Ripley Cartoonist Kieran Castaño Interviewed

The “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” comic strip has been a beloved staple of newspaper funny pages across the country since 1918. And, “believe it or not” (see what we did there?), the new artist behind this august institution is none other than Orlando artist Kieran Castaño. Castaño is known around these parts for his poignant and oft-political paintings, but his pen-and-ink illustration style is a perfect fit for bringing the esoteric factoids of Ripley’s to vivid life.

Orlando Weekly begins carrying Ripley’s Believe It or Not this week,
and what better excuse to talk to the area cartoonist drawing the panel?

Kieran Castaño and the book that introduced him to Ripley

Tell me about the discipline you’ve developed to do this on such a regular, repeating basis,

So, it’s 22 drawings per week that I have to divide up into six dailies (three a panel) and one Sunday (four a panel). My deadline for the week is on Thursday, so I can’t just draw one a day and submit it. I think that would be harder than how I get it done now. This is what my week looks like: Monday, I look at the comic facts spreadsheet where the wonderful editors at Ripley’s have posted about 22 or more facts. I spend the day diving into each fact and thinking of which three will go well together on a panel, and which four I want to color on a Sunday. Tuesday, I start looking for reference images and start sketching out my panels. Wednesday, is for inking, and so is the top half of Thursday. I’ve gotten a lot quicker with the editing part of it, so usually I just spend a few hours Thursday night on Photoshop before I submit. Boom, that’s it and I have my weekend! When I first started, I had a hard time getting my routine down and thought that I was going to burn out in about two months, but something clicked and now it doesn’t even feel like I’m pumping out a cartoon everyday of the week.

What tools do you use to create a typical strip?

The tools that I use are simple. Stipple paper and a collection of different tip-sized black pens.

Read the complete Kieran Castaño interview at Orlando Weekly.


I’m a bit disappointed that Ripley still, after nearly a year, doesn’t credit Kieran on their page
as they did when John Graziano was the Believe It or Not cartoonist.


I am happy that Kieran seems to be enjoying himself and brings some humor to a page devoted to the outrageous, including inserting himself into the panels on a regular basis (including today’s).

© Ripley Entertainment Inc.