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.

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