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A couple of months ago, the Reader ran the 1000th comic strip I've done for the paper...wow, suddenly my drawing hand is tired!

As you may or may not know, I depend on tipsters to email me stuff they've overheard around town, for me to draw in the Overheard in San Diego comics. Whoever sends me a tip that gets illustrated gets to keep the original artwork for that week's comic strip. At this point, I've given away the majority of Overheard artwork (which made it hard to come up with recent art to display in gallery showings!)

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If you're interested in becoming a regular tipster, and in getting some free artwork, the things we look for are:

1) The strip should somehow be music related, and it must definitely be local-centric.

2) A locale setting that'd be fun to draw (club with unique decor, an iconic local landmark or building, lots of interesting looking people, etc).

3) Dialogue that comes across as either funny, head-scratching, utterly inexplicable, or so perfectly suited to its locale and/or the speakers that it's almost like illustrating a cliche.

4) "Guest stars" that are well-known locals or visiting celebs.

If you think you have good bits of overheard chatter, feel free to email directly to me at [email protected] .

Overheard in San Diego and Famous Former Neighbors are anomalies in the comic strip world; they’re based on real people, places, and events. Overheard made its debut in early 1996. Originally, I was only the writer; Scott Pentzer drew the first few Overheards, and then Paradise was aboard for around two years.

When Paradise could no longer work on it, I was stuck with the unenviable task of either finding another artist or drawing the thing myself. I hadn’t drawn a comic strip since some crude gag strips I’d done in high school for the school paper and yearbook.

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When I realized that drawing it myself meant I no longer had to split the paycheck, I decided, at the age of 38, to become a cartoonist. My crash course involved consuming and all but memorizing several highly recommended books on the art of comics, including/especially Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud and Comics & Sequential Art by Will Eisner.

After studying those two industry bibles, and a series of How To Draw books by Tarzan artist Burne Hogarth, my first solo Overheard comic debuted in 1998.

No, I will not reproduce it here; believe me, you wouldn’t be impressed. I’m frankly still amazed the Reader didn’t fire me. The pressure of a weekly deadline, coupled with my weak art skills, kept me chained to the drawing board over the next few months. I recycled a lot of Paradise's backgrounds and setups, as I studied how to render art in a style similar to his.

Once I finally got the hang of using a brush with a bit of flair, rather than the rapidograph technical pen that made my drawings look like woodcuts, the Overheard comics grew from barely competent to halfway decent to, I hope today, not at all terrible.

I particularly enjoy drawing iconic locales around town, tho, as you'll see below, I completely rely on good photo references to work up from.

So if you want some of this artwork for your own wall (or fridge, or bird cage lining), now you know what we're seeking! I look forward to your tips!

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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