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Daniel Boris

Daniel Boris

I'm a husband of one, father of two, and a professional artist working in the online education field in Virginia. I've drawn cartoons for as long as I can remember, and have always wanted a syndicated comic strip. ALL POSTS

Hoxwinder Hall - Entry Challenge

See Daniel Boris's entry, read what the judges had to say, and see Daniel's reaction below.

Stan Lee: "The gags are good and the concept of a kid and his big brother living with a wise-cracking baby alligator is a unique angle. I'm guessing that the alligator will be the mainstay of the strip. It should be, because that's what makes the strip unique."

Lalo Alcaraz: "The little kid and pet thing doesnt seem that new or that promising. Art is nice."

Gene Weingarten: "Some good gags, and I like the alligator with attitude. My biggest problem with this one is I'm not seeing much room for an expansion of this world over many weeks, let alone months and years."

Michael Cavna: "This strip bristles with promise. I'm particularly impressed with the pacing: The tight writing is sly and amusing without showing much strain. That alligator is immediately provocative, its look smartly rendered. The big caveat: Talk of Izod and bathtub escapes are the more obvious gags that naturally occur to any comic writer first -- the challenge is how to sustain and deepen a boy-and-his-gator conceit over many years and thousands of strips."

Amy Lago: "I love that the art is simple. The cartoonist can try adding more solid blacks. The drawing-style is attractive, if a tad nondescript. Good use of shading to direct the eye. Although I like the classic four-panel structure of the cartoonist's gag-writing, I'd like to see him take some chances with visually-driven gags in the next round, and maybe break out of the four-panel mold once or twice. Watch chronology. In the first panel of 'red wine,' the kid's reaction should come in that same first panel, because the brother is stage right (left side in the frame), and we read left to right. So the chronology would follow. Last: Use the characters' names -- at least one name per strip. It might sound stilted to you at first, but you'll get used to it."

"Being in the finals of this contest has been a pretty awesome and humbling experience. From receiving the call from The Washington Post, telling me I'd made the top 10, to reading that Stan Lee (you've gotta be kidding me?! Spider Man, X-Man, Fantastic Four? THAT Stan Lee?!) liked my comic strip, to anxiously awaiting word on whether or not I advanced to the top five - I have been running on an adrenaline mix ever since! I'm also overwhelmed by the support and enthusiasm I've received not only from family, friends, and co-workers, but from complete strangers. What else can any artist hope for than to have a total stranger gush about something you have created? I am very fortunate ... "


By Daniel Boris  |  June 14, 2010; 12:52 PM ET  | Category:  Amy Lago , Cartoonists' reactions , Entries , Gene Weingarten , Lalo Alcaraz , Michael Cavna , Stan Lee
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Next: Real Time - Entry Challenge


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I really enjoyed the strip. Very comical, I would love to see another creature to add to the appeal. Excellent and witty.

Posted by: nj_investor | July 10, 2010 12:34 PM
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It's ridiculous to have a cartoonist who is in the running also be a judge, like Mr. Weingarten. Should I not expect better?

Posted by: copperred | July 5, 2010 6:16 PM
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Just discovered this feature. I liked Hoxwinder Hall.

Posted by: martymar123 | July 5, 2010 9:29 AM
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This set is tired and uninspired. All the jokes are old and others have done them much better. This just confirms the last resort of the untalented is to create a talking animal.

Posted by: franklloyd1 | July 5, 2010 9:12 AM
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this will work with kids and adults and it will make for a cartoon series

Posted by: whiteside595 | July 4, 2010 9:17 PM
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maybe if the croc grabbed the kid by the face and twisted.. that would be a first.

Posted by: beanball1 | July 2, 2010 12:36 AM
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lost for words this is flat out funny

Posted by: whiteside595 | June 29, 2010 8:22 PM
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Completely bland and predictable, and I don't even want to imagine what such a one note strip might be like two years down the road. This fits right in with some of the lamest strips in the Post.

Posted by: andym108 | June 24, 2010 5:43 AM
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Excellent cartoon. Well-drawn, witty, non-offensive. I hope to see more of Hoxwinder Hall. Go Gators!

Posted by: g8rsig1 | June 23, 2010 10:19 AM
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I think that this strip has a LOT of potential. I'd like to see more of this kid's world. Being an older brother, I like the tension between the brothers and think there could be a lot of funny/inspiring stories about their relationship. I see the younger brother and the alligator's misadventures being a great foil to the elder's attempts at being cool and having a normal teenage social life.

Calvin and Hobbes similarities can be found in nearly every strip out there, and I don't see this strip as being one that rides on Watterson's coat tails in a negative fashion, or at all. This is a story about a kid, his REAL PET, and an older, egotistical brother. The premise is entirely different.

Like with real people, these characters just need to find themselves. I think that they've been introduced great here, but only through more focused strips will their personalities and potential really shine. Great start, would love to see more.

Posted by: BlueEasy | June 21, 2010 11:29 AM
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Fun new comic. I want to see how he develops the characters. I love the absence of adults and expect the crocodile to come out of the aquarium and take over soon. He's got the self confidence of Bugs Bunny and a trusting boy looking for fun which is a fertile ground for lots of comedy.

I also like it that Stan Lee likes the gags and the crocodile too. Can't get higher praise than that!

Posted by: kerryannkenney | June 21, 2010 11:18 AM
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This one is solid in a bland and inoffensive way. Sadly, most newspaper comic stips don't aspire to be much more than that. And by the way, Calvin and Hobbes called and they would like their gimmick back.

Posted by: comicsfan666 | June 16, 2010 2:52 PM
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You guys are nuts! This is well written and has the elements that are needed to keep kids wanting more. As an elementary reading specialist, I would use this in my classroom to keep reluctant readers engaged.

Good luck and I hope to see more of Hoxwinder Hall.

Posted by: lagoyfamily5 | June 16, 2010 2:13 PM
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Nice style, but it's been done and I get better croc jokes from Pastis.

Posted by: InkSlingerz | June 16, 2010 11:18 AM
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I'm with Gene. Two humanoids and a smart aleck gator. Where's it go from here?

The 'stepping in poop' panel fall flat, too predictable. The 'human on t-shirt' panel misses as well, as Gary Larson did it and did it better.

A strip that relies on an animal with attitude has been done a lot. So far I don't see new ground being broken here.

Posted by: MsJS | June 16, 2010 9:32 AM
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