Sunday, December 11, 2011

Function World

This comic is the product of my former life as an engineering student and math tutor. Since I burned all my old college notes, I had to dust off my TI-83 graphing calculator for reference material. I also consulted Wolfram Alpha - that website is amazing.

Also: there is still time to order Incidental Comics posters before the holidays! Follow this link or visit the "Poster Shop" tab at the top of the page.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Literary Devices

If you would like to nominate Incidental Comics as a "Best Webcomic of 2011," you can go here to voice your support. No pressure!

Thanks to all my high school English teachers for providing the deeply ingrained knowledge behind this comic. And a very special thanks to my proofreaders at the Kansas City Star, who put up with my three consecutive misspellings of "Onomatopoeia."

And finally: English teachers and students, past and current - you can get a poster of this comic for your classroom or reading nook here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Posters for Sale

The problem with webcomics is that you can't cut them out and tape them to your wall. You can't hang them from your refrigerator. You can't even use them as last minute wrapping paper.

In response to this problem, I'm selling posters of many of the comics featured on this blog. They're perfect for the book fiend or jazz fan in your life. They'll help proclaim your status as a reluctant grown-up or frustrated creative person. You can even put them on your refrigerator!

Details can be found here or by clicking on the "Poster Shop" tab at the top of the page. All posters will be shipped in indestructible cardboard tubing in time for whatever holiday you choose. Below are a couple samples - plastic frame, gallery lighting, and bird photographs not included.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Escape from the digital world.

I have a complicated relationship with technology. It's given me access to endless information, increased my music collection exponentially, and allowed my comic to be read by real people who are not myself (at least I think they're real people). If I don't pay attention, however, I waste countless hours searching for things like "Prince song + karaoke + epic fail" and "cute toy poodles." So I drew this comic to remind me to get outside more often.

Also: I've added a Poster Shop page to my blog! You can purchase an 11"x17" poster of this comic and many others for a very modest price. Click on the "Poster Shop" tab at the top of the screen, or go here:

Monday, October 31, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Know Your Ghosts

Fellow ghost hunters! You can order a print of this comic to help you in your spirit identification. Email for details.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Modern School for Gifted Youth

Lately, one my default cartooning methods has been to squeeze an entire children's book into a single comic page. Instead of stretching an idea to 32 pages, I distill it to 8 panels. Due to space constraints, some couplets I write don't make the final cut. Like this highly personal rhyme:

If OCD is off the charts
We train them in the Dental Arts.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Who Needs Art?

What's the solution to being fed up with art? I'm not sure, but looking at the paintings and sculptures of Joan Miro will help immensely.

You can get a poster of this comic here.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Warrior Poets

Incidental Comics is now on Tumblr! You can follow me at My plan is to post a brand new comic every Thursday, with some sketchbook outtakes, process posts, and other projects thrown in the mix.

I've been reposting some comics from my archives (like the Roz-Chastian attempt above) on this blog every Monday, but for now these won't appear on my Tumblr. I want to track the progress of my work, rather than looking back at when I had a rougher drawing style and better sense of humor.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Museum Rules

This week on Incidental Comics: chaos and exploration in the art museum. For today's comic and Thursday's comic, I used rough sketches (pencil only, please) and photos (turn off the flash, sir) from visits to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Walker Art Center, Denver Art Museum, Milwaukee Art Museum, and Art Institute of Chicago.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Last Night's Show

This fictional venue is modeled after The Granada and The Bottleneck in the idyllic college town of Lawrence, Kansas. But it could be any other bar where sweaty fans and loud bands congregate. Maybe I saw you there? 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Diabolical Botanical Garden

If you're a fan of horror and/or horticulture, you can order an 11"x17" print of this drawing. Email me at or visit for details.

