skadi.gif skadi.gif

Dumm Comics Have Arrived

Skadi by Katie Rice and Luke Cormican

Beautifully drawn cartoony comics are now available on a daily basis at Dumm Comics. The site was started by some of the most talented folks currently working in the TV animation biz (I know because I’ve worked with a number of them in the past), and every weekday one of them presents a new comic: Big Pants Mouse by Gabe Swarr on Mondays, Through the Port-Hole by Sean Szeles on Tuesdays, Skadi by Katie Rice and Luke Cormican on Wednesdays, 1930 Nitemare Theatre by Ricky Garduno on Thurdays, and Earthward-Ho! by Fred Osmond on Fridays.

I recnetly conducted an online roundtable chat with all the Dumm artists involved, and will be posting that tomorrow. It’s a lively and fascinating discussion that you won’t want to miss.

  • I’m sorry, but I’m not clear as to what I am seeing. While this is a wild “stylization,” I am hard pressed to recognize what this “design” is supposed to represent. Call me “old fashioned” or “traditionalistic,” but I’ve always had the understanding that one of the keys to good animation is clear poses that “communicate.” Am I not “cool” enough to understanding what this is supposed to be?

  • NOOOO!!! No more John K knock offs! We have enough of those!!!

  • You can’t call a student and collaborator of John K a knock-off, surely?

  • Dug

    Aren’t comics supposed to be funny?

  • Davidd

    I’m all for it and I look forward to these kids rocking the comics scene!

  • Steven Finch, Attorney At Law

    I love the way the first few comments reject the entire site and concept just because one of the people on the site worked closely with John K. It’s pathetic. Are you jealous of their success? Did John K insult one of your favorite shows and you can’t get over it? Get a life.

    I hate webcomics as a rule, but this site looks fun and the comics are certainly entertaining and different, so maybe there can be an exception to the rule now and then!

  • I laughed.

  • Batman

    Ray Pointer – the “design” represents a “woman.” maybe you haven’t “seen” one in awhile? time to get out of the “basement” sir!

  • Chris

    What a cool concept not only are they giving us a daily comic different each day.It’s also free and i laughed so in my book nobody counts but me and i know 5 billion other think the same way :).To each his own!

  • Congratulations Katie, Luke, Gabe, Ricky, Fred & Sean! Each of your personal comics is a complete delight and a hilarious window into your souls. I still can’t believe you guys are doing this for fun. I’m in awe and envy of such noble and artistic endeavors. You guys are my heroes.

  • Sandra Equihua

    I these guys are a bunch of pioneers! It takes a whole bunch of organization and love for the craft to do a comic and even more so to set something up online! Everything about this project is a awesome and as a plus the talent on DUMM is extraordinary! Keep up the good work guys!!!!

  • I love the comics! They are amazing drawn, funny and very inspiring at the same time!

    And everyone who thinks its a John K. knock off must be blind! Like I said before, even John’s style is nothing new, he even copied Katies cartoon girl style!

  • I think the main issue, is those who worked closely with John K never bother to develop their own style of drawing. All they’re doing is continuing the (ahem) “legacy” of what John K created.

  • It’s a couple of artists having fun. Why the need to go on a blog and poke them in the eye? Loosen up.

  • Ray Isahomo

    My “name” is Ray. I deserve a “smack”.

  • Anybody who’s familiar with Gabe & Katie’s work can easily see they have developed (and continue to develop) their own unique personal styles completely separate to the Spumco house style. Dumm Comics is a real gift from them and Sean, Ricky, & Fred, too!

  • Batman Returns

    Ray… it is not animation. It is a comic strip. A “self taught filmmaker” with four degrees should know the difference.

  • Steve Lambe

    Ha….it’s so funny that anyone who can draw pushedcartoony poses is immediately dismissed as being a John K clone. Cartooning existed long before John K showed up on the scene, people.

    Rock on with your badselves, Dumm Comics and keep making more hilarious comics. You’re an inspiration to all of us.

  • Jesse

    What a welcome quality addition to the online comic world! Chances are this insertion of so much actual artistic talent all at once will overload the comicsphere’s ability to comprehend.

  • red pill junkie

    Skadi is the best of the bunch.

  • Tim

    I liked it. They’re fun. A bunch of artists are doing a lot of work, doing something they love, and it’s all benefitting themselves. We should all be so lucky. Keep it up.

  • Az

    I have tried for some years to find the appeal in Katie Rice’s style. I just don’t get it. It looks like unintelligible scribbles. Especially given how much a) John K (whom I admire) raves about her and b) how much John K goes on about how you must have solid structure in your character design. None of that is evident in her stuff.

  • very cool Stuff I always dig Gabes work. Keep er comin!

  • Batman Whatever!

    Az, post a link to your amazingly appealing, perfectly structured drawings. Let’s see ’em!

  • Remember guys: If someone has ever worked with or met John K, it means he or she is automatically a terrible person and you should take every opportunity to harass and besmirch every single thing he or she produces.

