[from Career Day] Episode 6: Doodlers of the World

*This episode is from the original Career Day format featuring multiple interviews together.*

Four+ people inspired by… everything.

Doodling is a great way to pass the time. It inspires well-known board games and lesser known group games… like Pictophone (one of my personal favorites). I first sat down with a minimalist cartoonist who once wanted to do a syndicated newspaper cartoon. When I found a syndicated cartoonist, I started to see the connections. There are certain distinct similarities that make these new friends artists, yet unique qualities that drew each to their current specialty. It’s as thought-provoking as the work they create.

Tom Manning

Tom is a Yale-trained graphic novelist- that’s right, Yale. He has real talent, an approachable personality, and- as you can see- his resume is on point.

He taught me the difference between comics and graphic novels, how to read comics, and how he overcame the fear that making art a job would steal the joy of it all. His work is all by hand, yet the challenge is being both a good artist and writer.

He has graphic novels in print (and one on the way), including Runoff.

Chris Alvarez

Alvarez is an animator for the Emmy award-winning cartoon show, Archer. Back in the day, he wanted to be a paleontologist. But he also loved to draw and turned his dream into reality. In his story, he shares about his workflow within a team of creators, the difference between animators and illustrators, the art collective he made with a group of friends, and more.

Through the Lotus Eaters Club, he and his friends are able to draw, create, and volunteer their time for charities while filling the world with art. He also has a special knack for drawing pigs.

Leigh Rubin

Leigh is well-known for his syndicated cartoon, Rubes (currently featured as my 2017 day by day calendar).
He shared about his roller coaster career, including his time at his dad’s printing company, self-publishing start, getting burnt out, and working as an entertainment editor for a newspaper.
His candid story reveals a very real human, doing what he loves, and taking it one day at a time. He’s a risk-taker with all the best puns and talks deadlines, overcoming rejection, and the joy of discovery.

His Adventure Cow is also multi-talented.


Jam makes a small appearance in this episode, too. She’s a mechanical engineer and cartoonist who created the autobiographical comedy, Wasted Talent, for about eleven years.

She provides an interesting perspective as one who loves both jobs and wouldn’t give up mechanical engineering (unless maybe a million dollars arrived on her doorstep…). The overlap for her is that communication skills have to be the same- in both areas, she is presenting an idea.

She told me how engineering is really creative and cartooning is analytical, the exact opposite of what I was expecting. Her part in this episode is short, but don’t worry- we’ll hear from her again in a future episode.


Naters is the cartoonist who once wanted to have his own, syndicated cartoon in a newspaper. He’s a natural creative, no matter where he is. The same guy who can create this from coffee and espresso can also make us laugh, and everything in between. For him, art is life, and you come away really understanding that after a conversation with him.

These are his homemade glasses!

Special thanks to Tom Manning, Chris Alvarez, Leigh Rubin, Jam, and Naters for sharing their stories with the world. Images used with permission.

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2017-03-07T23:00:04+00:00 January 9th, 2017|0 Comments

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