Harts Pass no. 521

I usually find a Dr. King quote to honor this week and to pay respect to his work for civil rights and social justice. This year, I came across a statement from Senator Robert F. Kennedy given on the eve of Dr. King's assassination. It seems appropriate to our own current moment in history and carries in fact a similar sentiment to President Biden's words from Wednesday afternoon. 


Build Back Better Bears no. 9 - 1.20.21

Amanda Gorman's poem was AMAZING... inauguration bears!


Harts Pass no. 520

There ARE indeed too many people skiing in the dark while listening to music. They are also, by all appearances, too far from the trailheads with too far to go and with no additional light to guide their way. I'm all for adventure and that thrilling experience in the "out of doors" but please, please, please DO remember that we take certain risks here on the urban-rural fringe. Best not to look TOO much like a clueless chew toy for the wild kitties!

Harts Pass no. 519

I wrote this strip on Tuesday morning, January 5th... with a "no news is good news" sort of hope for the first full week of 2021. With the comic hitting print on Wednesday, I really wish that I'd been right. I mean I was, "nothing" happening on 1/6/21 would have been MUCH preferred to a riotous storming of Capitol Hill, but I was wrong in that way too much happened and we are really just beginning to hear the full extent. Truly hoping for a quieter week ahead. Best regards.


Build Back Better Bears no. 8 - 1.15.21

United bears. Together bears. Black bears. White bears. Social justice bears. We got your back bears!


Build Back Better Bears no. 7 - 1.5.21


Roll up the sleeves and get to work bears!


Harts Pass no. 518


A rare instance this week where the newspaper editor gave me a little prompt for what was going on in the paper. Basically it was a summary of the year, which when you get right down to it was pretty much dominated by Covid. I chose to skip over that in this little contribution, but as per usual it is implied. Looking forward to less pandemic inspiration in 2021, but true to the life a wolverine, we're not out of the woods yet. GRRR!


Build Back Better Bears no. 6 - 12.30.20

Passing the torch. The new year needs to shine! 



Build Back Better Bears no. 5 - 12.23.20


This is, I suppose my wish for Christmas eve. Looking forward to many new and positive changes for the year ahead. "Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight..."

Harts Pass no. 517

For the better part of ten years, I have published a comic strip in my local newspaper, The Methow Valley News. It’s a small thing, yes, but making this simple little comic each week is a hugely important artistic act for me.

Each strip feels like the improv game “Yes, And!” I have characters, yes, a trio of wolverines that somewhat approximate my family, but otherwise I take things in from the week, the news, the actual lives of wildlife in the north cascades, and, I try to act quickly to spin out some ideas. Then I commit. I get free and total reign from the editor (accept for the occasional typo), but I do have some deadlines to keep me accountable. Each week I engage with a relatively quick and low-stakes (not much pay) creative process in order to share something with my community. It’s SO satisfying.

Humor is a part of it, but I know for sure that many of my comics are far from “funny”. I also like the writing/drawing challenge and the synthesizing current events or emotional touchstones challenge. And the “synthesizing” part is really important. If children’s books are short, then comic strips are succinct verging on terse. There is so little space and time in which to communicate an idea. It’s a game for sure, and an important part of the appeal. Some days it works, and some days it feels a LOT more forced.

I could go on for sure, but on this final week of a tumultuous year, I’ll keep this relevant with a nod to the feelings of “GRRR-Attitude” that inspired this recent strip.

Covid-19 and the global pandemic clearly inspired most of my 2020 comics. And despite hopeful news of a vaccine we are far from finished with its influence. We need the single-minded grit and tenacity of a wolverine to guide us. We need the fight. We need the willingness to adapt to our surroundings, and we need to keep going no matter what. The wolverine does this for itself and its family. We need to do it for ourselves and for our communities.

Thank you beyond words to the many doctors, nurses, front-line workers, teachers and others who have put themselves in harms way for months on end. I can say with absolute certainty that I am grateful for your service.

A new year awaits. Be safe.



Harts Pass no. 516

One of those ideas that started one way and then finished with something completely different. I was pretty sure that the "12 days" were leading up to Christmas and was going to create some kind of Harts Pass appropriate countdown. That being said, when I learned a little more this is where I ended up :) If memory serves, I also had to rush the Kit drawing in the final panel a bit to stay on deadline... and it shows. Aside from that I'm pretty happy with the way that this one ended up.