The Humble Stumble to end in March

Roy Schneider’s has confirmed that his feature The Humble Stumble strip will come to an end in March (8th for dailies, 9th for Sundays). The strip which was launched in 2000 was the result of a 13 year effort to become a syndicated cartoonist but Roy says that in the current comic market, it was difficult for his feature to gain traction.

The end of The Humble Stumble is a sad thing for me, as I had big hopes and dreams for it. After 13 years straight sending out strip submissions, of course, the big hope was that once I finally got syndicated, that would be my career from then on. I was aware of the market, but after working at it for so long, I had to keep trying and hope that my strip would be the next big deal and go screaming up the sales charts. Heh…

Unfortunately, the market being what it is, with editors afraid to make decisions themselves and relying instead on reader polls and the occasional cranky letter from Gertrude in Omaha, it’s very difficult for a young strip to get – much less hold on to – those precious slots in the comics section.

For the time being, Roy will continue his music endeavors and hopes that without the incessant deadlines, he’ll have more time to promote his music and play to larger crowds. His first all-original album, an eclectic blend of folk, rock, reggae, bluegrass, finger-style blues can be purchased over on and he’s planning another release in March.

61 thoughts on “The Humble Stumble to end in March

  1. Man, I hate to hear this–Roy’s strip was really heartfelt and tried something more meaningful than the stand-alone gag-a-day. Plus he’s a helluva nice guy! I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of Roy as a cartoonist. His “Humble Stumble” Christmas sequence from NEA last year was wonderful. (And I should add that his CD is just terrific!)

  2. I’ve been reading the strip since its days as a web-exclusive feature on, so it’s sad to see it go.

    On that note, the cartoonist’s name is Roy Schneider, not Joe.

  3. Joe? Roy? Thanks Charles. Roy’s email contains “Joe” in it and that threw me off. I’ve made the changes in my post above. Sorry about that Roy!

  4. Ditto about Roy being a helluva nice guy! Although it’s never fun to learn about a cartoonist calling it quits, Roy earned the title of “syndicated” — something that many only dream of.

    He’s an all-round talented artist, so I’m sure we’ll be seeing and hearing more of Roy soon enough.

  5. That sucks Roy. I admired your strip. Itâ??s very painful to let go of characters and a dream that youâ??ve been living with for that long. However, there is life on the other side of syndication, good luck in finding a new venue for your talents.

  6. A solid strip like this would probably do very well as a webcomic- you don’t need a trillion readers to survive and I bet Roy has millions of potential fans out there!

  7. This is too bad. Roy sent me an encouraging email when I first got syndicated. Humble Stumble is a good strip and he seems like a really nice guy.

    Best of luck to him.

  8. Dude, bummer. I really like this strip.

    I think Rich has a good point though. “Humble” could do well as a web-only feature. Mull it over, Roy. And if you get confused, listen to the music play.

  9. rstevens,

    The strip did, in fact, start out as a webcomic. Before United launched it in papers, they test-runned the strip on its website for about a year and a half.

    If I recall, Joe Humble in the web-only version had a moustache. At one point, he decided to shave it off.

  10. Have any of you clicked the link and listened to Roy’s songs?

    The way I see it Roy could waste his time continuing as a darn good cartoonist achieving limited popularity in a small field or he could become commercially successful as a first rate songsmith and performer.

    I write and play too, and my opinion is that music is Roy’s vastly stronger suit.

    For his songs to stick, I believe he needs to dig a little deeper inside, as songs about sitting on your heinie are a little anodyne, but the melodies and construction are excellent. If you click on the link, check out Molly’s Song, which is as good as you’re going to hear on country radio anywhere.

    Roy, send off your album to the Dixie Chicks, if they cover one of your songs, you are SO launched.

  11. Thanks, everyone.

    I’ve said a lot recently that I’m just glad I got to play in the game for awhile. I will always be doing other things with cartoons, and I’m looking very forward to once again being able to take my time. With a daily deadline, it’s difficult to really put all of your effort (and the proper amount of time) into each strip. It will be nice to be able to flesh out a scene fully and draw in spaces bigger than a box of a few square inches.