Like most of my work, I can't quite pinpoint where the idea for this one came from. I remember taking a trip to Botanica, The Wichita Gardens as a kid, then drawing one of its fountains the moment I got home. But instead of sketching a regular fountain, I turned it into an fountain-shaped alien! Another possibility: my grandfather was a retired landscape architect for the National Park Service, and he had a backyard that was a forest of Ponderosa Pines. He told us that the piles of rocks scattered throughout the forest were old Indian graveyards. The idea fascinated and terrified me. I didn't quite believe him, but I was still afraid to peek out the window into the dark forest at night.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Feuding Death Metal Band

One of my favorite songs of the past decade is "The Best Ever Death Metal Band Out of Denton" by The Mountain Goats. This cartoon is nowhere near as good as that song. But then, not much is. Someday I hope to draw a comic that approaches the pure manic energy and disarming wit of a John Darnielle song lyric. Someday!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Pool

This comic is now available as a print at for purposes of refreshment and self-improvement. Guaranteed to smell like chlorine and sunscreen!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The New Building

The new building, for non-local readers, is the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. It's scheduled to open this September. If you're a fan of architect Moshe Safdie or the Kansas City skyline (or if you just like buildings with personality), you can order a print at

Monday, July 18, 2011

When Water Towers Dream

I'm a strong proponent of the personification of buildings and man-made structures, a theme I'll return to in a drawing later this week. If the dreams of the first two water towers are reminiscent of scenes from the movie Super 8, it's likely because director J.J. Abrams read this comic when it first appeared in the newspaper or on the blog last year. So yeah, just a coincidence. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ch√Ęteau for a Cartoonist

When I've drawn my millionth cartoon, published my memoirs, and sold the movie rights, I should have the financial resources to make the blueprints for this home a reality. I'll have to find an architect equally versed in escalators and observatories. I'll need a landscaper with a thorough knowledge of truffula trees. And a decent zookeeper or ex-lion tamer for my collection of exotic pets. 

The murals and sculptures will all be created by the original artists. This will require some scientific advances in order bring back the late George Herriman (1880-1944). It won't be cheap to fund research in the long-neglected field of corpse reanimation, but the result will be worth it. If you can name all the artists I reference in this drawing, I will give you a job tending the koi ponds.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


This comic is brought to you in part by John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, McCoy Tyner, Miles Davis, Charles Lloyd, Charles Mingus, and Charlie Haden.

Want a poster of this comic for your smoke-filled jazz listening lounge? Get it here.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Un Fanzine Muy Bonito

An exciting package arrived in the mail yesterday from Barcelona. Apa Apa Comics, a Spanish comics publisher, just released Colibri #3, a fanzine featuring short works by 25 great cartoonists. And me. It's a thrill to see my drawings in a book that looks awesome, smells like paper, and can occupy space on my shelf or coffee table if I ever get tired of staring at it. Big thanks to the folks at Apa Apa for including my work. Here's the cover and credits page, masterfully drawn by Sergi Puyol:


My contribution was an adaptation of my Gorey-esque single page comic originally found here. This the zine version:

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Portland Oregon Trail

I drew this comic in 2009, a time when I was still concerned with depicting and satirizing "indie" culture. It has new relevance, however. Like the star-crossed band in this drawing, I am embarking on a voyage west. In a month, I'll be moving from Kansas City (near the city in the first panel), navigating I-70 (passing through the college town in the second panel), and setting up camp for two and a half years just outside Denver, Colorado (not far from the location of the third panel). So please understand if the comics I draw over the next couple months keep repeating this theme of transition, travel, and new beginnings. And the frustrations that inevitably follow.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Shakespearean Heckler

This week marks the beginning of Kansas City's Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, a free professional production held yearly at a park next to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. It's always spectacularly done, and you have to marvel at the actors for braving the Missouri heat and humidity in full costume. A couple years ago, my wife and I were kicked out of "Othello". Not for drunken heckling, but for smuggling in a small poodle. We were escorted out of the park during intermission, four-pound dog in hand.