We are back once again True Believers, broadcasting live from the exclusive Root Beer Party Estates, in an undisclosed location in a long lost region of an undiscovered country. Today we have with us the busiest man in comics today: Dan Thompson who makes all the comics in the newspapers. He does the adventure epic Rip Haywire, a lighthearted parody of the classic adventure comics of the 1930’s. this comic has two continuities, a weekly story Monday through Saturday and then a separate Sunday continuity. he is also doing a Young Rip Haywire series as well. You can read Rip Haywire daily Here; https://www.gocomics.com/riphaywire
Dan also does another comic strip called Harley, about a fun loving motorcycle rider who lives the grand life of danger and fun. You can check out his crazy shenanigans here: https://www.gocomics.com/harley
What must already be a monumental work load for any comic creator is only the beginning for Dan who has also taken over the comic strip Brevity, a wonderful gag a day strip which you can check out here: https://www.gocomics.com/brevity
And finally, we have Dan’s work on KidSpot, a children’s activity page with puzzles, humor and just a little cognitive development thrown in for good measure. You can check out this page here: https://www.gocomics.com/kidspot
Did I say finally? What I meant to say was Dan also does the comic strip Lost Sheep about a plucky sheep who wants more out of life then just following the flock. You can read that comic Here: https://www.gocomics.com/lostsheep/2018/10/05
Did I say we were done yet? No, Dan also does comics for the Tulsa Pets Magazine, which bring a much needed boost of levity to a magazine focusing on the care and management of all of our animal friends. You can read his Pet comics here: http://www.tulsapetsmagazine.com/?s=dan+Thompson
Despite all of this work he has somehow found the time to travel to the other side of the world to meet with us at our top secret and vast Root Beer Party Estates to answer all the questions from you our True Believers. So let’s get to know the hardest working man in comics: Dan Thompson.
Question 1: What got you started in doing a comic series?
I had tried to get a comic syndicated for a few years with no luck and when Gocomics started Comics Sherpa, I added a strip called “Lost Sheep” to see if I had what it takes to do it longer than just 24 strips I’d submitted to a syndicate.
Question 2: Who was your greatest influence?
I’d say Hanna Barbara Saturday morning cartoons … It seems like their character designs are etched into my brain and everything that I draw comes pretty close to that, and I like cartoons and artists that create in similar styles.
Question 3: What is your favorite root beer and why?
I would say “Hires” root beer … It was my go to root beer growing up … and I liked the logo
Question 4: What do you hope to accomplish with your comic?
I’d like to have a unique voice in the field that people enjoy reading, something sustainable and popular.
Question 5: Do you have any other artistic interests outside of comics?
not at all.
Question 6: Do you see yourself as a professional cartoonist, or is this just something you do for yourself?
Both. If you don’t do it for yourself, what’s the point?
Question 7: What type of subject or humor do you consider out of bounds for your strips and why?
Things you’d never do or say in front of your mom, but I guess that depend on the kind of mom you have.
Question 8: What kind of equipment or style of drawing do you use?
Bristol board, a pencil and markers, but I work on a Cintiq now and I use Clip studio paint (manga studio) for mostly everything, and photo shop for coloring Sunday strips.
Question 9: what sort of training or academic program did you pursue to become a cartoonist?
I taught myself cartooning, read everything I could get my hands on, Cartoonist Profiles, Hogan’s alley have great interviews with some of the greatest cartoonists to ever work in comics, and just studying the reprint books. hitting every used book store across the country looking for reprints from the popular to the forgotten newspaper comics
Question 10: What has been the highlight of your cartooning career?
Being able to work in the field I love, getting the opportunities and the breaks to keep drawing and writing comics.
Question 11: What has been the lowest point in your cartooning career?
These 20 questions.
Question 12: Are collections of your work available beyond the web? If So where?
I have reprint books available for Rip Haywire and Harley on Amazon.
You can find Dan’s Author page on Amazon Here: https://smile.amazon.com/Dan-Thompson/e/B005BLQO58/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1538772888&sr=8-2
Question 13: Are there any other web comic artists that you really admire?
I like Pat Sandy, Amanda El-Dweek, Stephen Beals … I like a lot of web only cartoonists, but I read them daily on gocomics.
Question 14: What kind of impact has cartooning had on your life and could you ever see yourself not doing it?
It’s a great creative field, but I could see myself as a plumber.
Question 15: Do you have any advice for the Trolls out there who harass content creators? (no need to keep this answer clean.)
Trolls are gonna troll … I wish they thought of the sacrifice, time and effort it takes for cartoonists to actually bring them something they can dump on … As a cartoonist, you have to let it go.
Question 16: Do you set yourself any deadlines or other tricks to keep yourself motivated?
Waiting until the last minute usually works for me … that and coffee.
Question 17: Apart from root beer, what is your favorite drink?
I drink coffee a lot … We try to stay away from soda with high fructose corn syrup in it, but every once in a while, they’ll sell the big brands with sugar … I love Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper … Dr. Pepper is extra special for those great Johnny Hart ads Hart worked on for them with the caveman “Harmon” … so great.
Question 18: Are you already a member of the root beer party and if not, what is the matter with you?
Question 19: What is the most challenging aspect of cartooning for you?
Writing a gag that people will love … that should be the biggest challenge for everyone. Art is only 1/2 of cartooning
Question 20: What are your future plans involving comics or anything else going on in your life?
As of today, nothing to report just working on the usual … Brevity, Harley, Rip Haywire and Kidspot
So there you have it True Believers, Dan Thompson, the hardest working man in comics. As he downs another well deserved frosty mug of the elixir of life that is root beer, let’s check out some of his comics from the Tulsa Pets Magazine here:
So thanks for spending all your free time here with us Dan, and a special thanks to all the billions of True Believers out there who keep all of our comics alive. Until next time true Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.