 


I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of “The Art of Richard Thompson.” With contributions from Universal Uclick and GoComics creators Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes) and Nick Galifianakis (Nick and Zuzu), the highly illustrated book presents Cul de Sac creator Richard Thompson’s work.


Richard Thompson and Nick Galifianakis; Source: Nick Galifianakis

In an interview with Michael Cavna of The Washington Post's Comic Riffs, Bill Watterson speaks to the book’s beauty, saying, "About 80 percent of Richard’s career was news to me when we put this together, so I assume the variety and quality of Richard’s caricatures, illustrations and comics will astonish other readers, too. It’s some beautiful stuff, and I hope the book finds its way into the hands of young artists, especially. The book was a real labor of love for all of us.”


Source: Amazon


Stay up-to-date on book signings and reviews on Facebook or visit Richard’s blog for bonus material. And preorder “The Art of Richard Thompson” here!



Next week LAUGH TRACKS will present the second Sherpa Review, in which GoComics editors take a close look at Francis Bonnet's Suburban Fairy Tales. The review will run in four parts, beginning on Monday. See you then!


Suburban Fairy Tales lift art

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.


Bushy Tales  11-11-14




Lili and Derek  11-11-14




Promises Promises  11-11-14



A.P..E. (anmal puns 4 every 1)  11-12-14




Boogerbrain  11-12-14





Girth  11-12-14





Smith  11-12-14









Buns  11-13-14




Mort's Island 11-13-14



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


GoComics Staff Pick: Grand Avenue by Steve Breen and Mike Thompson

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


I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to discover Grand Avenue, but now that I have, I’m completely hooked. I can’t get enough of the sports-loving, power-walking Grandma Kate who spends her days caring for siblings Gabby and Michael. Modern, realistic and witty, it’s easy to get lost in the archives, which I do, frequently. 


—Julie, Marketing & Publicity Coordinator 



Grand Avenue by Steve Breen and Mike Thompson

ABOUT: Grand Avenue stars Kate Macfarlane, an avid sports fan who powerwalks to stay in shape. Not your typical cookie-baking granny, Grandma Kate has her hands full with her terrific twosome, who are best buddies even though their personalities clash. Gabby is an ambitious, newspaper-reading little girl who plans to become a billionaire before she's 30. Her brother Michael is a more sensitive soul who prefers riding his skateboard or performing scenes from Shakespeare to just about anything else.



Add Grand Avenue to your GoComics hompeage!


Giveaway: Peanuts Holiday Prize Pack




Want to count down to the holidays with Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the gang? We’re giving you the chance to win a Peanuts Christmas Advent Calendar PLUS an archive-quality Peanuts comic strip print!


To enter, leave a comment on this blog post and include your FIRST and LAST names. This contest will end on Tues., Nov. 18 at 10 a.m. CT. The winner will be announced that day on this blog. This contest is open to all readers worldwide.


The countdown to the holidays is on! If you’re looking for the perfect gift for family and friends, be sure to check out our gift suggestions!


P.S. Did you know Peanuts is celebrating its 65th anniversary next year? Browse the archives here.


The Art of Gift-Giving


Each year, the holiday season seems to speed by. It doesn’t help that stores are constantly preparing for the next holiday.  I’m surprised someone hasn’t invented decorations that encompass all of the holiday in one. It could save a lot of time and money. Due to the early advertising, Thanksgiving often gets overlooked. We should all spend time enjoying each holiday, so we don’t get caught by the blur of the holiday season. Don’t forget to spend time with your family, friends and loved ones. 

Sarah's Scribbles by Sarah Andersen

Cathy by Cathy Guisewite


If you haven’t started already, save some money for gifts. The best gifts are planned and well-thought-out. There’s nothing worse than giving someone a gift they can’t enjoy. For example, I would never give my roommate peanut brittle because she has a peanut allergy. 


