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Comic: The Tapir's Pug Dog Sweater (Mini Comics Day 2012 with Steve Willis)

On May 26, 2012 a group of friends and I went down to McCleary, Washington to spend Mini-Comics Day with one of my favorite cartoonists, Steve Willis. A big thank you to Jim Gill, who rented a vehicle and drove us there, and to Steve and his lovely partner, Sarah, for organizing the event (and for kindly protecting wild baby bunnies from Steve's cats to allow Steve to be there).

I've been reading Steve's comics since 1990, when we were both part of the zine culture that traded self-published, photocopied publications through the mails. So it was especially great to finally meet and co-create with Newave master, and modern screwballist Steve Willis!

It was a fun and inspiring day that produced 7 new mini comics, by my count (there could have been more). Here's a list, in order of when the comics were created. These are linked to Steve's blog, where he has published them!

Untitled - by Steve Willis
Headgear - by Jim Gill
The Tapir's Pug Dog Sweater - by Paul Tumey (reproduced below)
All New Refraction Comix - by Frank Young

Emanations and Expectorations - jam with Willis, Gill, Young, and Tumey
The Floating Head of Humptulips - jam with Willis, Gill, Young, and Tumey

This is the Story of Ludwig - by Bryan Willis (Steve's brother) and Amy

Steve hosted the event at the bustling McCleary Community Center. My legs got very tired from walking to the men's room on the fourth floor (the escalator was broken).

I think we had a total of 11 attendees. 

McCleary is a strangely beautiful place:

The Simpson factory, which appears to make doors . 

Steve -- there's so much to say . One of the nicest and most interesting people I've ever met. And so gifted. Here, he turned out a series of about a dozen original, amazing sketches in mere minutes. These were drawn on now obsolete library card catalog cards. Steve is a librarian , as was my dad, Ronald C. Tumey, so this was especially resonant for me (Steve's Dad was a gentleman farmer who raised prize-winning Shetland ponies). I wish I'd asked Steve for one of these library card drawings! D'oh!

That's Ron Austin and Louise Amandes, filming Steve for an upcoming documentary on Pacific Northwest cartoonists, named after Steve's work: Bezango, WA!.

Later, we had dinner with Steve in nearby Elma, across from The Haus of Hair.

Here's the mini comic I produced. Being so rusty, I totally forgot how to make a mini for reproduction! In fact, I broke every rule -- I used pencil, watercolors, ignored layout, drew and lettered to the edges, and even used different dimensions. At least I remembered to make it 8 pages! 

I realized, after I had made the comic, that it was impossible to photocopy, so there's just the original and this digital e-version. I really wish I could have made copies to give out, as the other folks did!

I was glad to see my gassy character, Hoppin' Frog, jumped into the comic. HF is in part inspired by Steve's Morty the Dog character, so it seemed entirely appropriate to me. Morty also makes a cameo (awkwardly drawn by me) in the comic, as a tribute to Steve. I have to admit, I was inspired to put Morty in because Jim Gill did it in his Headgear comic. I even copied Jim's drawing!

To my great honor, Steve took one of my other cartoons, "HMF." and posted it on his blog, here.

For more photos and information about Mini Comics Day 2012 with Steve Willis, see:

Steve Willis' Post

Jim Gill's post.

For more on Steve Willis (and some of his comix), see my post at my blog, The Masters of Screwball Comics:

Modern Screwballism: Steve Willis

To read another comic book story by Paul Tumey featuring HOPPIN' FROG, click here.

Thanks for stopping by!

L to R: James Gill, Steve Willis, Paul Tumey, Reid Tumey, Frank Young

For MORE of "The Frawg", click here:


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