    Thanks very much for the comments on my music, Malcolm.

    “For his songs to stick, I believe he needs to dig a little deeper inside”

    When you’re writing an album to promote comic strip characters, one in particular who sits on his heinie a lot, you’re not so much going for deep and heavy, know what I mean?

    When my upcoming CD is released, you will find a lot more in the way of depth. “Sittin’ on Yer Heinie” was not intended to be my most profound lyric.

  12. I probably should have put one of those little 🙂 smiley things at the end so I didn’t sound defensive. Although it is an album of which I am proud, the “Humble Sessions” CD was more a commercial effort to promote the strip than anything.

    I appreciate all the kind things that have been said very much. Thanks again, everyone. It’s been a fun ride, sad to see it end, but I’m also looking forward to seeing what the future holds.

  13. “When my upcoming CD is released, you will find a lot more in the way of depth.”

    See, this is why I don’t post much on message boards anymore. It’s stuff like that that makes ya come off sounding like a pompous @$$.

    “Yeah, I got’cher depth right here, pal!”

  14. Roy, best of luck in your new endeavor. I just want to say that I really liked you work in Marathon Man and Blue Thunder … (ok, how many time have you heard that?? … I just thought you might be tired of posting to yourself … 😉 )

  15. I wrote to the Chicago Tribune when they dropped your strip which is timely in a world of single parents. Molly was drop-dead-on for a middle schooler. It would have been nice to watch the development of Ozzie and Joe’s relationship.

    They also dropped Dog Eat Doug, another “nice” strip. The replacements are . . . cynical, strange, and sometimes downright depressing. I no longer even glance at them.

    Thank you for a glimpse into Joe’s world. Nana rocked.

  16. What a sad way to end a Monday; reading that Humble Stumble is to be no more. I looked forward to each new adventure / development in the family and friends.

    Best of luck for the future Roy. It has been a pleasure.

  17. So very sorry to see the strip end. I knew something was up when Nana gave Lincoln Ol Schmatzy 🙂

  18. I’ve been reading about the Humbles on for about a year and I will really miss them as a part of my workday. I would have liked to know more about them… ;o) Thanks for a great comic!

  19. Roy,
    I get the Humbles delivered to my email every day, they’re my little family. My biological children have grown up, this may be harder! Thanks for sharing your gifts with us. Man, I never got to see Nana’s boyfriend!!!

  20. It may be a little crazy to get so attached to characters that you see once a day on a tiny strip of paper but you do, I did.

    I agree completely with Roy’s comments about cowardly editors and Gertrude’s from Omaha. It stinks!

    Thanks for sharing your family with us, Roy. Come March my mornings will be a little bit more empty.

  21. Perhaps it’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.
    Who do we fans email to get the strip to continue?

  22. The first paragraph in this story is very telling. Roy ststes that it was hard for his strip to “gain traction”. Well Roy, how about the traction it gained in our hearts? This was a very thoughtfully written strip, and the artwork was a perfect compliment. I can only hope that Roy has a change of heart and continues drawing “The Humble Stumble” There are way too many schlocky strips out there on the cartoon pages – it’s always a joy to discover one that truly touches one where they live. Hey Roy, reconsider please. I’m humble and I occasionally stumble….

  23. Oh, man. This leaves a big hole in my heart. ‘Humble Stumble’ was one of the things that helped get me through my day, first during cardiac rehab (post-bypass) and then chemo- and radiation therapies. My own daughter is in her mid-twenties now, and every day was a trip down memory lane with Molly and Joe. You made me smile every day, Roy. Best of luck in the future. I’ll miss your comic strip very much.

  24. Roy,

    As someone mentioned above, it’s amzing how attached you get to the characters, and no longer seeing them will be like losing old friends. I read a lot of cartoon strips, and there’s not too many you say that about.
    My birthday falls on the 7th March, but it’ll be a lot less happier now knowing that those friends won’t be around a few days later.
    All the best in your future endeavours, and thanks for the enjoyment, laughs, insights and entertainment over the past few years.

