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Dave Gau

Dave Gau

I had a comic strip at the RIT in the '80s. After college, I attempted syndication and had a brief strip in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, but then put my comic dreams on the back burner. This contest has shown me that it's never too late. ALL POSTS


See Dave Gau's entry, then read what the judges had to say.

Richard Thompson: "The setting has some potential, though there seems to be a glut of talking snarky animals in comics. It's hard to get a feel for the characters, at least in six samples, and I'm not sure from the art what some of the species are. I can see possibly interesting things developing if the marine biologist is alone on the island with this menagerie, but they all have to be developed more as individuals. And I had the feeling that some of the gags were iterations of gags I'd seen previously."

Darrin Bell: "The most troubling aspect of this is that the characters aren't distinct enough. All the different grouches could be consolidated into one. And despite appearing in three strips, the Glee fan's personality isn't coming through for me. I've seen some of these gags before. I've written some of these gags before. I wouldn't be surprised if the first week of every comic strip published in every college paper has a variation of the 'What's the definition of apathy' gag, in particular. They're not done badly, they're just DONE. But because they're not done badly, there's hope. All this cartoonist has to do is add a twist after the obvious punchline (or replace the obvious punchline with one that shares some insight on one of the characters) and he'll have a strip that works."

Michael Cavna: "'Galapagos' has a pleasingly loose style and an easy, amiable humor, but here's the rub: In the Darwinian world of current newspaper comics (to invoke that ol' Galapagos-lovin' Beagle sailor himself), at least one facet of the strip has at least to hold the promise of being remarkable. Even allowing for how this strip might evolve (as it were), I'm not quite seeing that Promise of the Remarkable here. (The apathy joke, for instance, is as standard and "stock" as a gag about -- oh, say -- the Procrastinators Anonymous meeting at which no one shows up.) And speaking of the Beagle, there IS one thing remarkable here: That one avian-looking critter does look remarkably like Woodstock. So I stand corrected. 'Truly.'"

Amy Lago: "'Galpagos' can expose human conflict and faults with its anthropomorphic cute animals. While the possibilities are great, the cartoonist should take pains not to resort to poop jokes. They need to be surprising and razor sharp."


By Dave Gau  |  June 14, 2010; 1:39 PM ET  | Category:  Amy Lago , Darrin Bell , Entries , Michael Cavna , Richard Thompson
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Please report offensive comments below.

Now this was the first one that made me laugh out loud, well, it was a little snicker, at the first strip, as I did not see that coming. I agree however, that the last strip was a standard joke. And that one of the critters looked like Woodstock. Funny you should say no poop jokes, and I agree, but of course I laughed the alligator one in the other set of strips.

Posted by: Harise | June 21, 2010 4:27 PM
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Julitrotter, my response to your comment is 'why not?'

It's nice that you think this work is humorous and that you want folks to laugh. I applaud that. And I support your being able to comment in that way.

What is it about comments with differing perspectives that is inappropriate or invalid in you mind? The humor didn't work for some of us, it's not that big a deal. We'll laugh at something else.

Posted by: MsJS | June 18, 2010 12:30 PM
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Great idea Dave! Good luck! Why would people feel the need to leave negative comments on a cartoon contest page? Boggles my mind. Best of luck to you bud! May many people laugh with you now and into the future!

Posted by: julitrotter | June 17, 2010 8:28 PM
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The great thing about this strip is that it is the first in a long time that can reach several generations of audiences. That's rare today.

This is the kind of strip that 11 year olds can enjoy as well as 50 year olds. It's also the kind of strip that will make both 11 year olds and 50 year olds think without getting hit over the head.

It's smart and realistic, but it's adorable enough that it's easy to have feelings for the characters.

There's a lot of over the top cynicism in comics today. Being edgy has become common. This strip gets you to think without insulting you. And face it, they are all funny.

The judges sound as though they feel they should be blown away. Instead they should consider how wide of an audience this strip could generate between generations. When have we had a strip that does that?

Posted by: EricFutterman | June 16, 2010 9:42 PM
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What alternate dimension have I crossed into where something this amateurish made it to the semi-finals? Awkward and inconsistent art, predictable "humor" and nothing charming whatsoever. Were there really hundreds of strips that were worse than this one?

Posted by: comicsfan666 | June 16, 2010 2:55 PM
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If you want to read about person-animal interactions in a wild life refuge, just read reruns of Frank Cho's "Liberty Meadows", which still make me laugh. Or go whole hog and find a copy of his earlier "University2" (that would be "University squared" if it doesn't show up properly) which is the source material for most of the Liberty Meadows work.

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | June 16, 2010 12:13 PM
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Nope. Doesn't work for me.

Posted by: InkSlingerz | June 16, 2010 11:19 AM
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I'm aligned with the judges. The humor has that retread feeling. Nothing remarkable here.

Posted by: MsJS | June 16, 2010 9:48 AM
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