It was all yellow…
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talkin' 'bout that sponge…and then some

Almost eight years ago, in February 2010, I wrote a post on my website marking 10 years of my drawing SpongeBob SquarePants. I talked about how I came to be affiliated with and learned to draw him, and what it led to, for me and my career.

At that time, Nickelodeon Magazine (for whom I'd been drawing regular comics starring SpongeBob and others, but mostly SpongeBob) had shuttered, and a new endeavor, SPONGEBOB COMICS, was but a notion, gestating. But that gestation became reality one year later, in February 2011, with the release of SPONGEBOB COMICS #1. 

SPONGEBOB COMICS is unique, and here's why: it's published by the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants, Stephen Hillenburg. Which is to say it's not published by Nickelodeon or a publisher licensing SpongeBob from Nickelodeon. No. SPONGEBOB COMICS is Steve's. Everyone that works on SPONGEBOB COMICS, at the end of the day, works for Steve and his United Plankton Pictures. It is, for all intents and purposes, a creator-owned comic, which is kind of awesome.

Of course, day-to-day operations of the comic falls under the auspices of it's editor, Chris Duffy (who I first worked with nearly 20 years ago, drawing an issue of WHAT IF…? that mashed up current "movie stars" Iron Man and Dr. Strange - he was ahead of his time) and its stalwart production guru, Paul Tutrone (credit to them both, to be sure).

But as popular as SpongeBob is -- as an icon, star of his own cartoon, two movies, innumerable memes, and now a Broadway musical -- not that many people know he's got his own comic book, too (even more evidence it's not a Nickelodeon/Viacom product, am I right?).

And that's a shame, because it's a really great book with the work of a lot of talented people.

But that can change, as this year, in partnership with Abrams Books, selections from the comic series are now available as collected editions! There are three paperbacks:

And this beautiful hardcover slipcase edition:

All four books feature different material, all pulled from the 70+ issues (to date) of SPONGEBOB COMICS. And all four books have work by me in them, to varying degrees (the hardcover has some bonus, exclusive content, including a pin-up from which this newsletter's banner is excerpted). 

If you know someone who loves SpongeBob, these could be well worth your attention (and pick up copies of PIX while you're at it, maybe?).

Back in 2010, when I wrote my post about SpongeBob, it included this line:

"One day, maybe, I’ll actually get to meet Steve Hillenburg and thank the man himself. But until then, I’ll thank him here, on a news feed I can only imagine he’ll never, ever see."

In 2011, prior to San Diego Comic-Con, I was invited to a gathering of SPONGEBOB COMICS contributors (thanks, Chris Duffy and Derek Drymon) where I finally did, indeed, meet Stephen Hillenburg, as well as his wife, son, and mother-in-law (along with a good helping of other SPONGEBOB COMICS folks). He was gracious and complimentary…he and his family were a pleasure to be around.

In March of this year Steve went public that he was diagnosed with ALS. This was and continues to be crushing news. Every month I've sat down to write one of these newsletters I've thought about how to talk about this, and every month I haven't, as in the end, it's not my place or business to talk about. 

But I think about it.

I think about what he and his family and his close friends are going through. I think about that night in 2011 and how I had the chance to meet and thank him in person.

He created SpongeBob SquarePants! And by a stroke of good fortune and timing I was at Nickelodeon with SpongeBob as my assignment. My affiliation with him is in large part how I've been able to work pretty steadily as freelance cartoonist for now over 15 years.

And while I know Steve doesn't read this (he unsubscribed some time ago), it is November, the month of Thanksgiving, so it seems if nothing else I ought to thank him again, for his creation, his work, and for keeping a lot of us employed via SPONGEBOB COMICS. Thank you, Steve. Maybe I'll get to thank him in person again one of these days…


No real news here save for the fact that I've started thinking more about the next Pix book, when it might come out and when I'd have to start to make that happen...which begs the question: How much do you like or dislike progress updates? Do you like knowing if/when I've finished writing or penciling or when I'm coloring, etc? Or would you rather just find out that the book is done and when it'll be available?

Anyway, with December around the corner I'm sure there are "best of" lists in the making. If you know anyone making such a list, particularly about comics for kids, hip them to PIX!

PIX books are available just about everywhere books are sold - local comic shops, independent bookstores, and online outlets (Amazon & Barnes & Noble).
You can also buy signed copies directly from me, where you can also get free copies (plus $4 shipping/handling) of this 11x17 poster (great for your schools and libraries):

And as always, the first chapters of both books remain free to read at
With the holiday season approaching, please consider, if you haven't, reviewing either or both PIX books wherever one might do such a thing; Amazon, GoodReads, Barnes & Noble, etc. Positive reviews can help people who don't know about PIX find it. I thank you in advance!


In case you missed it, on 10/20, I released the latest episode of CRUISIN' TOGETHER, covering his newest movie, AMERICAN MADE. Our guest was a pretty big deal in that it was Robert Kirkman, who, if you don't know, is the guy behind THE WALKING DEAD comic (which is the same WALKING DEAD as the TV show). He was an awesome guest and we had a great time and you should listen to it by clicking right here.

Looks like there won't be another Tom Cruise movie 'til next summer, but make sure your
Apple Podcasts subscription's up to date or follow @CruisinShow on Twitter in case we release one of our patented "Special Version" episodes!

Finally, as always, you can still listen to all past episodes of my other show, STUFF SAID, at or search Apple Podcasts.

Side Dish

Congratulations to my old friend Jason Liebig, proprietor and curator of, for his upcoming TV pilot on The Cooking Channel. Jason, who I've known for over 20 years, has a passion for candy and candy history, and has been working for jus this kind of opportunity for years. If you like candy, food history, trivia and mysteries, check out FOOD FLASHBACK on Thursday, 11/18 at 8pm (EST) on The Cooking Channel. Speaking of trivia and mysteries: I was nearly involved in this endeavor…a story for another time…


November 2017
  • 11/4 - NerdCamp LI - In Huntington, NY. Come out for book talks and workshops from 8am-2pm, and an author meet-and-greet/book sale from 2pm-3:30pm
  • 11/5 - PlayFair - I'll be part of the late session on Sunday, 3-7pm, setting up with the crew from Aw Yeah Comics, including a workshop/presentation.
  • 11/19 - Miami Book Fair - I'll mostly be walking around, but am working on a signing time at the TATE'S Comics booth…and possibly some other South Florida appearances; keep an eye on my social media for updates.
December 2017
  • 12/1 - The Arboretum Barnes & Noble in Austin, TX - 7pm - I'll be doing a presentation and signing books (details still in process, so there should be more on this in the next newsletter, 12/1).
  • 12/2 - Central Texas Teen Comic Con & Kids' Con in Round Rock, TX - 9am-4pm - I'm doing three talks/workshops throughout the day, plus signing books.
  • Also, I'm thinking about another round of #DecemBEAR on Twitter, so any suggestions you might have of notable bears to feature...let me know!


New to the newsletter and want to see past editions? Click away:

2017: Jan, Feb, Mar, April, May, June, July. Aug, Sep, Oct
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