Saturday, March 25, 2017

Monday is the day!

Spring has been sneaking into our area of Washington, peeking in through short patches of blue skies. Luke and Gwen point them out during our walks with all of the confusion of two Seattle toddlers who have been away from California for six months. "The sky is blue! It's blue!"

We keep careful, dutiful observations of the daffodils stretching their necks and some lovely little puffy pink flower sleepily blinking its buds open. These are big happenings in the toddler world. Bubbles are remembered from last spring and requested every day. The rain--which comes and goes all day long--pops them before they go far, to Luke and Gwen's delight.

My days are filled with making peanut butter sandwiches and discussing ABCs. Counting every step, and cup, and goldfish cracker. I'm liberal with cartoons and laugh alongside the kids. Gwen brings book after book for me to read. Luke has learned about digestion and explains in great detail during every meal, putting us all off every meal. He loves science and the human body, particularly bones. He's discovered The Octonauts, and the past two months we've all learned a lot about the ocean.

At night, after the kids go to bed, I sit down and work on 'Breaking Cat News' and the ten commissions I recently took on. (The commission and original artwork sale went tremendously well, thank you so much! The commissions sold out in under two minutes, and the original 'Breaking Cat News' artwork sold out in under six minutes. I was amazed and overjoyed and humbled and shaking for most of the afternoon, ha!) My nighttime work is quiet and steady. Sometimes it's conducted downstairs at our kitchen table, over tea to the sound of British mystery shows. Other nights I join Ryan upstairs. He works on the video game he's creating with two of our friends at night. Many evenings we work together at our separate desks in our bedroom; me painting, him animating game graphics. We re-watch 'The Office' every year, and right now we've just hit season seven. We listen while we each toil away, pausing to look up at our favorite moments.

This may sound excruciatingly dull to many folks, but it's a great secret to the success of our relationship. We both were people who needed a lot of solitary time to work on our own projects. We each had a lot of old flames who did not always understand this, or eventually saw our work as a rival to their attentions. We were each somewhat selfish in past relationships, saving up alone time and shutting people out to work. Early on in our romance, our nightly work patterns fell beautifully into sync. Each night--for the most part--around 8:30 pm, it's popcorn and tea time. We sit down to our desks, put the popcorn between us, get to work and take turns throughout the night refreshing the tea water with a hot kettle. (Ryan proposed to me St. Patrick's Day 2011 this way. When I came back with a fresh kettle, he was in the middle of our candlelit living room on one knee). We take breaks to request critiques ("Does this arm look weird?") or watch funny YouTube videos. We have both worked on art and stories (in book or comic or game form) since we were kids, and we'd be working every night regardless. It's a big reason why we get along so well.

Some nights friends come over and they work on projects too. Working on their video game, or podcasts, or test runs for the game marathon Ryan runs around Halloween. My work is still solitary, though, just by the nature of it. I paint and ink, and pause to visit over snacks or share a joke. When my comics are done, I email them to my editor. ...Then I make more comics.

I'm taking you through my daily routine so that you might understand how incredibly surreal and spectacular and completely unbelievable it feels that on Monday people all over the country will open their newspapers and the comic I work on every night will be there, waiting to be read. So much of my work is created alone, or happily in a quiet sort of shared home office space. And how I work has changed so little, only now there is an audience, beyond friends and family.

Monday is the day!! I don't think I will believe it until I have a newspaper with the comic in my hand. On Monday, 'Breaking Cat News' will launch in newspapers around the country. The strips will run on GoComics, too. The original site still experiences trouble when there is a lot of traffic, and for all the reasons I explained a few months ago, we're looking into a way to add a button to the menu that says "Comic," probably to the left of the "Meet Our Reporters/Past Reports/etc" buttons. That button would bring anyone to the daily strip on GoComics.

As of tonight, 'Breaking Cat News' in around 100 newspapers, which I'm told is a great, solid start for a launch. I'm very hopeful it will continue to grow, and the sales reps for my syndicate have told me newspaper orders are still coming in!

If you open your paper on Monday and BCN is not in the funny pages, just let the editor know you would like them to add the comic! This is the best way to get the comic into your newspaper. If enough people ask for it, newspapers will add it, that's how any comic gets in, and I have strong hopes that people will enjoy it enough to keep asking.

