How did you get started with cartooning?
My parents took me on a six week road trip with nothing more to entertain me than what I could fit in a little bag. I brought colored pencils, paper, and a handful of comic books. The first day, I read all the comic books. The second day, I started making my own. The doodling outlasted the trip.
I was fortunate that a number of wonderful people offered their support, both by printing my early work and those who offered a kind word of encouragement and advice (most notably Charles Schulz and Jan Eliot, without whom I would likely never have continued. When you're starting out, and someone who you admire takes the time to give you that little boost, it really packs a punch of encouragement. Many thanks to all of them.
What cartoons influenced you?
Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes, Garfield, Bloom County, and a host of others. These days, I don't read a lot of comics. I like to keep my mind open and uncluttered when it's time to write and that's harder if you've got everyone else's funny ideas running barefoot through your mind. That being said. I do have several that I enjoy when I happen to read them. My wife's favorite is Baby Blues and whenever I read it, I am always dazzled by how funny it is! I am also a HUGE fan of anything Mo Willems creates.
Do you do the whole cartoon by yourself?
I draw all of the art, and I write most of it myself. A lot of times an idea will come partially formed and I'll be working on it while the family is around, or I'll get stuck ... so there's a lot of times that their ideas end up working there way in.
Also, once the art is completed, my wife does the final lettering. Her handwriting is beautiful. Mine is horrible. She's hand-lettered over a thousand cartoons at this point, and she just gets better and better.
Where do you get your ideas?
I was lucky enough to grow up with a dad who understood how to create funny ideas out of thin air. He taught me that there are three main types of humor.
1. The pun.
2. The unexpected.
3. The misunderstanding.
Those never fail.
From the great Mr. Schulz, I learned that it's critical to focus on creating characters that have a specific personality. Also, he stressed that at its core, cartooning is about drawing a funny picture.
So, I take my characters, put them in a funny situation, take my three elements of humor, and add a dash of the absurd. Typically that works out pretty well!
How can I get a signed book?
The easiest way is to order a book by clicking here. It takes a couple weeks, but I'll draw a little sketch inside a book and send it your way.
I work at a school and would like for you to come and do an author visit? Is that something you do?
Sounds like fun! For more information on fees, etc... drop me a line.
How can I get my school signed up to receive your monthly paper?
It's easy! I offer the paper to schools for free. Simply drop me a note and let me know you'd love to receive it and I'll send it your way.
How do I buy a piece of original cartoon art?
I sell original comic art upon request. Original daily cartoons are $349.00. Sunday cartoons are $649.00. If you have a specific one that you're interested in, let me know. I'll have to look and see if I have it still. If so, you're welcome to it.
Original art comes un-matted and un-framed.
Are you on Twitter/Facebook?
I have them. They are currently inactive. Perhaps someday.
Are your strips based on your kids?
The characters are inspired by my oldest two boys. They've begun the process of growing into mature young men, so they are less chaotic then they used to be. But I can still come up with new adventures for Casey and Kyle to go on.
What pens do you use?
I use a Pen and Ink Sketch fountain pen with Sailor Kiwagua Nano Carbon Black Ink. I use a variety of Windsor Newton brushes for filling in the black areas. My wife has her own for when she does the lettering.
Can I interview you for my...?
Let me know what you're thinking and we'll see if it works.
Do you have any other kinds of merchandise? I really, really want a CK t-shirt!
Coming VERY soon...
Do you ever donate original art for auctions?
Yes. Please email me some information about the purpose of the organization, etc... and I will look into it. If it fits, then I'd be delighted to donate something.