Hi and welcome to Milton 5.0

The strip follows the personalities of Milton (duck), CPU (toy robot), Henry (rabbit), Henry's cousins (bunnies), and Walter (?) as they attempt to make their way through life. Mostly dealing with the stresses of modern existence, the strip focuses on how each personality copes with life - cars, bills, and other obstacles (including, or even, each other.)

Milton 5.0 is an offshoot of an earlier strip of mine, Three Feet. The only character to bridge the two strips is CPU.

My pop and me - about 1969, on our front steps in Los Gatos, CA.

It's probably a good idea to destroy much of your artwork made during college. (Here's me, doing just that.)

I have to say if you're getting a rejection, it's nice to get a letter (even a form letter). King Features doesn't do this anymore, Universal sends you an email. Can't remember how Washington Post Writers Group, Tribune, or Creators does it. (I'm sure I'll find out soon enough). And United Media is out of the Comics business.

Inspiration - Growing up there was a Pogo book, and Barnaby and Mr. O'Malley book in the house. I was very fascinated by the drawing in both of these. With Pogo I don't think I had enough patience (still don't) to read the text. Crockett Johnson's clean, smooth, bold images intrigued me, and the stories were pretty good. Peanuts - really the only reason I draw comics today - I connected with so strongly as a kid. Most cartoonists talk about how they wanted to be a cartoonist when they got older. Not me. I never thought I'd get older.

I first saw Stephan Pastis' Pearls Before Swine when it was only online (c. 1999) - it was great to see the success of a comic strip from the start. Early in his career he'd send you a signed drawing if you sent a SASE. My dad, who died in 2010, loved the strip. ("Did you see what that rat said today?") I also got one of these sent to him as a surprise.

Drawings from 6th grade. My skills were very limited (and my spelling even worse - more on that in the next few slides.) I don't remember Smod, but Dr. Crazyman made quite a few appearances on paper and in notebooks.

Three single panel comics from 6th or 7th grade. I'm pretty sure my seven year old daughter can draw and spell better than I could then. However, I'm still pretty proud of these comics. I created a bunch of them, this is just a small selection. Oh yeah, the spelling issue ("maby". Sweet Jesus!)

Mr. Bill comics from 6th grade. My teacher (Mrs. Hurlbut) set up a mini society in our class at the end of the year. My friend Billy Salles and I made Mr. Bill comics. Mr. Bill was a play-doh figure in these short movies featured on Saturday Night Live. Billy was a better artist than I, but we had a great time making these comics - and we were quite successful in the class.

Detail of Mr. Bill comics. Back to the spelling issue. Today as two words (WTF). My teacher told me "cartoonists have to know how to spell". Maby (sic) she never read Krazy Kat - but she was probably right anyway.

Oil on canvas from San Jose State University. In school, we were always encouraged to work big. After school, my work got smaller and smaller. I really loved school - it was a great chance to test out ideas in a totally useless environment to the rest of the world (I mean that. Really, I'm not being sarcastic).

A pen and ink drawing from sometime in the early 1990's. I wasn't interested in cartoons then - it was all fine art for me. I was painting and drawing and looking for gallery spaces to show my work. I did paint and draw quite a bit, but didn't really push the gallery space that much.

Three Feet was the first strip I developed. I was a stay-at-home dad for three small kids. The experience was so intense that their little personalities would not leave my head. I created the strip based on my three daughters. I didn't use actual things they said or did, but used their personalities to fit various situations. The strip was around from 2000 to 2008 (or so). Also, it ran in my local paper for a few years.

This was the very first Three Feet comic strip I did. The style progressed rather rapidly after this strip.

A Three Feet strip with CPU, originally the toy robot of Gigi, the other character you see above.

Very early Milton strip. I had been honing in the drawing style on Three Feet and wanted to break loose a bit with the style for Milton. I can't really say why I started Milton. I know he didn't fit in with kids and maybe at that point I was looking at my life beyond my three daughters (and two step-daughters, and the birth of my 4th daughter...) Anyway, Milton gave me a chance to focus on the characters inside of myself.

Page from my sketch book (around 2007?). I found a drawing from my daughter Kt with a car with no wheel wells. I've adopted it as the vehicle of choice for Milton 5.0.

Since 2000 my artwork as been about comics. In 2007, my wife and I opened an art gallery. This led me back to an interest in fine arts. Between the business of building websites and graphic design, raising six kids, gardening, surfing, and cartooning, I don't find much time for fine art. But occasionally I like to work on a few projects. Above is a gouache on paper, one of a series of cameras I did in 2010.

Tire tread series, gouache on paper, 2010.

From my sketch book, 2011. Pen and ink of some Tara characters.

I started surfing when I was about 15. I was very involved with it until I decided to go to college. I surfed very occasionally for the next 20 years. Then in 2006 I bought a board here on the East Coast. Over the last few years I've been surfing more and more, really appreciating the flow and in-the-momentness of being on the water. That's me in the water off Long Beach, NY (2008). I try to surf once a week now (I live an hour from the water).

Milton marches on...

First Comic