On the Drawing Board

Working on pencils for an upcoming Sally Forth Sunday page.


Figures are blocked in. Will take one more pass to tighten things up then on to inks.

Inks finished.


After this I scan – touch up – lay in the lettering and the drop panel – then last but not least, do up a color guide.

-Jim Keefe

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The first pic is from the MoCCA Art Festival, when I was still living in New York. The second is with my daughter Tessa at the Minneapolis St. Paul Comicon.

It’s been a crazy ten years…

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Thought For the Day


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Comic Book Podcasts

Here’s a quick list of seven podcasts (in no particular order) dealing with comics.

For the most part I tend to like shows interviewing artists and/or industry professionals (as opposed to simply reviews), so the list tends to lean heavy that way.


Making Comics: Gutter Talk – Hosted by Adam Greenfield.

Every Friday listen in as Adam Greenfield is joined by artists around the globe discussing making comics.


Tall Tale Radio – Hosted by Tom Racine.

A podcast about comic strips, animation, movies, television, comics and cartoons, with interviews with the best artists in print, on the web, on screen, and everywhere.


Panels & Pizza – Hosted by Adam Vermillion.

Comics and pizza, together at last. Adam Vermillion shares a slice or 6 with some of the biggest and best names in comics.


Pop Culture Hound – Hosted by Chris J. Thompson.

Pop-culture website with a focus on comics, video games, film and TV.


Word Balloon – Hosted by John Siuntres.

The Pop Culture podcast featuring in-depth 1 on 1 interviews from the entertainment worlds of comic books, novels, film, video games and more.


Inkstuds – Hosted by Rob McConnell.

Interviews some of today’s top creators, with a focus on underground and indy comix from publishers like Fantagraphics, Top Shelf, Drawn and Quarterly and more.


iFanboy – Comics fandom oriented.

Owned and operated by Graphicly.


If there’s a comics oriented podcast you’d like to recommend, please comment and/or email me as I’d like to update this list from time to time.

All for now – back to work…


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Working Professionally as a Cartoonist

A few things that I’ve learned over the years that have crystalized through teaching…

• Devote your time to sharpening your art skills AND your business skills – trends, networking, contracts, etcetera all.

• Don’t pigeonhole yourself to one small aspect of the art form, like limiting yourself to just comics. Remember that Michelangelo wanted to devote himself to sculpture when he was commissioned to paint the Sistine Chapel.

• The people who succeed are generally the people who are working their asses off. Surround yourself with people like this, people who commit themselves fully and are getting their work out into the world. They’ll generally be better than you which is a GOOD thing – that way the bar keeps getting raised.

• Working hard isn’t enough, you have to work smart as well. You have to create work that’s marketable – that will suit the needs of someone who will then pay you.

• Working long hours with no sleep to meet deadlines isn’t the answer. Your career is a marathon, not a fifty yard dash. Eat right, exercise and sleep regularly like your parents told you to.

• Start now (yesterday is even better). Research the jobs you want, look at the submission guidelines (and follow them METICULOUSLY), then work up samples that will blow the competition out of the water. Follow Steve Martin’s advice to those aspiring to enter the entertainment field – “Be so good they can’t ignore you.”

• To cap this off… If you treat your skills as a hobby then that’s where they’ll stay, as a hobby – and that’s FINE as long as that’s your conscious decision – but if you want to have it as your career then you need to get on board and on track.

And that’s…

For more info, check out the following links:

Comics – Pricing your Work

Things to Consider When Commissioning Artwork

Work for Hire – The Fallout

Homage or Swipe?

Cartoon Art Scams

Comics – Tools of the Trade

Comic Book Inking Tutorials and Videos

Recommended Books on Drawing & Cartooning


Using Reference


When you wish upon a star…

Motivational Misinformation

Convention Prep – AHHHHH!!!

Networking and the High Cost of Comic Conventions

Mike Wolfer on Fan art/Homage art

Graphic Novels

Comic Book Podcasts

Intro to Anime – sorely needed…

And last but not least, The Business of Cartooning.
This page has a number of subcategories, including…

1 Comic News Blogs
2. Contracts
3. Resources/Articles
4. Print On Demand Publishers
5. Self-Publishing Resource Articles
6. Convention Resources
7. Cartooning Schools and Organizations
8. Financial Aid


I started these posts after teaching Comic Art at the
Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
Here’s the biggest thing I learned teaching there.


…and a special thanks to Professor Barb Schulz, head of the department,
for giving me that opportunity.

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Coming Soon…


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Sally Forth – Hometown Reference

When a scene in Sally Forth calls for a specific locale (grocery store, movie theater, etcetera) I’ll often use spots around my hometown of Minneapolis for reference. Take the following…

Excerpt from Francesco Marciuliano’s script for 9/22/2016.

Scene: Exterior. Sidewalk. Right Outside Comic Book Store. Hilary and Faye exit the comic book store. Each has a bag showing a comic book purchase.


For the comic book shop I chose Comic Book College.


It holds a little nostalgia for me as it used to be called Comic City back in the day (and was located one store down from where it is now). For those interested in the history, check out the College of Comic Book Knowledge.

The two guys approaching the comic book store in the first panel are fellow Joe Kubert School classmates Brian Bilter and Mark McMurray.


They’ve snuck into the strip before – it usually happens when I’m not paying close enough attention.


Mark even went so far as to crash a Flash Gordon strip I did back in the day (when he had longer hair).

Flash Gordon top tier - November 24, 1996

Flash Gordon top tier – November 24, 1996

More on that at joikmeister.livejournal.com


Unabashed plug time!

If Sally Forth isn’t in your local paper you can check it out online at SallyForth.com, or get a subscription at…


A yearlong subscription to all of King Features’ comics (new and vintage) plus ten years worth of archives for every single strip is a pittance at $19.99 a year. Unsure? Try a 7 day trial subscription for free.

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