Peanuts by Charles Schulz


I’ve always struggled when it comes to gift-giving. I want to impress and give nice gifts, but at the same time, I want to shop within my means. I’ve found it helpful to set a price range when you’re exchanging, so that one gift does not greatly exceed another. An example of this would be me giving someone an iPad and them giving me a card. You can avoid this awkward situation by establishing an agreed-upon price range.  Practical gifts are great because you know they will be put to use.  Last year, I gave my mom a teakettle and loose-leaf tea. This WuMo comic shows another example of a practical gift. 


Wumo by Wulff & Morgenthaler


Sometimes all I have to do is spend a little time with her to figure out what she wants or needs. You’d be surprised how much someone can reveal without directly asking them what they want. Plus where’s the fun in that? It would ruin the surprise if they knew what you were giving them. For other people, like my brother, I have to snoop around to see if there are any clues on what he might want. 


Frazz by Jef Mallett


Also, proper re-gifting etiquette suggests you re-gift in a different circle of people, otherwise, you’re bound to hurt someone’s feelings.


The Argyle Sweater by Scott Hilburn


On your hunt for the perfect gift, remember what’s truly special about this time of year because it’s easy to get wrapped up in the stress and chaos of the holidays. Keep in mind that gift-giving can be a variety of things. Some people give money, while others give time, and some people prefer to make homemade gifts. What type of gift-giver are you?



Giveaway: Signed Copies of "Beginning Pearls" – Winners Announced



Thank you to all who entered to win a SIGNED copy of “Beginning Pearls!


We have randomly selected three winners! Congratulations to Sarah Frick, Curtis Hoffmann and Michiele Larrison. Please email us at with your shipping address and phone number. Please note: You must contact us by 11/18/14 or your prize will be forfeited.


Not a winner? Purchase “Beginning Pearls” here!

Happy Veterans Day!

Today, we thank, honor and remember those who have served our country.


Steve Breen
Steve Breen


Jerry Holbert
Jerry Holbert


Henry Payne
Henry Payne



Gary Varvel
Gary Varvel


Michael Ramirez
Michael Ramirez


Ken Catalino
Ken Catalino

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  11-7-14





Spectickles  11-8-14



Stanko & Tibor  11-9-14









And now...  11-10-14







Cleo and Company  11-10-14





Green Pieces  11-10-14



Ron Warren  11-10-14




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


Weekend Faves (Novemember 9)

Luann by Greg Evans
Luann by Greg Evans

...but it's so worth it!



Lio by Mark Tatulli
Lio by Mark Tatulli

But sale candy is the best part of Halloween!


The Norm Classics by Michael Jantze
The Norm Classics by Michael Jantze

This probably should have come with a "Don't Try This at Home" warning because I am most definitely going to try this at home.



Nancy by Guy Gilchrist
Nancy by Guy Gilchrist

I totally get it, Nancy — Saturday night my dog jumped through our screened-in porch, just because she wanted to see me so bad! How can I be mad at that? (There may be a change of heart when the bill comes.)


Dark Side of the Horse by Samson
Dark Side of the Horse by Samson

It's true. Words can hurt you.

New Comic Alert! The Perry Bible Fellowship by Nick Gurewitch

Perry Bible Fellowship by Nicholas Gurewitch


The Perry Bible Fellowship (or PBF for short) first started publishing in Syracuse University's The Daily Orange in 2001. In the following years, it ran in a number of alternative weeklies, including The New York Press, The Ottawa Xpress,The Portland Mercury, as well as the G2 section of The Guardian. After 3 years of weekly production, Gurewitch disappointed his fans by switching to an irregular schedule, citing mental and physical strain.


Read The Perry Bible Fellowship here.

‘Tis the (Shopping) Season


We know how hard it can be to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list, so we’re helping you out with some awesome suggestions featuring products from GoComics’ parent company Universal Uclick!





