Oh, Brother! A GREAT new Comic Strip Debuts Today!

  There's some exciting news in the world of newspaper comic strips.

Bob Weber Jr. (creator of the adorable Slylock Fox puzzle comic) and Jay Stephens (creator of The Secret Saturdays, Jet Cat, and The Land of Nod) have teamed up to create a new daily strip called "Oh Brother."

cartoon Boy Playing street Hockey


cartoon boy ang girl play checkers

cartoon boy ang girl eat watermelon
Both Bob Weber Jr and Jay Stephens have drawing styles that are super appealing and capture the innocence and fun of being a kid.

I'm totally psyched to see a cute, funny comic strip that's wonderfully well-drawn to boot!

 "Oh Brother" hits newspapers TODAY! June 28... so check out if it's in your local newspaper.

Oh Brother tooth fairy Bob Weber Jr Jay Stephens

Right now you can see a preview of the strips on Bob Weber's Facebook page. You need to be logged in to Facebook to make this work, but the link is

Oh Brother cartoon boy ang girl eat breakfast Bob Weber Jr Jay Stephens

The layouts are very most strips it looks like it could be split in half to run horizontally, but then I see others (see above) that are built like a comic book page: multiple-tiered, and really taking advantage of the unlimited layout possibilities that a comic could have.

This is the best thing to hit the comics pages since Richard Thompson's Cul-de-Sac!

My First Hey Arnold Comic Story

This is my very first Hey Arnold comic story, which was done for Nickelodeon Magazine back in 1996.

Even from the beginning of my relationship with Nick Mag, I had the opportunity -- and was encouraged -- to experiment with layouts... always trying to come up with an interesting way to tell the story.
Hey Arnold Comic Goldfish First Panel
It was always a huge challenge to try to tell a complete story in two pages, so it was really important to find a way to condense the storytelling. In the first panel, I wanted to establish the setting as well as really set up the emotional empathy between Arnold and the goldfish
The rest of the first page is pretty standard stuff, but on the second page there are two panels that really stand out in my memory. The first one is a wide shot of the Japanese gardens... I really wanted to contrast this scene of openness and peace with the earlier panels that were crowded and confined.

There's no panel border here, and it helps emphasize the openness…

Hey Arnold Comic Goldfish Japanese Garden
I also like to create a sense of depth wherever possible -- hence the foreground elements and the multilayered background.

The fifth panel on the second page is another one without a panel border. Again, I wanted to emphasize the new-found freedom that the fish has.

Hey Arnold Comic Goldfish Goldfish and Koi

My favorite panel in the whole story is the last one; by showing Arnold and Gerald in the reflection of the pool, I was able to keep the emphasis on the most important story point. The irony of the last panel is that as much as the goldfish wanted to be free, it was totally afraid of its new wide-open surroundings. The clever idea that Arnold comes up with is to leave the goldfish in the bowl, and let the fishbowl float around in the beautiful pond.

Hey Arnold Comic Goldfish downshot reflection

I got to do about a dozen of these comic strips over the three years that I worked on the show. Supervision by Craig Bartlett, story and art by me, coloring by Steve Lowtwait.

Here’s the whole two-pager:
Hey Arnold Comic Goldfish Page 1 Hey Arnold Comic Goldfish Page 2

Sherm takes "The Long Way Home" -- Vintage Comic Scans by Bud Sagendorf

Time for another episode of Bud Sagendorf’s
 (links to previous episodes at the bottom of this post)
This one's a backup story from Dell’s Popeye #23…but our boy Sherm is now a bald peanut-head. No explanation provided or needed, apparently.
So nice to see the days before comic fans got all hung up on continuity.
bald cartoon boy walking dow the sidewalk
bald cartoon boy running down the sidewalk
bald cartoon boy walking in the woods
bald cartoon boy gets on the bus
bald cartoon boy sneaking past a dog
bald cartoon boy locked out of house
Ahhh…gotta love any comic that ends in a flop-take!

Previous "Sherm" comics by Bud Sagendorf:


Look's IT!
A 7-page horror classic drawn by Bob Powell in on display at Pappy's Golden Age Comic Blog. But this story is scanned from the original art! Very cool.

You can check IT out at:

Posing - Storyboard Video Wrap-up

This is the third of three videos in this series that answer the question, "How many poses do I need draw?"

Click on the full-screen button (at the bottom right
of the video
), to make the video nice and BIG!
Amy Poehler The Mighty B The posing
(in these last scenes especially) was driven by the amazing voice performance of Amy Poehler.
Amy co-created the character of Bessie (along with Erik Wiese and Cynthia True), and she always threw herself 1000% into acting out the character. Her hilarious comedic performances made it a real treat to work on this show.

Here are some handy links to the rest of this Storyboarding Commentary series:
Coming next week:
a special announcement about
“Storyboard Secrets”……?

Storyboarding - Escalation and Contrast in Posing and Acting

In the previous video, I was talking about posing out a character's actions, and building up the posing to escalate the comedy.

During the cutaway shot to Mary Frances, there is another good example of trying to find the right amount of poses for an action. Mary Frances is going through a short process of thinking and then reacting. I wanted to show the contrast of all of these emotions to give it the greatest storytelling and comedy impact.

Contrast refers to emphasizing the great differences in tone or mood or action. If all of the action takes place at the same level of intensity, it gets boring and numbing to the audience.

Just like the way a good pop song will speed up and slow down, get softer and then louder, the way a scene plays out (and the way a whole story plays out) also needs contrast to keep it interesting.

Notice the different emotions in these panels: from dumbfounded to scheming to thinking to excitement. If these emotional moments were not posed out, it wouldn't be as fun to watch and we wouldn't learn nearly as much about her character.

Storyboard drawing how many poses 01 dumbfounded
Storyboard drawing how many poses 02 scheming
Storyboard drawing how many poses 03 Thinking Storyboard drawing how many poses 04 excited
This is the second of three videos that look at how much to pose out an action. Since there are always a number of different things going on in any drawing, there are also many other topics covered: staging to leave enough room for the biggest action, use of the cutaway shot, prop design, using reference, truck-ins, and the match-cut.
If you missed any of the previous posts, here are the links: