"Anything that says New Orleans and chess"

Those were the instructions I received from New Orleans Chess Festival founder and organizer Michael Tisserand, who asked me to design the event's t-shirt. This annual event is free and attended by 250 kids -- a worthy cause, to be sure.

I met Michael because we share a common interest: old comics. Michael is a journalist, chess instructor, and book author. He's written notable books on Zydeco music and New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina. His latest project, years in the works, is a full-fledged, whole enchilada biography of Krazy Kat's creator, George Herriman.

Micheal has been kind enough to read drafts of my various professional writings on comics and offer helpful suggestions. He also kindly let me give him an early version of one of my lectures, via Skype.

So, when he contacted me to say the artist he had lined up to design his t-shirt wasn't going to be able to do it, and did I have any ideas, how could I say no?  I spent a few days thinking about it and then, in a two-hour session, here's what I created:

I was ready to stop at seven designs, but I've learned that sometimes it is good to push forward and make "one extra" in this sort of exercise -- because my creativity has been warmed up, and my internal editor is tired out. It sometimes pays off to push for "one more." Here's the last one I created.
To my delight, Michael was excited about these designs. He liked the trumpet series, but chose the last design as the one. Here's the final art:

It turns out that some folks collect chess t-shirts. I have received several comments on this design to the effect that it's one of the best chess t-shirts some folks have seen -- which is flattering! 

Michael used this as an incentive for the New Orleans Chess Fest's successful Kickstarter to raise funds. I am happy to have been able to use my powers for good!

Minicomix with Steve Willis, Jim Gill, Frank M. Young, and Paul Tumey

The Floating Head of Humtulips (2012) 
by Steve Willis, Jim Gill, Frank Young, and Paul Tumey

Above: Steve Willis

Above left: Jim Gill
Above right: Paul Tumey

Above left: Frank Young
Above right: Steve Willis

Above left: Jim Gill
Above right: Paul Tumey

Above: Steve Willis

The Floating Head of Humtulips is a spontaneous, four-way collaboration minicomic by Steve Willis, Jim Gill, Frank Young, and me -- Paul Tumey. This was created in about 20 minutes in 2012 in the hometown of Steve Willis, McLeary, Washington. We were in a tiny public building that had a comical sign on its wall: "Building Occupency Maximum 75 People." This amused us for two reasons -- one was the misspelling, and two: getting 75 people in that tiny building, you'd really have to jam them in. Frank Young incorporated the sign into his page for the mini.

Isn't Steve's last page/back cover perfect?

All four of us comic book artists appear in the new documentary, Bezango, WA, by Louise Amandes and Ron Austin. Find out what happened to the original art in this entry here.

Backyard Jam Comics 2015

If you invite cartoonists over to the house, here's a tip -- get them to draw and then keep the art!  David Lasky brought the paper, magically folded into little blank books and funny drawings and narratives magically appeared on these pages.

I really like the looseness of the art in these pages -- it's sort of "pure" comics.

David very kindly gave the books to me -- thanks! It was suggested that I post the comics here, and so I am -- twist my ink-stained arm! The artists include Max Clotfelter, Kelly Froh, Seth Goodkind, Robyn Jordan, David Lasky, Rich Stevens, Tom Van Deusen, and me. If I left anyone out, or got anything wrong in the attributions, lemme know.

Thank you to everyone for this wonderful gift.

There were two books. David Lasky started the first one with a fine, funny cover - love that "P-Yow!"

And here is the superb work of Max Clotfelter (left) and Robyn Jordan (right)...

And then Seth Goodkind and Kelly Froh -- where else are you gonna see pages side-by-side between these two -- perty cool, hunh? I really love that Seth gnarled it up as he is prone to do, and I especially love Kelly's drawing.

More terrific art and gags from David Lasky and Tom Van Deusen.

I was told to come up with a punch line -- so I did: Pow!

Maybe next year we'll do another one -- stay tuned, folks!

The Kitchen Notepad Cartoons of 2013

I sing now to you a tale of a family and their doodle-toons. A grubby, stained, mostly used small pad of paper sat by the phone in the kitchen. One day, I drew and colored a cartoon on it, like so:

If it looks like the man has his hand in his fly, that's my ineptitude at drawing hands, and is unintentional. Anyway, I found I liked the pad. So I drew a few more cartoons.

The little green figures you see in the lower right-hand corner are the vestiges of when the pad was first used by me to make a rudimentary animation flipbook. The next time I picked the kitchen notepad up, I saw that my wife, the artist Claire Mack had added a fantastical drawing:

I followed suit with a Groucho mushroom, of course:

Claire added a celestial scene:

One day, our teen-age daughter, Olivia, added some of her own cartoons:

To which, I responded with this very strange fellow, Lemon-Head:

The final three pages in the pad are by Claire,


And our teen son, Reid, who got the last word (as he usually does).

Dead Sheriff - A comic by Paul C. Tumey

I drew this comic at the monthly DUNE comics-drawing night that happens at a coffee shop here in Seattle. This night, there were so many artists working the only place I could find to sit was on the floor, in a corner of the unoccupied stage area. Stage lights were set on a looping timer, so the light was alternately very bright and very dark, every other minute. This made it almost impossible to see the paper on which I drew. Maybe that helped. I also sat next to one of my favorite cartoonists, Mark Campos, and so was inspired to really try hard.

It's All True - Bourbon Street, New Orleans - A Paul Tumey Comic

This comic, created in one evening on August 19, 2014 at the monthly Seattle comics event, DUNE tells the story of the time the artist James Gill and I visited a strip club on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. We were both living in Louisiana at the time and had gone to New Orleans for a fun day trip. 

Somehow, we found ourselves on the notorious Bourbon Street -- home to strip clubs and hedonistic playgrounds. A barker in front of a strip club pointed to lewd photographs on the door of the club and shouted at us, "It's all TRUE!" Meaning, if we came into the club, and paid handsomely for tiny glasses of watered-down beer, we would witness these shocking, oddly stimulating acts between men and women. Inside, of course, was nothing at all like the photos. A single skinny, unhealthy girl lamely shuffled around a sad, shabby stage. Later, I realized the barker had not lied to us -- the photos were "true," just not what we'd see inside -- that was OUR assumption. A typical Big Easy hustle.

With this page, I was experimenting with telling a story through a mix of narration and dialogue. Even though we didn't see anything exciting, I came away with a funny story when Jim... well.. read on, and you'll see:

All text and art copyright 2014 PAUL C. TUMEY

BUZZED - A comic by Paul C. Tumey


This two-page comic by me (Paul C. Tumey) was created in about 3 hours on June 17, 2014 at the monthly DUNE comics night at The Cafe Racer in Seattle, WA. This was just one of several comics created that evening and published in DUNE 20. (When I figure out who created this cover, I'll post their name, here)

"Buzzed" spawned from a dream I had the night before. It started with an image from the dream and then sorta became about my whole lifetime. I was working on two things with this piece:

1. Tell a story with a few short narrative captions. (I was influenced by sitting next to David Lasky for a couple of DUNE nights)

2. Create interesting looking, loose art. I used a variety of pens, some white out, and a soft lead pencil.

All art and text copyright 2014 PAUL TUMEY

The Comics of Olivia Gibson


Olivia Gibson is the 13-year old daughter of my partner, Claire Mack and her first husband, Randy Gibson. Olivia may well be the most creative person I have ever known. She is a fearless creator, constantly making. She works in a vast array of mediums, from drawing and painting to sewing, crafts, and digital art. Before she was 10, she had written and drawn about 20 books. 

When I started dating her Mom, she honored me by creating special comic books for me as Christmas gifts. Here's the covers to two of them:

Here's the first page of OPEN!

The book is filled with engaging characters, funny business and puns -- tailor-made for me! And, most astonishing, a new character is introduced, -- and Olivia actually MADE the character as a stuffed creature for me!


Love that "Plink!"

Go, Olivia!