On today’s “Three-Word Answer” we talked with award-winning cartoonist, illustrator and children’s author Dave Whamond. The pen, heart and mind behind more than 50 books, Dave’s also been creating his syndicated comic panel “Reality Check” since 1995. An Alberta, Canada native, Dave has been called “one helluva guy” by too many people to count.
If you’ll remember the format of this Q&A, we ask 20 questions and the answers MUST MUST MUST not be longer than three words.
TDC: You draw well. Why?
DW: I love it!
TDC: Do you consider yourself a rule breaker or rule follower?
DW: Ask my wife. Or … Never liked rules.
TDC: Does anyone ever act surprised when you say you’re married?
DW: My wife Carla.
TDC: Who are three unusual inspirations for your creative work?
DW: Richard Thompson, Dr. Seuss, Thing 1 (but not Thing 2) OR more legit answer: Richard Thompson, Dan Piraro, Dr. Seuss
TDC: More fun to create. Comics or Children’s books?
DW: Comics! … No, wait!
TDC: Can you describe the process when writing for your panel comic “Reality Check”?
DW: Lots of Coffee and lots of internet. Going for a walk helps too. But then I really have to pee (from said coffee).
TDC: Do you have a foundational theory on what makes something funny?
DW: If something is unexpected. I always appreciate a fresh take on an old cliche too.
TDC: Is there a best gag you wanted to put in ‘Reality Check’ but you knew papers would not allow it?
DW: Can’t mention some here. One that comes to mind is a group of business people sitting in front of a chart, which has a pattern that resembles a hand flipping them the bird. Someone comments, “The market is trying to tell us something!”
TDC: Who’s the most famous person to retweet you?
DW: Kim Kardashian, George Takei, and the Mooch (Anthony Scaramucci)
TDC: Speaking of Scarmucci, do you think humor writing is a skill that can be taught?
DW: Once you try to dissect humor, it’s not funny.
TDC: Let me set the scene. It’s 1965 Swingin’ London’s West End, you’ve just come off stage to thunderous applause for your performance as Lewis in Bob Fosse’s production of “Pippin.” Describe what was running through your mind right then.
DW: “Not bad for a one year old!”
TDC: I am sorry. Oh boy, this is awkward. I tricked you. Pippin didn’t debut until 1972. So, can you please explain to our readers what in the hell you were doing as a one-year-old in London in 1965?
DW: Oh, I knew that. I just didn’t want to correct a Silver T-square recipient.
TDC: You say humor can’t be dissected, but how do you know when your comics are going to work or if they are even finished?
DW: I just go with my gut. PS: my comics are never finished. I just say “good enough for government work!” and send ’em off.
TDC: What’s your favorite animated version of a comic strip (TV or Film)? Is there one that might be a little more obscure?
DW: There was an obscure one called the Peanuts movie. I thought it was bold the way they handled the animation as it would be difficult to capture the feel of Charles M. Schulz’s beautiful linework.
TDC: What’s your favorite thing about Reubens weekend?
DW: I love seeing all my fellow cartoonists. Sometimes we even have drinks!
All-time highlight: Our own John Glynn singing 4 Non Blondes at Karaoke
TDC: If I gave you a topic, could you write a joke about it in less than 30 seconds for ‘Reality Check’?
DW: Yep! Unless it involves Pippin.
TDC: How many books have you written and/or illustrated? How many awards have you won?
DW: Over 50 books and I’ve won 7 Silver Reubens. I’ve also won some children’s books awards, including 2 Blue Spruce awards, which are voted on by over 30,000 kids, so that’s really cool.
TDC: Has anyone ever told you “I want to be in the Dave Whamond business?”
DW: If they do, they usually mispronounce Whamond though.
TDC: What does one of you book pitches look like? Or have you won so many awards that they just tell you to do whatever you want?
DW: If it’s a new publisher I want to work with, I do up something really fancy. If it’s someone I have worked with, I send them an idea and just say “Whaddya think?”
TDC: What’s your favorite three-word cartooning news site?
DW: gocomics.com but that’s really one word, isn’t it?
TDC: How did you get syndicated originally?
DW: I sent out packages to every syndicate and went with the first one who called back. Okay, the only one.
TDC: You’re doing editorial cartoons now, how did that happen?
DW: I had a lot to say that didn’t fit with Reality Check. Or by the time it ran, it would be out of date. Daryl Cagle had mentioned that I should try editorial cartoons several times at the Reubens so I decided to finally take him up on it.
5 thoughts on “Three-Word Answer: A Heartfelt Q&A with Dave Whamond”
Okay, so how *do* you pronounce “Whamond”?
The W and the D are silent
Thanks, P.J. I would have been way off.
Becky took the exact words right out of my head. So the name is pronounced HAM-on? (Boy, that resonates, because I grew up not far from Hammond, Indiana.)
Whamond is pronounced Waaa-Mond. Hope that makes sense, W and D are both pronounced.
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