    This is the cardinal rule of being a cartoon brew poster. You rebels who actually have the ability to tell different art styles apart from each other really need to get out.

    You are ruining the fragile sanctity of all we brew poster’s ignorance that we are trying to enjoy. thanks.

  • Steve Gattuso

    I’d been reading these since opening week and I’m very happy with what I see. I wish good fortune to all five artists.

  • I don’t think the purpose here is to make personal slams at people. But I have enough courtesy to answer Mr. Batman.

    First of all, I am “intimately” aware of what a woman looks like. This does not remotely appear as any that appeal to me. However, it is what it is. Second, the accompanying paragraph makes reference to the application of this style to animation. Therefore my remark still applies. Third, you give me far more credit with “four degrees.” I have only one combined with a lot of life experience, which gives me an understanding about your remark.

  • May 15th’s Kimbo is my favorite thus far.

    Earthward-Ho! Has flimsy gags with no pay off. Sure, there’s not much to work with considering the generic source material (campy alien invasion)l– it needs work. It doesn’t really belong with the other comics.

    Bookmarked regardless. I have the sudden urge to make a webcomic now…

  • “You are ruining the fragile sanctity of all we brew poster’s ignorance that we are trying to enjoy. thanks.”

    All your sanctity are belong to enjoy. Welcome with happy smile, always.

  • Dave Thomas

    My hat’s off to Ricky, Sean, Gabe, Katie, Luke and Fred. These comics are terrifc!

  • Paul N

    Careful Az – you are casting aspersions on she who is anointed by he who is known as “K” – the faithful will have your head on a pike!

  • The site is fun and the strips in my opinion are doing something that comic strips today are severely lacking. Movement !

    Most everything done today is static vertical up and down and repetitive. The work on the site shows alot of hard work to break that trend.

    The idea of setting up a site, collaborating with like minds and working 3 months in advance of the schedule is inspiring. I hope you have lots of luck with the site and get a strong readership! Kudos to everyone involved.

  • Dumm Comics is a GOOD THING, everyone. It’s talented young artists making stuff OUTSIDE of studios and execs, with the intent of bringing more fun and artistic style than 99% of the crap we’re all force-fed through other mediums. And, it’s completely independent. That’s a STEP FORWARD. It’s a treat.

    And despite all of these points, some cartoon “fans” still find “reasons” to reject it (3 artists working with John K at some point in the past is NOT a reason). Backwards Thinking Alert!! When was it decided that something like this should not be a good thing? I must say though, your level of geeky internet rage fascinates me. Do you guys like anything? Do you leave your house, ever?

    Are these unintelligible scribbles too much for you, Az? Well have I got some fun for you. Go check out Brandon’s cartoons, over at the Myspace link he provided for us!! They are so good and millions of times more developed. He’s completely got his own style and everything! Developed! Amazing! Style!

    Kids, go away. The adults are enjoying Dumm Comics.

  • Come on…..the comics are funny, and it’s always great to see other people creating. If it’s not your cup of tea, move on.

    Honestly, I could name 5 or 6 sites that are doing the same thing. I like the fact that all of the featured comics are different in style AND tone. Nice work!

  • Your Favorite Cream

    These web comics are certainly doing something lacking in newspaper strips today: paying off most jokes with death references. It works now that traditional comics have grown beyond stagnant. But hopefully they’ll evolve past their present embryonic Del Close-homage stage of development. For people who were taught to loathe writers by John K., they should know they’re not only copying a writer but an improv performer. The topper is that Del Close is himself now dead.

  • I’m really excited about Dumm Comics, and I look forward to seeing whatever is to come! The site layout is one of the best I’ve ever seen. The tab system is functional, and looks cool at the same time.

    I have always been a fan of Gabe’s Big Pants Mouse artwork, and I’m hoping that have a weekly strip will give him the chance to explore the characters personality a bit more. The coloring here is top notch.

    I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen Sean’s work before, but his inking is great. There is some really good texture and compositions here.

    Katie’s third strip is hysterical, and the second one has unbelievably great coloring!

    The first strip from Mr. Garduno was about as funny as you’re going to find.

    And based on the amazing quality of work that has appeared on Fred’s blog, I’m looking forward to seeing where this strip goes.

    I think that having a group of artist join together under a common banner to produce something like this should be applauded.

    The Internet has made it easier than ever to dismiss the hard work of others…

    Go progress!

  • Some Guy

    Dumm Comics is the best thing to happen to webcomics EVER. My eyes needed to be cleansed from XKCD.

    My advice to the artists on this site: get a Digg button. If you get popular enough on Digg, you build a gigantic fanbase like no other.

  • Azz

    whoa….flare-up! Nice.

    I brought up my dislike for Katie Rice because I just don’t get it. I read John K’s blog quite alot and it seems that he vehemently preaches one style of art but fails to practise it. He goes on and on about clear construction and give characters weight- yet none of his recent work adheres to this. Some of the Ren and Stimpy APC were shocking. This goes for Rice’s work too. It’s all scribbles, confusing and at times ugly.
    It doesn’t follow John K’s philosophy which leads me to believe that he holds her in high regard because he in love with her.

