While my focus with these Watusi comics has moved on from the improvised jam comics of its early years, its still fun to stretch those muscles and collaborate with other artists on this 4-panel exercise. Long-time Watusi contributor Keith O’Brien did his panel two quite a while ago, but it took me some time to find someone to finish it. Fortunately, first-time Watusi cartoonist* and Muley the Mule creator Kevin L. Williams was up to the challenge! Thanks, guys!
This week’s comic is from Watusi #23 (Aug. 2007), part of a two-part double-blind experiment where I finished a batch of jam comics for #22 & Tom Cherry did the same for #23, both unaware of how the other was finishing them. The paired strips turned out to showcase the contrast in our styles which, while compatible, are very different. I tended to have overly-wordy solutions, while Tom’s were direct and punchy (and IMO, funnier)! You can see my take on this strip by scrolling down to last week’s episode, but if you want to see more of our contrasting styles playing well together, I recommend getting a copy of our new comic from 2019, Double Dip #2. It’s still my favorite single issue of all the comics I’ve published…
About the contributors: Dan Lauer is one of my APA-5 compatriots from back in the day; I love his mix of cartoony & action-packed artwork. Keith O’Brien makes wonderful postcard comics and blogs about life in Forbidden Falls, Maine. Even though Tom Cherry is a writer & actor appearing on stage, screen, & radio, he still finds time to be a cartoonist. And the world is a better place because of it!
(“Watusi in Oz” resumes in just two weeks– Wednesday, January 1, 2020!)
This week’s comic is from Watusi #22 (Aug. 2007), part of a two-part double-blind experiment where I finished a batch of jam comics for #22 & Tom Cherry did the same for #23, both unaware of how the other was finishing them. The paired strips turned out to showcase the contrast in our styles which, while compatible, are very different. I tended to have overly-wordy solutions, while Tom’s were direct and punchy (and IMO, funnier)! While I’ll show off Tom’s take on this strip next week, if you want to see more of our contrasting styles playing well together, I recommend getting a copy of our new comic from this year, Double Dip #2. It’s still my favorite single issue of all the comics I’ve published…
About the contributors: Dan Lauer is one of my APA-5 compatriots from back in the day; I love his mix of cartoony & action-packed artwork. Keith O’Brien makes wonderful postcard comics and blogs about life in Forbidden Falls, Maine.
(“Watusi in Oz” resumes in three weeks– Wednesday, January 1, 2020!)
This comic originally appeared in Watusi #7, way back in October 2003. While the main chunk of that issue was devoted to the middle section of my first continued Watusi story, it also featured strips created by students in my very first “Make a Minicomic” class. My goal with that class was to show students how they could make their own 8-page minicomic, and I led them step-by-step through to the completion of their own comic. What it really did, though, was teach myself that there’s a huge difference between creating a lesson plan and actually teaching a class, let alone motivating students to continue along the path of making art on their own. They say “those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.” Well, I can’t teach.
About the contributors… that’s kind of a mystery to me. Ted, Shauna, & Levi were all good students in the class, and I love the panels they came up with during this ice-breaking project before they began work on their own comics. I don’t know what life has had in store for them; hopefully something creative & everything good…
(“Watusi in Oz” resumes Wednesday, January 1, 2020!)
To wrap up this batch of Watusi jam comics, here’s an all-new collaboration with my friend and fellow APA-5 alumnus Drew Boynton! I rarely get the chance for my drawings to share a panel with another artist’s, so this one was a lot of fun! While real life activities have conspired to keep Drew away from his drawing board lately, you can see more of his Doggie & Jilly comics in my new Doghouse Funhouse anthology, as well as on his website.
I hope you all have a happy start to your 2018! See you back here next week as “Watusi in Oz” resumes!
This comic is from one of the earliest Watusi issues (#4, Aug. 2003), an issue assembled from fellow exhibitors at my very first comic convention as an exhibiting artist– SPACE 2003. That show was a great experience and a great introduction to other artists who were soon to become my peers and, in many cases, my friends. Unfortunately, most of the cons I’ve attended in recent years (which, granted, are geared more towards vendors and cosplayers than to creators) haven’t measured up to that experience…
While I may not be in this video from the event, both of this comic’s other collaborators are: James West (small press cartoonist & RPG illustrator) and Matt Dembicki (who has only gotten busier as an artist, editor and publishers since then).
(“Watusi in Oz” resumes in three weeks– Wednesday, January 3, 2018!)
This is an alternate version of a strip I first published in Watusi #8 (Oct. 2003); it appeared with this frame in 2004’s KC-centric anthology Show & Tell #2. But more exciting than its black and white print publication(s) was its full-color street painted version that happened during the weekend of October 4-5, 2003… Continue reading ““The art lover””→
When I published the first Watusi Promo Sampler, this was one of the “best of strips” I included to show what was possible with that jam comic format; it dates from Watusi #6 (Oct. 2003). About the contributors: Tom Cherry is a cartoonist, a writer, an actor, the host for an old time radio show and even once judged a chili cook off ; Jack Bertram was an active member of the Small Press Syndicate during my time there, and you can sample his work here.
With Thanksgiving coming up, I want to take a moment to wish a happy Thanksgiving to all my readers– I’m truly grateful for all of you who take the time to check in on Watusi’s adventures every week. Knowing that you’re waiting for a new episode keeps me motivated to do my best each week (even if that means curating the best reprint episodes I can pick)!
(“Watusi in Oz” resumes Wednesday, January 3, 2018!)
Happy New Year– hope you’re able to kick 2014 off with a dance party of your own!
This is another alternate take on a previously published strip; the version of this comic I finally picked had a drier wit to it, but I’m glad I revisited this “dance party” ending, as I like it more now than I did when I was sketching up possible endings. You can see the one I picked in Watusi #28 (June 2013).
About the contributors: Keith O’Brien makes wonderful postcard comics and blogs about life in Forbidden Falls, Maine. Brien Wayne Powell is the creator of one of my favorite minicomic series of all time, Magnet Man Minicomics; he’s been producing “Boogieland or Bust!” twice a week since 2010.
Best wishes for a happy and productive 2014; I’ll be back next week with the continuation of Watusi’s newest adventure. Hope to see you then!
When I’m trying to come up with endings for these Watusi jam comics, I generally try to steer clear of “dream endings” and play true to the reality of the story up to that point. This particular strip really challenged that best practice, so I worked through a couple of those dream endings to get them out of my system before arriving at what I felt was a much better solution. You can judge for yourself; my preferred version is in Watusi #29 (Sept. 2013).
About the contributor: in addition to being the proprietor of Astrokitty Comics & More, Joel Pfannenstiel is all over the internet, particularly on his tumbler account The Psysquatch (much of which may be NSFW. Just sayin’)…