Sun 10/4/2020

Today I turned 41 years old, which is the age Carl Barks was when he began his life's work, drawing Donald Duck (and eventually Uncle Scrooge) comics. Over the next 25 years he created one of the most impressive and beloved bodies of work, totaling more than 6,000 pages of comics.

I talk a lot about Barks's age in my comics lectures (he was 61 in the photo above), because I think it's an inspiring antidote to the all-too-common worries I hear my students express, about "starting too late" or comparing themselves to other cartoonists who met success much earlier in life. It's exciting to think that I'm just at the beginning of creating my best work.

For the last few years I secretly hoped that I would accomplish the goal that I set twenty years ago, of drawing 2,000 pages of comics, on or before today. It would have been very meaningful to me to complete my "training" and begin my "real" work at the same point in life that my favorite, "North Star" cartoonist did. I've only reached 1,844 pages so far, and at the rate I'm going it will most likely take me another three years to reach that goal. Oh well, I'll get there eventually!

On September 12th the National Cartoonists Society finally held their Reuben Awards ceremony, which had been delayed for months because of the pandemic. I was surprised and very pleased to find out that Isle of Elsi won the Divisional Reuben Award in the Online Comic - Long Form category!

It's incredibly validating to receive this award after all the hard work I have put into creating Isle of Elsi over the last decade. It's going to help keep me motivated for many years to come!

As I write this, the election is less than 30 days away. If you don't have a plan yet to vote, please head over to to check your registration status, find your polling location, etc. etc. etc. Claire and I have requested mail-in ballots which we plan to drop off at the election office in Santa Fe in person. Please everyone do whatever you must to vote in this crucial election!

September was a weird month. At first it was unseasonably hot. I was done with this summer back in June, and it had been a long, sweaty slog through July and August, so I was very grumpy about the continued warmth.

Then in the second week of September it snowed one night?! We had a few days of unseasonably cold weather. I far preferred this to the heat, but was worried we might be skipping over autumn (my favorite season).

Finally things settled down and the weather has been very pleasant the past few weeks. I've been taking more walks with the girls (while wearing a mask, obviously - I'm not an idiot), and it has been wonderful to be outdoors a bit more.

Claire and I are doing our best to keep Wendy and Suzanne in good spirits through all this. We have themed weeks which help us have some focus for our drawing and reading and play sessions. We try to make certain days special (Saturday morning cartoons!) or celebrate when we can (Pizza to celebrate that we made it through another month!) but I'm not going to lie, it's exhausting.

I wonder what Wenday and Suzanne will remember from all this, when they are grown.... I wonder how it will shape their lives moving forward....

Stay safe out there everyone!

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