Wednesday, January 13, 2010


It was more than 10 years ago now I did a comic strip in a local monthly entertainment magazine called News-4U. It ran a little bit more than 2 years. Here are the 1st 4 strips. In the beginning I did it by myself but soon after I found myself stressed out by the grueling 1-strip-a-month pace, and called upon my friend Bob Canada to help me. When Bob started helping the strips looked better but I don't have any of those scanned yet.

I only have these 4 scans right now. They aren't as clear as they could be because I scanned the printed magazine pages. Someday I'd like to dig out the originals and scan them nice and clear.
The strip was fairly gory when it needed to be STRICTLY FOR THE PURPOSE OF MOVING THE STORY ALONG and not at all just for the fun of it. No way! Uh uh!
I came up with a secret code system using letters and numbers back when I was in high school. Who would have known it would come in handy later in life.

We got $30 for 1 strip and divided that so we made $15 each. We did it more for the fun than the money. After Bob started helping me he would pencil and I would ink. Eventually Bob wrote the story too so all I did was ink and give joke input every once in a while. That sounds easy enough, right? Well it wasn't. Bob was really good at drawing extremely microscopically indescribably tiny, and I wasn't. He loaded the page up with details apparently drawn with Hobbit pencils. I remember he'd have an entire character's face within the area of what my brushpen tip would cover if I even made a dot.

I remember pleading with Bob to ease up on the details. Then I remember him saying okay. Then I remember him handing me the next strip and it had an army of 5,000 Ant-Creatures in each of the 3" x 3" panels.

We were given free website space at the time (from these guys) so we had a website called shrunkenheadjoe dot com. We had all the strips on there and various other features. There was animation, music, reader comments, model sheets and even an action figure. Shrunken-Head Joe's character was a singer and some of the songs he performed in the strip could be heard for real on the website (recorded by my brother and me.)

Eventually the big cheese of News-4U actually read it and fired us. We got away with a lot before he finally looked. Sucka! Getting fired was almost a relief. It seemed like a lot of work for what was essentially 50 cents a day for Bob and me. $30 per strip is not much but if we'd had it in more magazines I guess that $30 would add up.

Hey! If there are any hip entertainment magazines out there (not afraid of a little blood) in need of a 2 year supply of comics we have them ready to go. Contact Bob or me.


  1. You've got some great entertaining stuff on this blog!...I'll be back

  2. Dang it, I'm laughin so hard, I've shot hot coffe out my nose - - When Joe shoots the second guys face, LOL (I'm a sick pup I know) but this is crazed PCP Bob Burden meets Chester Gould with Tarentino on the side FRICKIN FUN stuff Keith! And I love Gwen too, she's spunky. Guns are cool!
    You and Bob were wunderkinds. MORE, MORE, I hate to say it but he's now my favorite character (tiny head, sewed-shut eyes) from the Seifert House of Ideas (Blood Count as sunk to number two)

  3. Great stuff!
    Hilarious! Great imagination!

    In the first comic when she kisses the ol' shrunken head, it sure looks like she's kissin' something else...


  4. KW: This is very brilliant, dude! You and Bod deserve applause. This really needs a comeback. It has something going for it that I just love in a strip: It is just plain funny to look at. $15.00 a page, the bastards. No kidding. This is special. -- Mykal

  5. wow another great post! how do you find the time?

    Excellent job!

    My favorite line(s) -
    "I got the note you get the body!"
    "Hurry Gwen!"
    LMAO - hahahahahah!

  6. Everybody,

    Thanks for all the comments and compliments. I remember we talked (fantasized) about making a movie version this story. Shrunken-Head Joe would be made by building the shoulders up to head-height with a frame inside a jacket, and sculpting an emotionless, motionless dead head to put on top of the wearer's head.

  7. I see an Al Capp influence here as well.


  8. Willy

    That's the greatest compliment! Li'l Abner = my number one favorite comic strip.

  9. You know.. I DIG this strip man!! Interestingly enough for some reason.. it reminds me of Dick Tracy and Alley OOP, both of which I followed for years! (Although your strips are a wee more gritty) LOL!

  10. I love Alley Oop and Dick Tracy too. I have 4 Alley Oop daily collections. I wish they would make some more. I have a bunch of Dick Tracy too.

    Do you like Li'l Abner?


  11. I remember checking out the strip. It was a fun ride! Yayy!!!

  12. Thanks Matt, I'm glad it entertained you!


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