Happy Book Birthday to Fetch!

Happy Book Birthday to Fetch! The second of three graphic novels in the Peanut, Butter, & Crackers series for kids inspired by my adventures in being a puppy mom.

When Charlie first came to live with our family I had this big plan to take him to work with me every day. But Charlie was a very nervous puppy. He barked a lot at the office and he’d hide whenever any of my coworkers stopped by my desk.

So I thought taking Charlie to doggy school might help him build confidence and make friends. Our first visit to the doggy day care was hilarious because I learned that each size dog had their own class: the littles, the middles, and the big dogs. I immediately thought, this would make a great story.

I hope you enjoy Fetch! Stay tuned for Book 3!

Butter the cat was inspired by my cat Otis who was very happy to stay at home and have the cozy dog bed all to himself.

Happy Book Release Day!

Today is release day for Puppy Problems! Thinking back, it’s hard to believe that this entire adventure began with a simple idea… let’s get a puppy!

Who knew that the little pup we brought home and named, Charlie, would inspire not one, but three books all about what it means to be a family; sharing, acceptance, and friendship.

The story began with a series of sketches and ideas, then page after page was inked so that color could be added. I worked with a really fantastic colorist, Kat Efird, on Puppy Problems.

Our real-life pets, Charlie, Buddy, and Otis have no idea that they have cartoon alter egos. If only they could read!

I hope you enjoy the story! Stay tuned for Book 2 early next year!

Portraits Aren’t Just for People

When I’m trying to come up with animal characters for stories I usually begin by sketching from photos of real animals. For characters Peanut and Crackers, I began the design process by doing portraits of different dog breeds and then simplifying those drawings into cartoon characters. Some of these dogs appear as secondary characters in Book 2 of the series. Stay tuned! 🙂

The three main characters are based on my own pets. Here’s a comparison between actual photos and each cartoon persona I created. If you study animals, they each have funny little personal traits. I tried to incorporate these traits into Puppy Problems.

Crackers character and Crackers inspiration
Peanut character and Peanut inspiration

For example, our cat loves boxes. Our little dog with the button ears whose cartoon persona is Crackers, can’t stand squirrels. Our puppy does this cute little thing where he pauses and lifts one paw when he’s nervous. Peanut does the same thing.

My advice to anyone who wants to create characters and comics, pay attention to the little things. The fun is in the details.