Family Man update!

May 4th, 2012

Preview of Page 250

Page 250, now online.


The ancient Romans didn’t really have a tidy word for “2.5″ so they usually said “sestertius” (”half three”) because 2.5 is exactly halfway between the numerals two and three. A bit of a funny way to go about it, but that’s where we get the word sestercentennial which means “250th anniversary.” This comic certainly isn’t 250 years old, but it is now 250 pages long! Crazy.

Thank you to all who visited me at the Stumptown Comics Fest. The highlight for me was a panel on historical fiction in comics. Somebody has me down as saying “In terms of worldbuilding, I mean…the 18th century is just lying there, for free!” Which I think sums things up nicely, though not as well as my favorite stanza from Walt Whitman’s poem ‘To Think of Time” -

To think that the sun rose in the east! that men and women were flexible, real, alive! that everything was alive!
To think that you and I did not see, feel, think, nor bear our part!
To think that we are now here, and bear our part!

It gives me chills every time, and that is how I find myself 250 pages into the 18th century. Thanks for following along!

Page 248! Eisner nod! Conventions!

April 13th, 2012

Preview of Page 248

Page 248, now online!

(permalink to this week’s page)

Ahoy, strangers! After a few weeks of nasty tendinitis, I am back and updating. My poor cranky arm is very grateful for the time off. Thanks for your patience, all. With some continued gentle treatment it should be back to 100% before long.

In case you weren’t visiting the Family Man site or following me elsewhere, this month’s super-exciting news is that my short story, Outfoxed, has been nominated for an Eisner Award in the Best Digital Comic category! I am hugely grateful for the honor. If you’re an industry pro, you can kick in your vote at; if you’re a civilian, well, you can now read the story knowing that it has been nominated for something.

And, yes, I do have plans to put the story in print, as well. You’ll hear more about that soon!

Meanwhile, preparations begin for the Stumptown Comics Fest here in Portland. Hometown shows are the best, and it looks like I’ll be on a couple of panels.

Then at the end of May I’ll be journeying up to Vancouver B.C. for the first-ever VanCAF. I’m excited to have another West coast show and an excuse for my lovely Northwestern Canuck readers to avoid paying international postage. Plus, the ready availability of honey-dip Timbits.

Lastly, it’s finally spring here. I got a little overexcited and made my (first ever) dippy li’l animation. It is of me, smacking my face into a tulip. The muse of poetry comes to each in her own way, I guess. See you next week!

See you in Seattle!

March 23rd, 2012

Preview of Page 247

Page 247 now online!

(permalink to this week’s page)

What what what. What? Oh, you’ll have to wait ’til next week to find out, kids.

Seattleites and early visitors to the Emerald City Comicon! I’ll be appearing in an artist panel (with several esteemed colleagues) on Thursday, March 29, 2012, 7-8:30pm, at the Henry Art Gallery. More details here; I think this one’s going to be fairly unmissable. Curator Sarra Scherb has done a great job with the associated exhibit and in rounding up a really great bunch of panelists. It should be an interesting evening and a great kickoff to what’s always one of the best conventions of the year.

Then I’ll be exhibiting at the ECCC from Friday thru Sunday! Come find me at Table #223. I’ll have books, prints, smiles, historical anecdotes, hands for sketchin’, and these dandy new trinkets:

Yes, I know what you people like: declaring your love for comic books and excessive degrees.

I’ll see you there! Yay!

First on the Pyre

March 16th, 2012

Preview of Page 246

Page 246 of Family Man.

(permalink to this week’s page)

That’s it for this little scene, although next week the action continues with Ariana. Man! So many rustic outfits to coordinate. I think I made it through without mixing up anybody’s survivalist accessories.

Last week I hijacked the Boy Howdy podcast and talked a whole bunch about Family Man with Bill Mudron. If you sent in a question, odds are 90% that I answered it in there! We also talked for a bit up front about all sorts of fun nerdy pop culture stuff before I got to rambling about the origins of the research university in 18th century Central Europe. Go listen and decide for yourselves which part is more interesting.

And, as you will note from the main site’s blogpost header, there is still a comments section! Hurray! If you have trouble seeing ‘em, you’ll need to specifically whitelist the section (not just the whole site) if you wanna jump in.

The Wise Folk

March 9th, 2012

Preview of Page 245.

Page 245 now online!

(permalink to this week’s page)

Website news! Behold, readers, you have asked and so shall you receive: you can now leave comments on the Family Man site! Just hit the little comment counter in the blog post header (right under the comic) and you’ll be on your way. Next up I’ll make it a bit easier to read around in the blog archives, too.

