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!

My Life As a Plant by Claire Mack

My Life As a Plant

This comic is by my lovely, nature-loving wife-to-be, Claire Mack. For more work by Claire, visit

Terrycloth - A comic by Paul C. Tumey

"Terrycloth" is a true story, based on an incident from my life.

Growing up outside of a religion in Louisiana during the 1970s, I was fair game. Several of the religions practiced in that area require their members to convert others. It was rare to find a middle class white person in the area who was "undecided."

I was invited to numerous churches and bible study groups. I can't tell you how many times I was asked if I accepted Jesus into my life and believed in the Gospels. To me, the fact that people didn't want to be my friend, but wanted to save my soul was madness. "Terrycloth" is about being lonely and awkward, and being pressed on by religious zealots.

The terrycloth headband guy told me all about how people were faith healed at his church. They passed snakes around, too, he said -- and even though the snakes bit, the power of the Lord kept people from being poisoned. He sure knew how to sell it.

For weeks, that church bus would pull up outside our house early on Sunday mornings and honk several times. People knocked on our front door. I hid in the bathroom. My parents were mad at me for being awakened. Finally, the church people stopped and left us in peace.

To this day, I remain a spiritual -- but not religious -- person. That being said, I respect and tolerate all ideologies, except those which harm others.

This comic was created at the DUNE monthly mini-comix jam on May 20, 2014 at the Cafe Racer in Seattle, Washington. About 60 other people made one and two-page comics that night, as well. This comic, as well as the others made that night appear in DUNE #19.

All text and art copyright 2014 Paul C. Tumey

Two Level Human Mind: A Comic by Paul C. Tumey

This one-page comic was created by Paul Tumey on March 18, 2014
at the monthly Cafe Racer DUNE comics jam, and appears in DUNE 17.

De-Fanged - A Comic by Paul Tumey

Here's a recent two-page comic created at the monthly DUNE night here in Seattle, January 18, 2014. It was published in DUNE 15.

Hopping Frog Finds a Fin - A Paul Tumey Comic

I did something really cool on the night of December 17, 2013. I joined 62 other artists to sit in a Seattle coffeeshop bar and work like crazy to draw pages for what became DUNE 14, a 64-page mini-comic. The only way to get into DUNE is to show up and draw (and contribute two bucks to printing costs). The only way to get a copy of this comic is, you guessed it, to show up and draw and pay your two crickets.

DUNE is a monthly comics drawing workshop open to the public and hosted by local Seattle area cartoonist Max Clotfelter. The event starts at 7 pm at the Cafe Racer, a very lived in, super cool coffee shop in Seattle's U-District (a neighborhood near the University of Washington campus). It may have been the tasty porter I was drinking, but I think I spotted hanging over the bar a huge, surreal painting of a frog by legendary Seattle cartoonist Jim Woodring.

At 11 sharp, Max gathers the art, money and hightails it to the bus stop. Sometime before the next DUNE, which happens on the third Tuesday of each month, Max reduces the art, pastes  it up, and prints out copies for the attendees. This is no easy feat -- and I for one really appreciate the service. 

The cover to DUNE 14 by Brandon Lehmann. This issue is 64 pages long and features work by 63 different artists.

After 14 months, Max's hard work is paying off. I attended DUNE last night  for the January session -- and the Seattle Times was there, taking photos and interviewing folks for an upcoming cover story in the Sunday magazine. I had a very nice chat with the article's writer, Tyrone Beason and the photographer Lindsey Wasson. Something's in the air -- comics are suddenly hot, and getting hotter. But not super-hero comics -- these are highly personal, artistic, handmade comics. Defiantly, proudly non-commercial.

Anyway, that night, I wrote and drew a new two-page story with my character, Hoppin' Frog. I had another idea, but somehow my inner Frog would not be quiet. I don't know if anyone else is entertained at all by this slightly obscene, somewhat flatulent amphibian in a suit, but I get a laugh when I draw him. When it was revealed to me what he would do with untold wealth ( a ride in a limo filled with Cheez-Doodles), I was quite amused.

Here, then, is the first ever printed story with Hoppin' Frog (I've only published his misadventures online). And my first printed comics in 12 years. It might help to know a "fin" is slang for a five-dollar bill. Thanks, Max and DUNE!

Hoppin' Frog Finds A Fin by Paul C. Tumey
(copyright 2014 Paul Tumey)

My friend Dominic Gomez came to DUNE in December, too. He was kind enough to ask me to write a story for him, so I created this rather cryptic sheet of paper for him. 

SKETCHY script by Paul Tumey

Dominic, a professional artist and illustrator, took my script and created this very nice comics story, which also appears in DUNE 14:

SKETCHY - Writing by Paul Tumey, Art by Dominic Gomez
(copyright 2014 Dominic Gomez)

Dominic intended to ink this comic over the pencils you see here, but he ran out of time. I like that the story is in pencil -- it adds to the theme.

You can watch a terrific video of Dominic Gomez at work here.

Last night, at DUNE 15, Dominic drew another comic I wrote -- "Drawing A Breath," which continues the sketch artist theme. And I created a two pager called "The Trail Behind The Fish-Mart/De-Fanged." I will share that next month, when I get the art and comic back from Max at the next DUNE.

- Paul Tumey

All text and art copyright Paul C. Tumey unless otherwise noted.

Sunday Morning at the Diner - A Paul Tumey Comic

You know how it is. You live in a place, you pick up their ways. 

From 1988 to 1997, I lived in Massachusetts -- first in Leominster, and then in Boston. Gradually, I became a member of the counter-culture. By "counter-culture," I don't mean a socio-political movement, as much as I mean a gastro-intestinal movement. Namely, diner culture. 

Photo courtesy of the Diner Hotline Weblog

New England is, among other things, a treasure trove of classic vintage diners. Many of the pre-fabricated railroad car style diners were manufactured in Worcester, Massachusetts -- so it makes sense that a large concentration of diners settled across the state, like so many patty melts falling from the sky. I used to go around the state hunting old diners. It became an idle past-time, and then an obsession. I met some of the owners, and ate many a fine meal while sitting at a gleaming chrome counter. One favorite was the Miss Worcester lunch car, where -- if memory serves -- they cooked their home fries in sausage grease -- this may not sound great, but it was very tasty on a mid-winter day!

One of my favorite days was when I joined several other diner fanatics and took a day-long bus tour of diners, sponsored by the Society of Commercial Archaeology. What a day that was! Bacon burgers here, homemade apple pies there, turkey and gravy on spongy white bread -- mmmmm.

My love for diners found its way into my work at the time. I created a long comic book called "The Last Diner." I hosted an author event at my bookstore with Richard Gutman, a great diner and culture historian. I also wrote and drew a three-page comic story that appeared in a nifty diner fanzine called "Counter Culture."  Recently, the original art for this strip surfaced. I remember being interested in showing the wonderful, womb-like feeling of enclosure a well-made old fashioned diner booth gives you. The narrative comes from an event that happened more than once. I felt kinda bad, knocking diner food -- so I didn't draw any of the more beautiful art deco visual tropes of diners into this strip -- to sort of distance them from the lousy food at Jo's, my mythical diner. 

I've scanned the story for your eating pleasure! 
Here, then, from circa 1994, is "SUNDAY MORNING AT THE DINER."

All text and art is copyright 2014 PAUL C. TUMEY. You can feel free to link to this page but you may not appropriate and use this art for your own purposes. Sorry, but that's the way it is.