  25. I truly hate to see this comic end. It has been a part of my daily routine since i discovered it by accident on As someone who reads a lot of comics, I found Humble Stumble to be one of the best ones out there. The story was always enjoy able. I am sad to see it end. I hope Roy has success in what ever he pursues.

  26. I have to admit I am a very emotional lady. I am crying to think that soon I will not have Humble Stumble to read. While I applaud you for following your dream I am sad to see this chapter be over. Please know that your comic is one that touched the heart and made a lady in Georgia very happy. May your music career be blessed with many wonderful things.

  27. I really hope you reconsider. I have only read it on line, but it’s one of the best I’ve found in any media. The lack of decent comics in the print media is why I get my ‘cartoon fix’ on the web. May you find success in your other endeavors, then, if you won’t reconsider.

  28. Hey Roy. Just a quick ‘Thank you’ from a UK reader who is really going to miss your strip. I ‘stumbled’ across it when reading my other daily strips on and have enjoyed every daily slice of Humble life since. Good luck with your future projects.

  29. I am SOOOOOOOOOOOO upset that this strip is coming to an end. It is, by far, my favorite comic and I look forward to reading it EVERY day! I often picture what it would be like as a cartoon show. Maybe on Cartoon network? Heck if they gave a show to “Boondocks”(which as an African American I find offensive on SO MANY LEVELS) then surely someone would want to make “Humble Stumble” into some animated specials or something. Man, Molly’s in puberty too! I really wanted to see how Joe was gonna handle her first date!!

  30. Roy, I just read in today’s The Humble Stumble that you’re ending it. As a longtime fan (via My Daily Comics), this is quite disappointing news. Your characters are likable, intriguing and have legs for a long run, dude … and the dialog is real, funny and entertaining. Reading my daily comics won’t be the same without ya.

    Good luck on the music career and whatever else you pursue in life.

  31. Roy,

    i discovered your comic strip when I was reading shirley and her son…. and i was hooked 🙂

    it was fun, and had all the elemnts of life in it.

    I am sure this must have been hard decision for you …. Cant you write a sundays only strip?????

    We really need good comics with good storyline and “normal” characters….

    Can you think over it ??? 🙂 [sincere smile]

  32. Dear Roy,

    I’m so sad to hear you’re ending the strip. It’s my favorite on (my local newspaper has a lousy comics section) and I’ve been reading it since it first started being shown there. Like others who have posted, I feel like Joe and the rest of the folks are my own friends.

    Have you considered having a website where you could post a new strip when you feel like it?

    Best of luck to you in your musical endeavors! The Humble Stumble will be sorely missed!

  33. This stinks. I’m really going to miss this strip. Having been taught to read by my father via comic strips, comics still play a huge part in my day to day life. Have you considered eschewing the old newspaper route and go totally web-based? Probably 90% of all of the comics I follow never show up in a newspaper…or at most in a weekly indy paper. (Full disclosure: I know nothing about the industry other than I love comic stips.)

    Best of luck. I’ll be sure to check out your cd.


  34. Oh darn! I’m going to miss Molly, Joe, Lincoln and Nana, even Grisman! I’m a VW fan and a frustrated old hippie with German roots, so have enjoyed Nana and her Schmalzy, and Lincoln with his bus (now he has both)! Watching Molly grow up has been like reliving my own daughter’s coming-of-age, and now my granddaughter. I’d hoped to see Molly a lot longer!

    Like many folks, I first found the strip on, then had it delivered to my e-mail every day.

    Life changes, and we have to change with it. I wish you the best in your future endeavors.

    Oh–I have to buy your CD just to get all of “Waking of the Coffee Gods” song. Very cool!

