Gill is a comic strip that takes a humorous look at the life of an 8-year-old boy who lives under less than ideal circumstances. His parents are divorced. His mother struggles to maintain their meager existence. His estranged father floats in and out of his life to offer crude and confusing advice. Gill is an exploration of childhood and an imperfect American family in all its dysfunctional glory.
Gill will run 5 days a week online. The strips that run Monday through Thursday will be in black and white, while the Friday strips will be larger and in color.
For those of you unfamiliar with my other work, I’m a syndicated cartoonist whose comic strip Retail is distributed by King Features. It launched in 2006 and now appears in about 70 newspapers throughout the US and Canada. I’m also an author. My book, Pretending You Care: The Retail Employee Handbook, is a parody guidebook for retail employees that includes over 200 of my Retail comic strips. It’s published by Hyperion and was released in October of 2007.
About a year ago, I decided to make an attempt at getting a second strip syndicated. Gill is an idea I’ve had for some time, so in July of 2008 I pitched it to the major syndicates. Unfortunately it was passed on by all of them.
My initial plan was to abandon the idea if it was rejected and move on to another, but after posting the sample strips on my website, I started having second thoughts. I got overwhelmingly positive comments about the material on my blog as well as The Daily Cartoonist, and received about a dozen private emails from various professional cartoonists (both syndicated and web) complementing the strip. Many urged me to give it a go as a webcomic … and after a lot of thought I decided to do just that.
I’m keeping my goals in this endeavor modest, and my expectations realistic. Hopefully I can build an audience and provide some entertainment along the way. I have some hopes, but mostly I’m looking at this as an experimental venue for an idea I’m not quite ready to give up on.
For those of you who have seen the samples of Gill already, you will see a lot of the same material in the first few weeks. However, the large color Friday strips will all be new, so be sure to swing by and check them out.
At any rate, thank you for visiting my new site. I hope you enjoy Gill and will return often. If you like my work, please help me out by spreading the word.