When I originally designed the site I intentionally kept comments off of it. Too often online comments sections get overrun by jerks. But you gang are the Best Readers, smart and funny and thoughtful and patient and almost creepily supportive. When I started the comic, LiveJournal was still a vital community, and I got a 95% of your comments there. Now I interact with you all in a much more scattershot fashion through Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter…it’s just not as fun. So. Please leave comments there; I’ll be so happy to see you all in one place again.

Relatedly: I’ll be recording a podcast today. I’m taking questions – about the comic, about freelancing, anything! – you can leave them in comments here, on the site, or in my Tumblr ask box.

Very last thing: Lauren Davis over at ComicsAlliance posted the world’s nicest write-up of Family Man. CA folk get rewarded for hits on their content, so show her some appreciation by clicking through and reading her thoughts.

Hannah and her Grandmother

March 2nd, 2012

Preview of Page 244

Page 244, now online!

(permalink to page)

This page goes out to all of you who worried this comic would end up 100% cleavage-free. And, speaking of lady parts, it sure is nice to finally pass the Bechdel Test. For those of you unfamiliar with its hallowed tenets:

1) two (named) female characters who
2) have a conversation
3) in which they discuss something other than a man.

Seattleites and early arrivers to Emerald City Comicon, take note: I’m part of a webcomics exhibition at the University of Washington’s Henry Art Gallery this month. The exhibit opens on March 3, and I’ll be part of an open-to-the-public panel discussion on the evening of March 29. Mark your calendars!

Lastly: check out these sweet little comic book pendants I’ll be selling at ECCC:

Comic book pendant! Debuting at ECCC!

I just got my first batch in the mail from, and I couldn’t be more pleased with how the design turned out. Whee! Convention-goers will get first shot at buying them, and then I’ll give the internet its chance later in April.

Family Man: Page 243

February 24th, 2012


Page 243, now online!

I’m not ready to give you the design sheet for the humans yet, but please enjoy this high-res, desktop wallpaper  lineup of all the wolves. Plus Agata, because she’s an honorary wolf.

Click to see or download at full-size

Click to see or download at full-size

And, for those of you who don’t follow me on social media, I’ve posted an image and an explanation of how I start to put a page of this comic together. I don’t usually post process images, but this was fun! (best seen on Flickr).

How a Page Is Born

February 23rd, 2012

Family Man layout sketches

This is a quick picture I took of one of the stages in the creation of a recent page of my graphic novel, Family Man (

Since my script doesn’t always break out action or dialogue into specific panels within specific pages, each page is its own little puzzle; how much of it will make sense as a visual unit? What moments need their own panel, and which ones can be combined? What’s important, and what can I just suggest and move on from? And does character X really need to say three sentences when she can say one?

Unless the page is very simple, I’ll start out by drawing a big brain-dump like this on a piece of printer paper, covering ALL of the stuff I think might go into the page.

I break out chunks of action, experiment with facial expressions, poses, and angles, and just generally reassure myself that I’ve given everything a good dose of consideration.

On of my great hang-ups is the belief that somewhere in my brain is The Perfect Layout, and if I just keep trying and redoing and rearranging, I’ll eventually stumble across it. Imposing a period of playful experimentation like this helps shake me out of that notion.

You can see the finished version of this page here:
And some of the visual information was bumped onto the page following it:

Family Man: Page 242

February 17th, 2012

Preview of Page 242

Page 242: now online!

Whoops. Don’t touch the animals. Really getting places now, aren’t we? We are STILL nowhere near done with everything that happens in this scene!

I spent last week in Hawaii with my family and had the time of my life. I kept a cartoon journal while there – I have to finish up on the last couple of days and then I’ll see about putting it online, perhaps as a PDF at a low price.

Mauna Loa, wreathed in clouds.

In the meantime, I took a set of 14 artsy photos – mostly of weird little details from the big island that made me happy. You can see ‘em here.

The first printing of Goddess Prints has gone out into the world! If you ordered, you can expect to see them in the next week or so. I’ll be doing one more run to take me through spring conventions, so place your order if you’d like to be sure to get a set!

- Dylan

Family Man: Page 241

February 10th, 2012

Preview: Page 241

Family Man: Page 241.

Aaaand introducing a very fun character to draw. Still not done with this scene! Oh so very not done with this scene.

Thank you to everybody who had suggestions for how to mess with the site. I’ll be integrating a comment system and making it easier to dig around in the blog archives (if you’re a Wordpress/Comicpress wizard and would like to be my hacker in exchange for art favors, send me a line). And a supreme thank you to everybody who donated this past week or bought a print set! It makes a big difference for me.

Lastly, I’ve got a new phone with a nice camera, so I’ve been posting stupid doodles to Tumblr and Flickr to keep myself loose and encourage spontaneous goofball-ery.

What do I need from the store

Feel free to follow along at home.

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