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Thursday, May 16, 2013

DEAR DINOSAUR - "Focus Pocus"

Dear Dinosaur Volume IV has begun!  Head over to to check out this week’s brand new strips, which starts the most ambitious storyline yet.  Both myself as a creator and Dear Dinosaur as a character will be stretched to the limit in Volume IV, which is titled Jumping the Megalodon!   Once you have enjoyed the paragon of awesomeness that is this week’s strip, hit the jump to read commentary on this week’s jam-packed and incredibly ambitious strip!

The purpose of this week’s strip is two-fold.  The first goal was to introduce the “Shadowy Board of Editorial Figures” that has taken an interest in Dear Dinosaur.  Now that they’ve done some focus group testing, they are ready to start unleashing their influence on the strip.  This is lynchpin for the arc, which will be part of every single strip in this volume.  In the past, the main story only affected certain strips, woven throughout the volume, but with this volume, the story is going to continue from week to week between now and the finale, currently scheduled for September 26th.  

The other purpose of this strip is to say “thank you” to my friends, fans, and collaborators for sticking with Dear Dinosaur over the last 70 weeks (this is strip #70) since Dear Dinosaur debuted in January 2012.  All of the people featured in the focus group (except Robosaurus) are actual people that have supported me and this comic.  How cool is that?

The focus group characters in Panel # 3 are all comic book creators that I have worked with over the last few years.  The majority of these folks make up an incredible comic book creative collective in Northern Michigan and will be appearing as guests at Cherry Capital Con later this month.  These folks include the entire Two For Comics crew, as well as Dear Dinosaur pin-up artists and Matinee Eclectica collaborators.

TOP ROW (Right to Left)
Kyle Shold, Andrew Snarls, Ryan Gillispie, Tara Coble, Brandon Williams


Sherief Abou El Seoud, Mark “Mr. Pantz” Tesone, Ryan Lee, Rob Humphrey

The 15 individuals in rows 2-4 are all friends and fans that have supported me over the last few years.  These include friends from high school and college, bloggers, Twitter followers, and more.  You may recognize my dog Lebowski in row 2 and comic book artist Steve Bryant (who also does the production work for the printed versions of Dear Dinosaur) in row 3.  Oh yeah, and Robosaurus.  

There are a few other fun gags that I threw in just for the heck of it.  In the first panel, Dear Dinosaur is wearing a hooded sweatshirt designed to look like the current Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) from one of my favorite Marvel comics.  The mysterious stranger from the volume 1 strip “Chain of Fools” appears as the focus group moderator in the second panel.  In the final panel, I’m answering the phone that Batman and Commissioner Gordon use to speak with one another in the 1966 Batman TV show.  The t-shirt that I’m wearing bears the initials JLD, which is the local comic book club that I belong to—we meet monthly for dinner to discuss comics and usually attend conventions together.

The average Dear Dinosaur page contains 6-10 panels, with 4-5 characters, and takes me about 3 hours to pencil, ink, and tone.  This page features 21 panels, 33 characters (counting the Shadowy Board as one character), and took over 12 hours to pencil, ink, and tone.  Needless to say, this is the most ambitious Dear Dinosaur page that I’ve ever worked on!

The soundtrack for this week’s strip really has nothing to do with Dear Dinosaur lyrically, but it is one of my favorite songs from the last year and, as an instrumental, would make a pretty rad theme song for the strip.  The song is “Forest Whitaker” from the band Bad Books.

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