GoComics Go PRO
GoComics offers a PRO membership, allowing subscribers to have a personalized experience and an unlimited number of comics emailed to them daily. With hundreds of features and special PRO giveaways each week, users of all ages and interests are sure to find content that will make them smile. The membership costs $11.88 for an annual subscription, or 99 cents per month. At such an affordable price, this is a fantastic way to give to your friends and family a gift that lasts all year. For more information, click here.









An original and thoughtful gift, comic enthusiasts of all ages delight in receiving a framed or unframed collectible print of their favorite GoComics comic strip/panel. Best-selling collectible prints include Calvin and Hobbes, Doonesbury, Peanuts and Pearls Before Swine. Unframed collectible prints featuring customized art of the buyer's choice are available for $39.95. Another option, framed collectible prints, range in price from $229.95 to $239.95. To receive unframed prints by Dec. 25, orders must be placed by Dec. 15. Orders for framed prints must be placed by Dec. 6. Click here for more information and to order. 






An ideal gift for comics enthusiasts and smartphone or tablet users, Udig e-books offer short, curated and collectible content from Universal Uclick/GoComics titles such as LuannFrazzMarmaduke, Non Sequitur and more! An added bonus, many Udig e-books contain special content and creator notes only available via these collections. All titles are available for $2.99 on a variety of platforms, including Kindle, Nook, Google and others. For more information, click here.   







With hundreds of titles relating to your favorite GoComics features, you're sure to find a comic collection for every person on your list. Start shopping here!



GoComics Gifts


Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 2.09.14 PM

Personalize T-shirts, mugs, tote bags and more with your favorite comics and characters! Start browsing here!





An online community for puzzle and gaming enthusiasts, The Puzzle Society features notable games and puzzles, including Sudoku, Hollywood Word Roundup, Wonderword and USA Today Crossword. The Puzzle Society offers diverse content, providing challenges for all skill levels. For $19.95 per year, or $3.95 per month, users have full access to The Puzzle Society and all of its hundreds of features. The Puzzle Society membership is a gift option for those who enjoy mental challenges. Click here for more information.








The perfect size for stocking stuffers, Wonderword puzzling books are a gift that children and adults alike can enjoy. Delighting and challenging puzzle players for more than 30 years, legendary puzzle creator David Ouellet builds each Wonderword puzzle by hand, creating themed puzzles that entertain readers with pop culture references and current topics. Wonderword books range in price from $6.95 to $11.95. Wonderword books must be ordered by Dec. 16 to guarantee arrival by Dec. 25. More information can be found here.

Twitter Q&A with Jeff Payden of Biff & Riley


Thank you to Jeff Payden, creator of Biff & Riley comics, for joining us for today's cartoonist Q&A. If you missed the chat, catch up below:




Next Friday (11/14) we chat with The Wandering Melon's Mike Shiell! #AskMikeShiell


Add Biff & Riley comics to your GoComics homepage!


Keith Knight to Speak to Universities in Germany

The Knight Life by Keith Knight
The Knight Life by Keith Knight


Keith Knight, cartoonist of The K Chronicles, The Knight Life and (th)ink, is spending a large portion of his November in Germany for a speaking tour to bring attention to police brutality in the United States.


Knight’s work frequently addresses the subject of race in the United States. After discovering that his comics were being used to teach German University students about the African American experience, Knight reached out to Dr. Daniel Stein at the University of Siegen, who invited Knight to speak at the school.


“I like to use Keith Knight's comics and cartoons in the classroom because they are both extremely funny and extremely witty, skillfully blending the satirical slant of the political cartoon with the humorous potential of comic strip storytelling,” Stein said. “Keith's work is as topical as it is historically astute in its critical reflections on the continuing presence of race in American culture. As such, it's a treasure trove for teachers and students alike.”


Knight will visit five different universities throughout Germany. The tour schedule is as follows:


• University of Siegen: Mon., Nov. 17 at 4 p.m.

• University of Bremen: Tues., Nov. 18 at 4:15 p.m.

• University of Osnabrueck: Wed., Nov. 19 at 6 p.m.

• University of Bochum: Thurs., Nov. 20 at 8 p.m.

