The final countdown

By the way, you’re welcome for getting that song stuck in your head. Ha ha ha ha ha.

Ahem. Anyhow, my editor says I can tell you this: MARCH 30! That is the date that “Phoebe and Her Unicorn” hits newspapers.  (If a paper has only bought the Sunday strips, as some do, the date is April 5.)

The last number I heard was 78 newspaper sales (the current number is probably higher), which is a very good number I’m told, and we’re in some pretty cool markets, too. (I don’t know the full list, but watch this space for more information–and if we’re not in your local paper, I encourage you to start bothering them until they fix that.)

Sit and listen, child, and I will tell you of a magical world before smartphones.
Sit and listen, child, and I will tell you of a magical world before smartphones.

So we’re six weeks out. And the reason the online strip is in reruns right now is that I’m building up a backlog for the print strip. I’ll try and get something original out in the next six weeks, but the launch is the priority right now. It’s what I’ve been working toward for the past decade and a half.

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About A Kitty

I feel like saying “my cat died this week” doesn’t capture it.

It’s an accurate description, but it seems so sterile and matter-of-fact. A cat I had adored for many happy years was taken from me by lymphoma this week.

Seriously, fuck you, cancer. Gladys was old, but she wasn’t that old–exactly 13 1/2, to the day, when she died, and lots of cats live years past that. It’s so unfair that she couldn’t.

But I loved her so much that the rest of my life wouldn’t have felt like long enough to have her near me.

I’d resumed the ritual of “Friday cat blogging” recently (using photos from before she got sick), even though I’m not an especially prolific blogger, because I was acutely aware she might not be around much longer, and I wanted to shout to the world about what a wonderful kitty she was, and how much I loved her, while she was here.

Of course, she had no idea. She had a tiny little kitty brain. “A tiny little spaceship head,” Nikki would say.

We were able to use Gladys's love of boxes to keep her from sitting on Orv's laptop.
We were able to use Gladys’s love of boxes to keep her from sitting on Orv’s laptop.

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Making introductions

The introduction to Phoebe and Her Unicorn was written by the great Peter S. Beagle. The introduction to the forthcoming Unicorn on a Roll was written by the equally great Lauren Faust.

When we first started working on the original book, I remarked to people that my two dream choices for the task, in the whole world, were Peter S. Beagle and Lauren Faust. So, that worked out extremely well.

Now I’m wondering what seemingly unrealistic person I should try to get for book 3. (Don’t say Bill Watterson. I tried that. Nobody gets Bill Watterson. We have the same book editor and I still have no shot.)

I mean, one of the Bloom County books had an intro by Mikhail Gorbachev. The sky’s the limit.


cartoonist, illustrator, unicorn