Business With Passion: 11 Cartoonists


Episode theme: 11 people who make a living drawing cartoons were interviewed at the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center Sketch-a-Thon.

Brent Anderson’s professional career began in 1979. Ka-zar the Savage, written by Bruce Jones, was his first regular monthly series. The X-Men graphic novel “God Loves, Man Kills” followed. (This story inspired the second X-men movie.) Since then he has created or co-created an impressive list of notable series, including the innovative cinematic comic, Somerset Holmes, the heroic space-opera, Strikeforce Morituri, the award-winning look at superheroes Astro City, and the futuristic spy adventure Spinworld: The Spacing Dutchman. Visit his work online at: Brent Anderson

Alexis Fajardo is a student of the classics—whether Daffy Duck or Damocles—and has created a unique blend of the two in his all-ages, graphic novel series Kid Beowulf. Alexis has taught cartooning throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and currently resides in Santa Rosa, where, when not penning Kid Beowulf, he works for Peanuts at the Charles M. Schulz Studio. See his work online at: Kid Beowulf and Facebook. Contact him via email at:

Brian Fies is a writer and cartoonist whose widely acclaimed first graphic novel, Mom’s Cancer won the 2005 Eisner Award for Best Digital Comic (the first webcomic to win the award in this new category), among other awards and recognition. His second book, Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow?, was nominated for several Eisner and Harvey Awards, and won the American Astronautical Society’s 2009 Eugene M. Emme Award for Best Astronautical Literature for Young Adults. His work is online at The Fies Files.

Shaenon K. Garrity is a writer and cartoonist best known for her daily online comic strips Narbonic and Skin Horse. She has also written for Marvel Comics, The Comics Journal and She works as a manga editor for VIZ Media. Garrity lives in Berkeley with her husband, Cartoon Art Museum curator Andrew Farago. See her work online at Shaenon’s webiste and on Facebook. Contact her at:

Debbie Huey is the artist and writer of the all-ages comic book series, Bumperboy, which includes the Xeric Award winning book, “Bumperboy Loses His Marbles,” and “Bumperboy and the Loud, Loud Mountain,” which was named to Booklist’s Top Ten Graphic Novels for Youth in 2007. Her graphic novels and minicomics have captured the hearts of both kids and adults with their whimsical characters and clever plot lines. But her creativity doesn’t stop there. When she’s not writing, Debbie is creating new Bumperboy merchandise inspired by the stories, as well as handcrafting unique goods, such as needlefelted characters and collapsible purse hooks. You can find her online at: Bumperboy and Bumperfriend and on Facebook. Contact her at:

Greg Knight is a science fiction and fantasy illustrator that has specialized in concept art for film and game production.  A love for art, storytelling and collaboration had led Greg from an art education at The College of Arts and Crafts to working with companies such as LucasArts and ImageMovers Digital. Greg has contributed to short films, comics, book illustration and notable projects such as Star Wars: the Clone Wars, The Force Unleashed, A Christmas Carol and Mars Needs Moms. Greg is currently working on The Yellow Submarine and two animated shorts. To see more of Greg’s work, view his portfolio and Blog. Contact him at:

Paul Madonna produces two weekly strips, All Over Coffee in the San Francisco Chronicle and on, and Small Potatoes on, where he is also comics editor. Paul regularly travels internationally to draw and his work is shown in museums, galleries, restaurants and cafes, and is published in various book collections and publications, including his international newspaper coverage of the U.S. 2009 Presidential Inauguration. In 2007 the first collection of All Over Coffee was published by City Lights Books, and the second collection is scheduled for release March 2011. In 1994 Paul received a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University, and that same year he was the first (ever!) Art Intern at MAD Magazine, for which he proudly received no money. Paul currently lives with his wife in San Francisco. Learn more about Paul’s work at his website and on Facebook

Thien Pham is an artist, cartoonist, print maker,and high school teacher living in the East bay. He has done several mini comics, has illustrated a weekly food review comic for the East Bay Express, and recently released his long graphic novel SUMO will be out this summer. Visit him online at His Fan Club and on Facebook

Lark Pien is a cartoonist and painter from the San Francisco Bay Area. Pien drew her first comic Stories from the Ward in 1997. She has since produced several titles a year, specializing in handmade mini-comics with silkscreened covers. Long Tail Kitty is her first full color, comic-formatted children’s book. Mr. Elephanter is her first traditional hardcover Children’s Book. Pien’s stories range from the cute and endearing to the horrific and ill-fated. See her work online: Portfolio and Blog and Photos

Dan Piraro’s Bizarro was first syndicated in 1985 and since then has built a steady and loyal following in the United States and Canada, as well as parts of Europe, Asia and South America. Bizarro has won an unprecedented three consecutive “Best Cartoon Panel of the Year” awards from the National Cartoonists Society, and in 2010, Piraro was given their highest award, “Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year.” Visit his work online at: Bizarro and on Facebook.

Frank Roberson has been drawing cartoons since he was a little kid and has always dreamed of producing a syndicated strip. He lives in Sacramento, CA with his teenager and a bloodhound named Gracie. Maximus is about a clumsy, fearless do-gooder who creates the costumed superhero exterior of Maximus to help keep his small suburban elementary school safe. Not from pop quizzes, tough grading teachers or bad cafeteria food but Kirby McKnuckles, the vicious school bully. Maximus uses crazy technology and gadgetry along with an 8-year old’s stamina and questionable coordination to keep students and the neighborhood Girl, Matilda K. Reilly safe. See his work online at: Maximus and on Facebook. To contact him:

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