Okay, I can FINALLY talk about this!

Newspaper launch. Heavenly Nostrils. Spring 2015.

Whew! I’ve been sitting on that information for months.

Every time I’ve had to take time off from the daily strip to work on that, I’ve had to just say I was working on “something big.” Well, this has been it.

There’s more work involved with preparing a launch than I had anticipated, and until we got there, part of me was convinced we wouldn’t. But the launch is scheduled for spring, and the process of selling the strip to newspapers is well underway (and going very wellโ€“we topped 50 newspaper sales last week), and I’m now allowed to talk about it.

And I am not good at sitting on this kind of news. It has been a test of my will, not to just tell everyone everything that was happening months ago. Because I am utterly thrilled by this.

I’ve wanted to be a syndicated newspaper cartoonist since I was a kid, and I’ve been actively trying to get there more or less my whole adult life.

The thing about it is, for the newspaper launch, we’re changing the title. Because the marketing department, or whoever it is that makes these decisions, wants to change the title. It’ll be released to newspapers as “Phoebe and Her Unicorn,” the same title as the book. And the changeover on gocomics happens soon: January 1. As of then, the strip is officially called “Phoebe and Her Unicorn: The Heavenly Nostrils Chronicles.”

And I know a bunch of you are going to complain to me about it. To which I say, feel free! Just know it isn’t my decision. And it’s made.

I guess I don’t really have strong feelings about it. I like the title Heavenly Nostrils, but I understand it’s polarizing. (My mom has never liked it.) The reason we called the book Phoebe and Her Unicorn instead of its original title, Heavenly Nostrils, was because Barnes & Noble said they’d buy more copies if we did.

And when we first started, when I pitched the title “Heavenly Nostrils,” my editor said “we can release it online under that title, but when we get to the newspaper launch, they might make us change it.” So, you know, I think it’s a great title, but changing it has never been a dealbreaker.

This is an unusual way to launch a strip. Nigh unprecedented, in fact. As far as I know, no newspaper strip has started as an online-syndicated strip in quite this way, before. Either I’m The Future, or I’m an anomaly. I’m comfortable with either.

Keep calm and unicorn! And if you get the urge, contact your local newspaper and tell them to pick up Phoebe and Her Unicorn.

It’s been an amazing 2014. Let’s make 2015 blow it out of the water.

  28 comments for “Okay, I can FINALLY talk about this!

  1. ronrab
    December 20, 2014 at 7:28 pm


    • Daniel Laemmerhirt
      April 17, 2016 at 7:04 pm

      INDEED!!! This has become one of my very favorite strips! I would just die if this was in “The Buffalo News!”

  2. December 20, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    Congratulations, miss BIG-TIME NEWSPAPER CARTOONIST. Can I buy you a drink to celebrate sometime soon or are you too important to talk to an obscure web-based peon like me?

    • Dana Simpson
      December 20, 2014 at 7:35 pm

      Of course. You know I’m still Dana from the Block.

  3. reynard61
    December 20, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    I guess I’m happy that you’ve achieved a long-held goal, but I worry that the comic will become a “Nancy”-fied shadow of it’s current weird-but-wonderfully-awesome self because your editors will keep insisting that you dumb it down in order to bring in more readers. Promise me that you’ll fight to keep that from happening!

    • Dana Simpson
      December 20, 2014 at 8:28 pm

      I promise. ๐Ÿ™‚ You’d worry less if you knew my editor, Shena. She contributes significantly to what the strip is now, and we’re generally on the same page creatively.

      • reynard61
        December 22, 2014 at 7:12 pm

        Good to know, but it’s actually the corporate Suits *above* her that worry me. That said, I hope HN gets into lots and lots of papers and wish you and the rest of the readership Happy Holidays.

  4. Jeffrey Hope
    December 20, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Congratulations on finally fulfilling that dream of yours!

  5. Michael Ohara
    December 21, 2014 at 12:37 am

    Wow. Congratulations! I’ve been reading your comics for so many years now, that I can’t help but feeling a sort of vicarious pride in your accomplishments ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyway, may you get the fame and fortune you so richly deserve! Also, Unicorn!

  6. December 21, 2014 at 7:46 am

    Congratulations, Dana! I didn’t realize it wasn’t ALREADY in newspapers, but as you say, you’re unique in having your strip syndicated online only.

    I already sent my newspaper an email about it… Might follow up. I do hope the strip won’t start from the very beginning again though… I want new adventures ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Dana Simpson
      December 21, 2014 at 12:35 pm

      Believe me, new adventures will be forthcoming. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. =Tamar
    December 21, 2014 at 9:55 am


  8. Thomas K. Dye
    December 21, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    Congratulations! Looking forward to the big theatrical spectacle in five years, you skyrocket you! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Dana Simpson
      December 21, 2014 at 4:29 pm

      With Morgan Freeman as the voice of Todd the Candy Dragon.

      • Athelind Llewellyn Long
        December 21, 2014 at 7:04 pm

        [freeman] “Rar.” [/freeman]

  9. Connie
    December 21, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Woo hoo! I’m so thrilled for you!!! I do hope the strip will be published in the Washington Post. If not, I’ll send them an email. Where shall I mail your fudge?

    • Dana Simpson
      December 21, 2014 at 5:24 pm

      Fudge you say?

      • Connie
        December 22, 2014 at 11:49 am

        Yes, fudge. ๐Ÿ™‚ Everyone tells me it’s really yummy.

        • Dana Simpson
          December 24, 2014 at 10:53 pm

          I should post this somewhere, but I’m reachable at PO Box 98512, Seattle, WA, 98198. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Connie
            December 25, 2014 at 5:08 pm

            Noted and saved! I’ll let you know when I ship it. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Dana Simpson
            January 30, 2015 at 2:52 pm

            By the way, I don’t think I told you–it was delicious! Thank you very much. <3 <3

  10. WalksOnDirt
    December 21, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    I think Heavenly Nostrils will be among the very best syndicated comics. Knock ’em dead!

  11. Barbara Thomason
    December 22, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    i’m so excited for you! And now I can say “I knew her when she was a little kid!” It is long overdue but wonderful news.

  12. December 28, 2014 at 9:42 am

    I have not purchased newspapers for some time now, but I may have to start doing that again. The comics section just hasn’t been the same since Calvin & Hobbes disappeared, but apparently that is going to change. I love Heavenly Nostrils, and even if the name has to change, I am STILL going to love it. I will definitely contact local newspapers in my hometown and in my current town.

  13. Jon Berger
    December 30, 2014 at 2:13 am

    Didn’t you mean “Neigh unprecedented”? ๐Ÿ™‚
    I loved the old name of the comic, but happier you achieve a dream. Best wishes and thanks for all the great strips,

  14. Xodiac
    February 13, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    Is there anywhere I can find out which newspapers have already bought your comic?

    • Dana Simpson
      February 13, 2015 at 7:22 pm

      I’ll post that information when I have it!

  15. March 17, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    I have the book it was so so AWESOME and SILLY

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