See All Topics

Home / Section: Comic strips

Creators to launch ‘Diamond Lil’ by Brett Koth

Creators Syndicate will launch a new comic by Brett Koth entitled Diamond Lil on March 1. In an interview with Scott Nickel, Brett described the feature as “Lillian Bilious is a blue-haired 75-year-old widow who has lived in the same house in the same small town all her life (Turkey Knuckle, Indiana). She enjoys saying exactly what’s on her mind, because let’s face it, who’s going to tell an old lady to shut up? She’s a mash-up of many older ladies I’ve known in my life. I had a great aunt Lillian, who was a character, and I’ve always loved that name. The ‘Diamond’ in the title refers to her age, and the fact that she’s the hardest substance known to man.”

Brett has been an artist with Jim Davis’ PAWS inc. for the last 20 years. You can learn about his career in the interview with Scott. Diamond Lil samples are over on Creators site and Brett has a blog you can follow.

Community Comments

#1 Rich Diesslin
@ 5:54 pm

Well, that should fit the average newspaper demographic right about dead-on! ;)

#2 Ted Rall
@ 6:53 pm

Brett, if you’re reading this, congrats on the launch!

Three suggestions from an ex-development editor:

1. In your lettering font, increase the leading. The lines are smushed too closely together.

2. Leave some white space between the text and other stuff (borders, objects, characters). It’s unpleasant to see the text jammed up against the side, especially when reduced in newspapers.

3. Avoid the trope of a character looking at the reader with disgust in the last panel. It’s a cliché, one perfected by one Mr. Davis, and it’s a dum-dum-dee-dum-dum moment.

Anything more, I get paid.

#3 Steve Lowtwait
@ 9:12 pm

Yeah, I get so infuriated when characters look at me in the last panel. Don’t look at me! React to the punchline!!!

Good, solid cartooning. I like the character designs of the secondary characters way more than the old lady herself. Her expressions are hard to read.

Carl Frederickson from UP proved that elderly characters can have enough depth, charm and humor to connect with a wide audience. I wonder if this will ever get there. However, the strip seems to offer nothing innovative. Yep, perfect for middle-of-the-road newspapers and their ‘aging’ readership.

#4 Shane Davis
@ 10:11 pm

@ Rich,

#5 henry clausner
@ 10:50 pm

go Brett!…creators syndicate picked a good one…! All I have is a drawer full of those rejection letters from them.

#6 Rich Diesslin
@ 1:44 am

BTW – Brett congrats and good luck. I just couldn’t resist the demographic line.

@Ted – advice on layout? Interesting.

#7 Phil Wohlrab
@ 7:27 am

I feel like it’s been in the paper for a long time already. I also think that grandmas expression should go from sweet to mean.

@ 7:49 am

Great comic. Hope my paper gobbles it up.

#9 Ted Rall
@ 8:48 am


In development the first thing to consider is layout. How will a strip reproduce when it’s reduced? Will the lettering be legible? These days you need a lot of white space to be able to read the things. Leading and kerning matter. Generally speaking, typeset fonts are bad…the exception is when the artist is a sloppy letterer–then there’s not much to be done.

Line thickness, borders, balloons vs. text w/o balloons, there are all sorts of things to consider and the answer isn’t the same for any two strips.

From what I hear, syndicates are skimping on development (which ought to last a strip’s first few years), and it helps explain why launches are getting smaller. One of these days, if anyone ever offers me the money, I’ll write a book about what cartoonists need to know from a development standpoint.

#10 Steve Skelton
@ 10:51 am

My book would be twice the size of yours, Ted.

#11 Tony Piro
@ 11:00 am

Nice comic, congrats Brett!

I agree with Ted that it was a little hard to read, but this could be greatly improved with Ted’s suggestions. It also doesn’t help that the line width of the font is almost identical to the line art, so they kind of run together. Otherwise, great stuff!

#12 Alvis Parsley
@ 1:46 am

I would like to know what I’m missing, is that a toothpick in
‘Lil’s bottom lip?

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.