“A day at the beach.” I’m not sure that’s an apt description of the Evil Inc branch office in Fairmount. But it’s got to be an improvement over some of those other jobs Thea has had. I think being a Middle School teacher would be particularly difficult. Every time I’ve taught a class, I’ve dragged my butt home completely whipped. And I teach college students! I can’t imagine managing young kids! Every teacher my sons have ever had is a person who has my enduring respect.

Day After Day at the Beach… for 16 years

Waaaaay back on February 14, sixteen years ago, I posted my first comic strip on the Web. It looked like this:

Day at the Beach

It has been a rare privilege to do comics for you every day for 16 years. As I said before, it has been the only thing I really wanted to do. And doing Greystone Inn — and, later, Evil Inc, has brought me to some amazing relationships and opportunities.

Besides my two daily strips, I’ve done a weekly comic for a sex-advice column, a weekly comic about living in Philadelphia, and exclusive NSFW comics for my Patreon backers.

By The Numbers

1,471 Greystone Inn comic strips

3,108* Evil Inc comic strips (and, after 2016, partial-page updates)

436* Courting Disaster comics (including 26 NSFW Courting Disasters for Patreon)

95 full-page Phables

215* Tales from the Con comics (which I write for Emerald City Comicon)

38* single-panel “bonus” comics. These go to my Patreon backers, but many appear later on Guigar.com as a way to promote the Patreon campaign.

31* full-page updates of Evil Inc After Dark (NSFW)

13* Arch Bros strips

That’s more than 5400 comics, panels, and pages. Woof.

Speaking of a day at the beach, there’s been an Eisner Award nomination — that I lost to an advertisement for a video game. (I’m not bitter.) But Phables has to be the only comic to ever have been named the Best Newspaper Column in Philadelphia by the Society of Professional Journalists. And my Comic Creator of the Year award from Geekadelphia sits in a place of honor in my studio.

Along the way, there have been a slew (maybe a slew-and-a-half) of graphic novels. And three how-to books — “The Everything Cartooning Book,” “How To Make Webcomics,” and “The Webcomics Handbook.”

I teach Arts Entrepreneurship and Sequential Art (Comics) at Hussian School of Art in Philadelphia, and my Web site, Webcomics.com, offers guidance and tutorials to other cartoonists publishing their work on the Web.

I’ve had the honor of co-hosting Webcomics Weekly with my friends Scott Kurtz, Dave Kellett and Kris Straub. And although Webcomics Weekly has come to its end, Scott, Cory Casoni, and I have launched a new podcast, Surviving Creativity, which discusses the challenges of making a living as a creative professional. And don’t forget the podcast I record with my sons Alex (13) and Max (10) during our drive to school. That podcast, “Hey Comics — Kids!”, discusses comics, movies and video games from the perspective of kids and their parents.

Heck, I even self-syndicated my comics to newspapers — most notably the Philadelphia Daily News. The Daily News has run my comic strip every day since it ran its first Greystone Inn on April 15, 2001. It will run its last Evil Inc strip on March 19.

All in all, these last 16 years have been chock-full of excitement for a guy who’s only real dream was to draw cartoons for a living.

As I do every year around this time, I want to extend my heartfelt thank-you for helping to support that dream. Whether it’s by buying a book, coming out to see me at a comic convention, supporting me on Patreon, whitelisting me on your ad blocker — or just by being here — you’ve been a crucial part of this whole thing. Thank you!

Speaking of Greystone Inn…

Greystone_Inn_bookThe very best way to read those Greystone Inn strips is in the book that collects every last one of them in an attractive, hardcover volume.

And, until the end of today, you can get free shipping — or 50% off ground shipping — by using the offer code FEBSHIP.

Greystone Inn was my first webcomic. It ran six days a week from February 2000 to June 2005. And this beautifully printed 416-page hardcover book collects the first comic through the last. Greystone, of course, provided the jumping-off point for Evil Inc. In fact, the very first official Evil Inc comic was Lighting Lady (who first appeared in Greystone) interviewing for a job with the evil corporation. And, as the Evil Inc comic strip was coming to an end at the end of last year, the interdimensional flux brought the Greystone Inn gang back for one more curtain call.

In addition to the complete collection, there’s a thirty-page introduction that includes:

  • A sampling of my high-school- and college-era editorial cartoons.
  • Three weeks of a comic-strip prototype I created in college.
  • Nine weeks of the unpublished strip that was the precursor to Greystone, called Single Guy.
  • All of the details behind my introduction to cartooning, the failed syndicate submissions, and the path that brought me to webcomics.

Over the life of Greystone, there were four collections created — three book were published by Plan 9 Publishing, and I published a fourth. Plan 9 Publishing has long since disappeared and those books are nearly impossible to find.

This volume collects all of those plus a year-and-a-half of strips that have never been collected in book form.

I can’t tell you how proud I am to be able to offer this book to you. If you were a fan of Greystone Inn, this is a keeper. If you’re an Evil Inc fan, I think you’ll appreciate the writing — and the deep roots of some of your favorite characters, like Lightning Lady, who have their roots in the comic.

Let me put it this way. I’ve long since forgotten what I wrote in those strips, so the punchlines catch me totally by surprise. And I have to say. I wrote some pretty funny stuff in that strip.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a smattering of what you can expect: Greystone sampler (PDF).