Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Bill Griffith's 10 Rules

1. Cartoon Characters have souls.

2. As Freud meant to say: "every cartoon character you create is you."

3. You're the auteur of your comic. You write, cast, light, film, direct and edit...you have final cut.

4. Each panel, strip, page and spread is a graphic unit. Compose them that way.

5. Comics are equal parts drawing and writing. With writing being a bit more equal.

6. Ambiguity is OK. Ask the reader to meet you halfway.

7. Don't just look at comics for inspiration. Stare at Hopper, Rembrandt, Magritte, Durer, Hiroshige and Marsh.

8. It isn't necessary to completely write out your strip or story in advance. Let the characters speak to you.

9. While you work, take breaks to stretch your neck and upper back.

10. Never listen to anyone else's advice on cartooning.

You can view Bill Griffith's work at: http://www.zippythepinhead.com/


  1. I wanted to be a cartoonist in my 20s. Even had the "big break" with Universal Press Syndicate. But as I was drawing my month's worth of sample strips, I'd look at the art and tell myself, "That's good enough." And of course, if you really think that -- it never is. Not just in cartooning, but in life. Great thoughts, Griffy!

  2. Great advice! I seem to have trouble with #4… I spend a lot of time on the panels to the neglect of the entire page. I will strive to do better! Any critique would be greatly appreciated… http://bit.ly/2aBkafC