As Burt explains today, in the world of BCN he's finished editing the footage the studio had lying around. What does this mean for the start of the newspaper comics? What is changing? What is 'Breaking Cat News' going to be like now?

Burt remarks to Elvis that a lot of video never made it to air, and that's how I treated writing for newspapers. I began writing for newspapers in November 2014, about six months after the comic began. I wrote the web strips and the newspaper strips at the same time. When it came to recreating the world of the Big Pink House for newspapers, I wanted to carry it over whole. The best way I could think to do this, so that new and old readers alike would experience the same history and meet the same characters in a way that was not maddeningly repetitive, was to create a split in the station between "old technology" and "new technology," (ironically to exchange the new tech of web comics for the old tech of newspapers. ...Stay with me).

And so I thought to add an AV Cat, and asked my lovely and gracious friend Christine if I could model him after her laid back, sweet farm kitty Burt. Burt would bring in new cameras (to explain the drawing style tightening up for print) take over the scroll (hence, the scroll began getting a little cheekier, as Burt wrote out headlines to amuse himself during broadcasts) and someone would be able to operate Camera One more frequently, and outside more too. Burt would add more station identifiers, and basically create everything for the station that I was adding to the newspaper strips.

Now that I've gathered you all here to this blog post like Hecule Poirot explaining a suspect's motives, let me continue my reveal... By establishing that Burt worked with video and loved soap operas and drama, it's easy to think that he would enjoy sneaking peeks at the old archives from time to time. It was only a matter of time before he would offer to edit all of the old footage to get at more of the good stuff. I prepared to time it to a hiatus, as BCN took a break for station updates. (I hoped that this suggestion would subtly make the newspaper comics an expected kind of different, vs a jarring kind of different).

Burt would discover a ton of headlines and stories that happened during the original run of the comic and never made it to air. It's not hard to imagine an overwhelmed Elvis skimming tons of video for a few soundbites, there was no time to air everything! Lupin goes with the flow and Puck would be too concerned about Elvis' blood pressure to push it. They did the best they could with cheap cameras and little editing knowledge. As Burt edited the archives, old classics like "The Woman is Making Bacon" (or as I call it, "the bacon strip") would be enhanced through all of his know how and green room technology. Kind of like taking an old movie and converting it to high definition tv, was my thought process. And as old classics were edited, he went through the previously unseen headlines and added them in.

Many of these were likely tossed onto the BCN cutting room floor because Elvis felt he didn't look dignified enough in them, so yeah, seriously, I promise: You're going to enjoy the new stories.

As I wrote the web strips I saved a lot of material and wrote it within the newspaper timeline. Vet visits, take out night, Elvis confronting trick-or-treaters through the window, mythical creatures visiting the mailbox, litter boxes out of commission due to routine cleaning... While I wanted to acquaint new readers with the characters and the timeline, I wanted there to be plenty of new headlines for long time readers. And I wanted them to see moments missed before, or add in things they only caught partial glimpses of the first time around. (Like the greater rivalry with the vacuum cleaner that Burt hints at today...)

"What did you take away?"


"Who are you leaving out?"

No one. Even Louie the skunk is coming back (just not right away!) NO. BCN. CRITTER. LEFT. BEHIND.

I hate when things I love change, and I especially hate when stuff is left out. (I could write a book of essays on movie adaptations of 'Jane Eyre,' titled "You Left Out the Fortune Telling Scene and I'll Never Forgive You.")

My greatest goal has been "elaborate and expand." The comic will be daily now, so you will see more. And my guidance from my editors has been, "don't change what you're doing. Keep the details, keep the unexpected punchlines, keep every weird chart." I've done it. I've kept every weird chart, and added so many more. GET READY FOR NEW WEIRD CHARTS, EVERYONE.

Long time readers will see the intros Burt is about to whip up this week--and of course, you don't need them. You know everyone--but understand that I tried to write jokes that would be funny for new readers, and hysterical for long time readers, knowing the cat's personalities so well. You're going to see a lot of classic strips early on, especially the Sundays, as I re-establish the world for newspaper readers too. New moments will be woven in right from the get-go.

It's late and I've eaten the bowl of leftover spaghetti I bravely resisted the first two thirds of this blog post, so I'll end with one more thought on the transition into newspaper strips.

