Cartooning 101

I’m often asked for advice on being a syndicated cartoonist.

Here’s some.

I was just finishing the last panel of a Sunday strip I was working on this morning and decided to take a sip of coffee.

No, I didn’t knock the coffee cup onto the strip.  I’m not that stupid.

I took the sip of coffee just fine.

Then it leaked out of my mouth.

All over the final panel.

Which now looks significantly different than it did pre-coffee.

So for all of you aspiring cartoonists out there, here’s a tip from the pros:

Don’t drool.

28 thoughts on “Cartooning 101

  1. I always say that you can tell how long a piece of paper has been on my desk by how many coffee stains it has on it. It’s true, it’s true.

    Thankfully, I stopped drooling at about age four, though.

  2. So the guy who draws the comic strip I read, has a drooling problem. That’s one more piece in the puzzle of the enigma that is Stephen Pastis…and it explains oh so much! =D)

  3. A police officer stopped me on the way to my car after a trip to the dentist for a filling. I also had a broken big tow. I had to show him the receipt from the dentist and the bruised foot but still had to do the field sobriety test.

    So is Keene a drooler? Spill the beans on your fellow cartoonists! The public have a right to know!

  4. I can understand you laughing at your cartoons, Stephan–lord knows the rest of us do. Just next time, swallow the coffee first, okay Dude? Unless……hey, anybody else out there drool on PBS?

  5. I’ve peed all over your comic before, but spill my precious morning coffee? Blasphemous!

  6. Is it just me or does rat look like a cardboard cutout in the last two panels of today’s strip? Looks like Zebra could end Rat’s who McZeeba chain just by spraying him and the sign with a garden hose for a few minutes.

    Course it would be funny if the zebra burgers turned out to be made out of ground croc meat. The reaction of Larry and the other crocs would be worth a few laughs

  7. Wow, those are some pretty deep words to give us the courage to be a better cartoonist every day.

    Is there any advice relating sharpies? Like not smelling as if they were a rose before drawing something?


    keep up the good work dude!

  8. Sweet Fanny crushed, possibly to death? Good, didn’t really like her. Can she not undie please?

  9. Looks like she’s gone, hopefully forever. Too bad Guard Duck didn’t take her out, he could have gotten promoted for getting rid of her.

    The only way Fanny could have been funny as far as I’m concerned is if she’d been Rat’s stalker. Pig is just a little too clueless to have made her funny. Now Rat insulting her and her still obsesively in love with him would have made her funny. But she had to go.

    Please don’t have her undie. She undies then you gotta bring back the killer whale.

  10. This has nothing to do with drooling, coffee, or even comic strips, but with your disorganization. The blog post is titled ‘Cartooning 101’, so why didn’t you post it with your one other Cartooning 101 post???

    By the way, drooling isn’t that bad. At least you didn’t drool over a drawing of your wife, and then she walked in, right? Or… did that happen?

  11. Made the huge mistake of trying to sip my own coffee while reading this post. My poor computer.

  12. 1. Stephan, is it McZeeba’s or McZeebas? How come the change?

    2. I’m reading your strip online in full color. I am reluctant to buy the books for past strips because it looks like the books only feature the Sunday strips in color! Couldn’t you have 100% colored strips in print, the same way Dilbert and Garfield managed to have?

    101. Teenks a lot for yoh crocodeels and zeebas!

  13. I’m catching up on this week’s Pearls and noted Pig’s thoughts on BP.
    Well done, sir.

  14. Great one yesterday, with the nod to Peanuts! Cool having Rat doing the Lucy trick. And now we know what Pig looks like as Charlie Brown.
    Also, I really liked the one last week regarding B.P.–my thoughts exactly.

  15. I’m actually relieved because I thought you were going to say you grabbed the wrong cup and drank your ink water! That’s always been a fear of mine but I’ve been lucky so far. One time in college, I had been up for 4 nights straight working feverishly on an acrylic painting and I rinsed my brush out in my freshly poured green tea. So? Thats not so bad. Then as I pulled my hand away from my tea, I hit the paint water and it emptied onto my desk and into my sock drawer, which (for whatever reason) was open. It was around 4 am and I think my subsequent reaction woke up all of my roommates.

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