Profiled: Donna A. Lewis creator of ‘Reply All’

The new comic Reply All by Donna A. Lewis’ debuts in February through Washington Post Writers Group. Jewish Times profiles Donna.

Enter Lizzie, the “star” of “Reply All,” a new comic strip scheduled to debut on Monday, Feb. 28, through the Washington Post Writers Group syndicate. Penned by Baltimore-born cartoonist Donna A. Lewis, “Reply All” is loosely based on the artist’s own life: Lizzie is a single woman who is doing well in her career, but who still harbors self-doubts.

“She’s modeled after successful women who like who they’ve become,” says Ms. Lewis, 48. “She’s confident, yet insecure, about everything she does. It’s like when someone says, ‘I love your outfit’ and your response is ‘really?’ Does Bill Gates question his every thought?”

She goes on to describe Lizzie as “a Mary Tyler Moore for the modern age, only with more confidence.”

39 thoughts on “Profiled: Donna A. Lewis creator of ‘Reply All’

  1. The writing is cute, but Washington Post Writer’s Group couldn’t find an artist to team up with this person? It’s painful to look at. She’s a writer not an artist.

    How hard is it to find an artist for this comic? They’re doing Donna a disservice.

  2. Awww…thanks for posting, Alan. I’ll try to add something controversial to the next interview, I promise…they’ve been (i.e., I’ve been) pretty dull so far. πŸ™‚

  3. And, Donna I’m sorry if my comments hurt your feelings in any way. I think the strip is clever and has a good chance of connecting with a lot of people. I wish you the very best with your new feature.

    I just think that it was the responsibility of the syndicate to have sat down and have a conversation with you about the art. You’re clearly a talented writer. It’s just I think the strip would be better served if you were teamed up with an artist.

  4. Can you imagine this strip being done in the same visual mould as 97% of all the the comics out there? Um…I don’t think so. It’s not slick, but it’s not McDonalds’. And content always trumps style.

  5. Hurt my feelings, Scott? I’ve been in litigation for twenty years – I have no feelings left to hurt.

    And actually, I love this forum because you guys make the attorneys I work with seem like gentle huggy bears. πŸ™‚

    I think WPWG saw the art and made a decision. Maybe they made the wrong one – who knows. But maybe they made the right one. I’m betting on the unknown. πŸ™‚


  6. Stephen, thanks! Appreciate the tolerance for diversity (even if it may suck).

    Ben, HA HA HA….I tell every aspiring writer to go to law school first…if only for the total pain of it. πŸ™‚


  7. Donna, I probably phrased that badly (my wife would say “probably?”) No, I WANT diversity on the comics page and you certainly do not suck! I know (because I’ve seen it over and over) that there will be an audience for something that does not look like a traditional American comic strip.

  8. @Dan….thanks! Will try!

    @Karyl…I love the word FUN! Thanks! If the strip is ever considered FUN, then I’m an extremely happy camper.

    @Stephen…your description was perfect…I am, indeed, not an artist…I can certainly live with primitive (esp if it’s FUN)!

    And, for the record, sticks and stones (and negative opinions) may be good for web traffic (and a laugh), but they will never ever stop me from an avocation that keeps me out of trouble. πŸ™‚


  9. Saw the article in the Balto JT. Loved the strip on the cover. My 3 girls got a laugh. It’s so true.
    Knock’m dead. I’m cheering for you.

  10. Cool, Leslie! I’m counting that as four people who laughed – please don’t tell me that the youngest was so young it could have been gas. Thanks for the cheering! d

  11. “Reply All” is the worst comic strip I have ever read. The artwork is pathetic. It makes “Kathy” look good.

  12. Marc,

    Sorry, I don’t have a comic strip of my own to show you. But, come on, you can’t tell me you think Donna Lewis draws well, or is even marginally competent? How on earth did she land a gig as a cartoonist?

  13. It’s not fair! I work hard on my comics so hard that the artwork and the captions practically SING together! Not always, but it looks like you get really drunk on MS Paint. I don’t know why Reply All got recognition without someone putting you in an art class at least.
    I like the tempo at which the characters respond and react to each other. The humor is great. But one day I’m going to be a comic strip writer and blow you out of the water.

  14. Donna, it looks like a person drank heavily before getting on MS Paint to draw Reply All.
    Artwork is important for a comic strip and I think its unfair that you leave that part out. Its key! I can’t wait to be recognized for my skills as a comics artist, and then I’ll blow you out of the water! Hahaha!

  15. It looks like someone drank heavily while on MS Paint to draw Reply All. It’s dreadful. And unfair to people who could have your spot in the comics page. Practice drawing! You don’t pick up a skill like drawing comics and leave the drawing part out. Lazybones. Your humor is great, but I’m going to be a comics writer one day and bury you on the comics page. HA!

  16. @Sam. Please blow us out of the water, then bury us with another version of your comment. HA! Hahaha!

  17. The delay between hitting “submit” and the comment actually showing up on this thread is producing some pretty good comedy in its own right.

    Someone wanna get drunk on MSPaint, put that comedy on paper and sell it as a strip? I suggest the name “Submit Submit Submit, Dammit, Submit!”

  18. So nice to see creatives (of any sort – writers, artists, humorists) supporting each other. πŸ™‚

    Time to bow out of this venue again. It’s fun and cool and funny and all of that – and then it’s just negative.

    Bye folks. See the nice ones in nicer circles.


  19. Ah, Billy. So civilized. Gosh…a comic you don’t like moves you to actually wish someone’s DEATH. These aren’t just words, man. You have any idea how that might sound to someone? It’s a comic! You don’t like, don’t read! Here’s hoping you see the power in what you’re saying, idiot. I’ll stop now before I’m guilty of the same thing you just did. Geez.

  20. Editor’s note – Right before comment #29, someone signed “Billy” made two comments – both of them violated the comment rules. They have been removed. It’s throwing off the conversation thread, but they weren’t comments I could let stand.

    I’ve looked up the IP and email address – it’s no one who’s posted here before.


  21. Too late, Alan. I killed myself.

    Well, first I cried. A lot.

    Then I threw out all incriminating evidence of my low moral character from my home and office and car.

    And THEN I killed myself.



  22. It may be that this discussion is no longer active, but I’ll give it a try.

    I don’t hate the art in Reply All. It’s got a different look, maybe a little edgier than the other strips, and that’s O.K. But it’s relatively nonrepresentational, and that’s something that the writing needs to take account of. Is our protagonist young? Middle-aged? Attractive? Ordinary looking? I can’t tell. We need to have dialogue (or surtitles, etc.) that conveys this kind of information. Without it, the reader is to a significant extent lost in trying to follow the strip.

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