As my editor and I pieced together the newspaper strips and the web strips, and I began to tinker the timeline for the first six weeks, I realized something kind of awesomely sweet. 'Breaking Cat News' is not quite 'Breaking Cat News' until Tommy joins us. The news desk is there, the microphones are wired, the coffee is hot. The cameras are rolling and the headlines are hitting the page. Elvis, Puck, and Lupin are there and they're as serious and dedicated as ever... Hilariously, a little too serious and dedicated.

I came to realize that the story of 'Breaking Cat News' truly began with the appearance of Tommy at the window. He shakes up the serious little world on the other side of the glass, and nothing's quite the same after he begins to visit. All of the cats are ultimately better for meeting Tommy (as we all know, one Siamese in particular...) The first few strips of BCN's original run are funny, but Tommy carried his heart in with him. And it's as big as his fluff.

What if we could be there the first time Elvis spots him?

...Well, Burt's got you covered. ;)

I'm excited. I'm nervous. I can't wait. It feels a lot like waiting for Christmas morning.

Here's to Monday!! If you do see it in your newspaper, I would love to see a photo! Please, please feel free to post photos of your newspaper on Monday, seeing them in different newspapers would be amazing!!

Okay, wow, now it's way too late. Goodnight, everyone!


  1. I'm happy for you and your acheivement and I'm happy I'll be getting my BCN laugh daily instead of just Monday and Thursday. You'll never know how many times reading the strip changed my day for the better. Thank You for sharing your talent.

  2. I feel deeply in love with BCN from the very first one I saw. You do cats and real life families very, very well.

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  4. Yes!!!! How do we get you a photo of your strip in the local paper ? Is there an email address we can send it to ? I don't tweet, in protest to birds having their own news site. Thanks again for all of the amazing hard work, toiling in the fields to bring this bit of joy to us for free for so very long. Look at that-we all came with you, and brought some friends !

    1. Hello! You can send a photo to, I would love to see them! And share them, if folks will let me!

  5. I'm so excited for you and the world of newspaper readers who get to meet the gang at Breaking Cat News for the first time. I will definitely make a point of picking up my local papers tomorrow to see if BCN is there. If not, I promise to contact the editors and request it immediately! I can't wait to see what we missed and what comes next. I just love those little kitty reporters!

  6. I'm so happy for you! This sounds like the dream work for you -- play with kids during the day and work on comments with the Man at night. Almost like you're a comic book heroine yourself, with a secret identity! I've loved your strips since I found them on GoComics and spend too much time at work going back and reading everything from your own site. You know cats! Congratulations!

  7. My brother (a URI grad, by the way) sent me a link to BCN as a birthday present in October 2014. It was probably my favorite of all the presents he's given me over the years. Opening my emails twice a week to find a new BCN strip was the highlight of my day. I've missed that SO much since you've been on hiatus. Can't wait to be able to read a new strip every single day! Congratulations on this accomplishment! <3

  8. Well, of course I'll be very disappointed if my and others' pestering didn't awaken the editors of the 'Seattle Times' to the jewel here in Greater Seattle. I was of course careful to point out just how local BCN is, given that Puck and Lupin came from Purrfect Pals.

    Sincerest congratulations, Georgia--BCN deserves the widest possible distribution, and you the kudos (and of course, money) coming from that.

  9. I'm so excited! And in a way I'm jealous of all the people who are going to be discovering and experiencing BCN for the first time!

  10. A daily dose of BCN!!!
    Have I died and gone to Heaven?
    Seriously, I am so happy for you! It's been a tough few years and now you and your family are in an upcycle.
    You not only survived, you flourished. ������

  11. I haven't bought a print newspaper for years, but on Monday, I'll be purchasing a copy of the Asbury Park Press and looking for Breaking Cat News. And if it's not there, I *will* be contacting them to ask them to run it. Heck, they don't know I don't buy it every day. I am so looking forward to new's been a long break. Thank you, Georgia for bringing your cats into our worlds.

  12. At this time (March 25 7:27pm) I have to ask this it Monday yet???? Can't wait!!

  13. Thank you, so much everyone!!


  14. Loads of love and support from Los Angeles. My wife and I love sharing your fantastic work. And BRAVA for reaching this new level. A daily newspaper strip! AWESOME!


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