  35. I echo the many other statements of sadness that we will be losing one of the few funny, honest, wholesome strips left. I also wish to thank you for the time and effort you put into it! If your heart is telling you its time to reach people through music now, then you should follow that dream and I wish you the best! (But if you ever come back to comics know that there will be much rejoicing) 😉

    Humbly yours….

  36. Aww…this makes me very sad. I love “The Humble Stumble” and thought it was a great, wholesome but very clever strip. Good luck in the future, Roy!

  37. I can’t quiet understand, how the comic scripts world function, however humble stumble is not just a comic, it is a real life situation presented in comics strips, and that makes it unique.
    Please don’t take it out

  38. I can’t quiet understand, how the comic scripts world function, however humble stumble is not just a comic, it is a real life situation presented in comics strips, and that makes it unique.
    Please don’t take it out

  39. Having greatly enjoyed Humble Stumble daily on, the upcoming void is downright depressing. Such a great comic strip! Too bad the online comics business model hasn’t matured enough to monetarily replace the newspaper one. Maybe someday it will.

    After starting the process today thru Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance, I’ve decided the heck with that, I’m just gonna support Roy’s decision and move on. But not before I buy his CD mp3, which I just did…

    Best wishes for all your future endeavors, Roy.

  40. To lose this strip and Tumbleweeds within 3 months of each other is too much–and yes, I can truthfully say I put Roy and Tom Ryan in the same catagory. The strip is dead-on for real life, doesn’t cuss to “make a point” or slam someone every time we turn around, and finds humor in day to day situations. Grisman ranks right up there with Garfield as one of my favorite pets. I wish you the best with your musical endeavor, and if you change your mind, we’ll be waiting right here.

  41. Hello: I am seriously going to miss The Humble Stumble. I admit that I ignored it when I first saw it in print, thinking it was just another “cute” family strip. When I finally woke up to how well crafted it was, I kicked myself for all the good times I missed by not reading it. Now that’s coming to an end, I’m going to have to kick myself a few more times for good measure.

    As an aging hippie who used to tool around in a VW bus (someone’s else’s, not mine. I drove a bug and then a squareback), I’ll just have to mosey on down to the coffee house to console Lincoln.

    See ya on iTunes!

    Bob Simpson
    Carol Simpson Labor Cartoons

  42. Roy,
    I am truly sadden by the fact that the Humble Stumble will be no more. I started reading it on several years and fell madly in love with the strip. I rejoiced when you got it syndicated. It is part of my daily routine to read the humble, even if I can’t read all of my dailies, I make sure that it is one of the ones I do read. Watching Molly grow up was like watching my own child growing up, I think I laughed harder at some of her antics because I remember my own child saying them. And watching Joe finally asking Ozi out made me shout out loud with JOY!! It does feel like losing a family member, if and when you decide to give us another glimpse into the humble life, I will be waiting. ‘Til then I will be looking for the humble books and music cds. Goodbye dear friend…

  43. I am saddened by the decision to terminate Humble Stumble – comics have always been my salvation from the pain of the rest of the newspaper and all news – at least since the early 60’s. If it were solely a personal choice like some other strips it would be a bit easier to take but resulting from market forces just reinforces the skewed priorities of our world. When you were dropped from the Chicago Tribune I had the strip emailed to me so I could keep up on the adventures of characters who were well drawn in the sense of humanity, emotions and feelings. Not just nonsense like so many.

    Thanks for the time we spent together.

  44. I just started getting Humble Stumble through my daily comic email, and I’m sad to hear it’s going, but many really good comics die for good and bad reasons. Hope you’ll do an occasional strip, Roy. These are really good characters and I was getting to like them. Are there Humble Stumble books?

  45. I just found your strip last fall and enjoyed it immensely. I’m 55, just learning yoga, have a wonderful new partner who is a jazz pianist, among other things, so Nana was very near and dear to my heart — most other females my age and older are seen as inactive and unattractive by society. It was wonderful to see a woman “of a certain age” be lively and fun and interesting. I will miss this strip.

  46. Roy, just want to add my sentiments to everyone else’s. I’ve really enjoyed your strip and found it to be one that will always be classic. Very sad to see it end. Best of luck in your new life!