• Free University of Berlin: Tues., Nov. 25 at 2 p.m.


 Read The Knight Life, The K Chronicles or (th)ink, or follow Keith on Twitter.

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.



Girth 11-4-14










Mustard and Boloney  11-5-14




Rogue Symmetry  11-5-14









Ron Warren  11-6-14



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


Garfield, Garfield! Read All About It!

Garfield by Jim Davis


Garfield creator Jim Davis has been the subject of several entertaining and informative interviews recently, and we wanted to share them with you!


“Jim Davis Explains Why Garfield Loves Lasagna and Hates Mondays and Why People Love Garfield” via Huffington Post: “Garfield's widespread appeal is as a sort of feline everyman who experiences what we do, but says what we do not. The very first products done had lines like I Hate Mondays, I'd Like Mondays Better If It Started Later, and things people did not want to say themselves but they would let Garfield say it for them. It is the attitude that people gravitate to because he is such a great escape for that."


“Garfield Television: The Cat Who Saved Primetime Cartoons” via The Daily Beast: ‘For a good half hour, I really like to make people feel like it was worth the time,’ says Garfield creator Jim Davis. ‘So I like to make them laugh, make them cry, make them think.’”


“Jim Davis on Garfield’s Influence in the Age of the Internet Cat” via Wired: “It seems it doesn’t matter what kind of meme it is, if there’s play on the feline take-it-or-leave-it approach, then it’s a hit. That would make it easy to assume the Internet has been a surprising PR boon for the brand of humor cats bring to the table. In actuality, though, we should have seen it coming—Jim Davis certainly did. As the father of one of the most Internet-friendly pre-Internet felines of all time—Garfield—he’s been getting LOLs out of cat jokes for more than 35 years.”


“Garfield Creator Jim Davis on His Creation and Why Bill Murray Would Do Another Movie” via Indiewire: “I thought, I'll give the cat human thoughts and feelings but not be apologetic for it. That would be very catlike. So I envisioned Garfield, which was my grandfather's name, and he was a large, stubborn man with these human feelings. I let some people I knew influence the character and put them together. From there I created contrasts like Odie and other characters, because they really create the humor.”


“Jim Davis Wanted Garfield’s Halloween Adventure to at Least Scare 4-Year-Olds” via The A.V. Club:Twenty-five years ago this October, Jim Davis’ popular comic strip Garfield took an unexpected detour through The Twilight Zone, running a week-long dream sequence in which the orange tabby with an insatiable appetite wakes up alone in a long-abandoned house. Surreal, unsettling, and free of punchlines, the storyline proved divisive among the strip’s audience.”


Read Garfield here.

GoComics Staff Pick: Monty by Jim Meddick

Monty by Jim Meddick



Monty is the comic I would write if I were able to write a daily comic: dense, silly and as animated as you can get with a still image. Besides Monty and the rest of the human cast, recent special guest stars include a chupacabra, a sasquatch and a butler dressed like a turkey Featured players include a small robot, a sassy parrot and a hairless cat named "Fleshy." Recent plot lines include "Monty loses a garden gnome," "E.B. the Robot can't stop slapping people," "Monty works at summer camp," and "Monty goes to the beach." That last one went on for two weeks, and was so great I wish it were a physical thing so I could slap it on the back and say, "Hey, anthropomorphized comic strip, you did a really great job on that beach storyline." Then we'd go ride bikes. 


—Dave, Digital Features Specialist 


Monty by Jim Meddick



Add Monty to your GoComics homepage!


ABOUT: Monty spoofs suburbia, trashes tacky TV shows and offers absurdist commentary on everything from hosing down spider monkeys to the latest conspiracy theory. "I've tried to create the comic strip equivalent of 'Monty Python's Flying Circus,'" says Jim Meddick. "The name 'Monty' is a nod to the influence that show had on my humor. In my cartoon, just about anything can happen - this way, the ideas and characters always stay fresh.




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