    Having said that, i enjoyed the rest of the Dumm comics – especially Through the Port Hole. Now THAT’s what comics is about.

  • Luke

    Katie’s work isn’t only held in high regard by John K. She’s thought highly of by many professionals in the business and has done admirable work for a number of other studios besides Spumco. Art is subjective, so you’re free to have your opinion….yet when I look at Katie’s drawings I see a solid drawing ability along with a natural flair and appeal….and I know of MANY other professional artist (who aren’t affiliated with John K.) who agree with me.

    I guess my point is, you can dislike Katie’s art if you want, yet don’t be so quick to dismiss other people’s interest in it as baseless and unwarranted.

  • Interesting stuff, but all of these promising strips are definitely in the “works-in-progress” category. Here are my reactions, based on the first few installments of each strip:

    “Big Pants Mouse” by Gabe Swarr — I think that this incarnation works better than Gabe’s past “BPM” strips, but seems to put its design ahead of its gags. In no way is this meant as a slam, but I guess it’s an acquired taste.

    “Through the Port-Hole” by Sean Szeles — To my tastes, it’s the funniest of the five strips, but I’d like to see Sean stick to the challenge of a standard format (if nothing else than for the inevitable print collection). He has a few problems with his storytelling, but nothing too daunting for the reader to comprehend.

    “Skadi” by Katie Rice and Luke Cormican — I’ll admit I stared at the image (that Amid used to illustrate his initial blog entry) for five minutes before the lead character’s design suddenly jelled for me. But once I “got it”, I didn’t have a problem with Skadi’s design. The storytelling needs work (for example, better acting rather than a “refuse” sound effect) and the gags seem pretty soft, but that single eye/fang combo — like something out of MILTON THE MONSTER — is guaranteed to be pretty damn appealing to certain tastes.

    “1930 Nitemare Theatre” by Ricky Garduno — This one strikes me as the most accomplished strip. Ricky’s storytelling is good, layouts are interesting (and less dependant on animation staging than the others), and though there’re no actual gags, it all really works in an “underground comix” sorta way.

    “Earthward-Ho!” by Fred Osmond — Pretty good designs, but I found there to be many “disconnected” moments in Fred’s storytelling, even in only two episodes. I really have no idea as to what’s going on here.

    Of course, your mileage may differ. Good work and good luck, everyone! Keep things Dumm — REAL Dumm!

  • I love Dumm Comics (especially Big Pants Mouse) and I read it daily. It’s not without its flaws, but hey, what better place to try things out and hone your craft than on webcomics? Try looking at the first Penny Arcade strip and comparing it to the latest one sometime.

  • Finally, some web comics that DON’T repeat the same drawing panel after panel after panel after panel with ludicrous loads of pointless gibberish text. These comics are drawn by true talented [accomplished!] artists. Bookmarked for daily visits!

  • tom

    At last! Comics that don’t have to be interesting, funny or well drawn! It’s about time! Hurrah!

  • Josh Latta

    While I haven’t read any of these comics (yet) I took a look and they all are beautiful. Everyone knows that “cartoony” and “comics” have been divorced for quite some time. Kudos for them… Oh man, I feel like it’s time to leave the antiquated world of print behind and slap some color comics on the good ol’ internet.

    As far as the John K hate goes — well, let me start off by saying I ‘m a big fan, I love Ren and Stmpy, read the blog daily and learned quite a bit from him and his theories. Let’s face it, maybe a lot of this internet hostility comes from the fact that John K and his artists make us feel like it’s a private party that the rest of us aren’t invited. I mean, I ‘m 31 — according to John K, (and I paraphrase) I need to put a fork in it ‘cos I ‘m not where I wanna be artistically, etc.

    Ah well, I keep on truckin’. Y’know- I don’t like parties anyway.

    Anyway, the comics all look great.

  • purin

    Katie’s work is quite good, I realized, when I saw what range she has outside of what John K shows.

    You know, I initially felt the same sort of anger and disappointment looking at these, but I think I figured out what it is and what has people grumbling:

    They were recommended and advertised to us as “cartoony” comics. I didn’t first see them through here, but through the a webcomic of an artist who himself is trying to be more and more cartoony (not a bad thing), but at the same time is also becoming a grouchy old fogey who hates everything in the process (a bad thing).

    If you try going through them again after putting that bit of “We’re more cartoony and therefore superior” you might feel you detect out of your mind, they’re enjoyable… but I don’t find them THAT enjoyable. It’s not a flareup. If you like something you like something and if you don’t you don’t (unlike a certain someone who likes to say “nobody likes this” of the very things that inspired their generations to draw just because he doesn’t like it).

  • Sean Williams

    Dumm Comics… and they are!

  • Adam

    I like the Skadi comics the best.

  • PCUnfunny

    Dumm Comics are the best drawn and inspired comics I have seen in print or online. These artists are truely in a league of their own.

    Brandon: You really need to get some glasses.