  47. I read Humble Stumble every day on, and I have loved watching Molly grow up. This was one of my top five favorite comics on that whole site, and I will miss it dearly. Please consider doing a webcomic like the other suggested. I would love to keep reading! Anyway, you’re very talented and will do well. Good luck!

  48. Roy, sorry to see you go. I’ve been reading online for a couple years now and, being a musician, will miss the in humor. You can tell a working musician writes the strip. How about the idea of keeping an occasional strip online. Looks like there is a bit of support here.

  49. I can’t believe this. First, Silo Roberts, then Foxtrot (dailies), now The Humble Stumble? Why does your strip have to end? I discovered it on 2 years ago, and have been reading it ever since. Well, good luck, Roy. I just hope Frazz and Big Nate will stay on. Hope to see your work later on.

  50. Best of luck Roy. Great comic strip, worth far more than some of the things in newspapers, certainly the UK ones. All the best with the music career.

  51. I just want to add to the general avalanche of people saying we looooooove your strip and #(*$&@($&*@# we’re going to miss it! I read a lot of online comics, and I always looked forward to yours; I wanted to know what happened next! I agree with the webcomic idea – heck, if MegaTokyo can keep as many readers as it does with its erratic updating, then you could put yours out there and even just one a week would get you some ad revenue… I know I’d come by regularly! Ask about joining the Blank Label Comics guys!

    Regardless of what you decide to do, thank you so much for the enjoyment you’ve given me. Best of luck in everything. I’m going to go check out your music – anybody with your sense of humour has got to have some entertaining lyrics. 🙂

  52. I absolutely LOVE “Humble Stumble” and have been reading it daily from the very beginning of its creation. I am devastated that its run is over. I haven’t been this upset over the demise of a comic strip since the ending of “Calvin and Hobbs.”

  53. I have really enjoyed “The Humble Stumble” and I hate to see it end. All the best with your future endeavors. Thank you and God bless.

  54. I’m so sad to see “The Humble Stumble” end. Wonderfully endearing characters, with a great blend of silliness and wise insights. Well, at least Joe (and maybe Roy) got a chance to have the SHOOBY-DOOBY-DOO! Faithful readers will recall the Monopoly-themed strip that included some semblance of that memorable phrase which to me sums up the heart of “The Humble Stumble.”

  55. Dude! I’m so sorry to hear this. I only fairly recently discovered The Humble Stumble, and it’s something I look forward to every day. Wishing you all the best!!

  56. I’ve come to love these characters. They will be sorely missed. Thanks, Roy, it’s been great.

  57. Like so many others have already said, it will be a real loss to not get Roy Schneider’s wisdom in the form of “The Humble Stumble” each day. I will miss you greatly – thanks for all the gifts of family reality and warmth you’ve shared. Please make it known if you put out the strips in a book – I want a copy to share with my kids and for them to share with their kids. Much love, FW

  58. Roy, I have loved your comic since I discovered it on and read it everyday. It is one comic I can truly relate to as every character is real (some a little screwy but necessary) and has a definite place in the comic. Please reconsider. I, and I know many more, will miss “the humble stumble”. It’s hard to find a good comic aimed at adults and you will be greatly missed if you bow out but it is up to you. You know your life and what needs to be done but I’ll be grieving. Keep on truckin.

  59. Oh man, I am very humbled to know that this is all really happening. I first thought it was just going to be a gag bit or some bad trip but I REALLY hate to see this strip end. I have never recovered from the loss of Calvin and Hobs, Opus and the Bloom County crew, I am so sad to have to add another GREAT comic to that list.

    Every part of me wants to screem “NO” “Don’t Do it” but I guess I am just trying to understand where you are at this point and try to respect your wishes Thank you so much for what you have given I have loved it.

    OK, OK reading the first posts and then looking at other infromation posted about the end of ‘The Humble Stumble’ I realized all this ened in 2008, but again thak you for a fabulous strip

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