Cartooning Classes Taught by Jim Keefe 2018

I’ll be teaching Cartooning and Comics classes this summer for kids and teens at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Here’s the info (with links for full details).

Comic Book Creation I
Summer Young Teens Classes Ages 12-15
Dates: June 18 – July 11
(There will be no class on July 2 & 4.)
Days: Monday, Wednesday
Time: 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

The Comic Book Inside and Out

Summer Pre-College Classes Ages 15-18
Dates: June 18– July 11
(There will be no class on July 2 & 4.)
Days: Monday, Wednesday
Time: 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Instructor Jim Keefe

A graduate of the Kubert School, Jim Keefe started his career as the head colorist in the King Features Syndicate comic art department, coloring such world-renowned strips as Blondie, Beetle Bailey and Hagar the Horrible.

From 1996-2003 he was the writer and artist of Flash Gordon for King Features Syndicate – currently available online at


Teaching and speaking engagements include the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, Malloy College and Hofstra’s UCCE Youth Programs in Long Island, New York, the University of Minnesota – and most recently as an Adjunct Teacher at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Keefe currently is the artist of the Sally Forth comic strip, written by Francesco Marciuliano. Sally Forth is syndicated worldwide by King Features and appears in nearly 700 newspapers.



And for those interested, there’s also a follow-up class to Comic Book Creation I.

Comic Book Creation II
Summer Young Teens Classes Ages 12-15
Dates: Jul. 16 – Aug. 8
Days: Monday, Wednesday
Time: 1:00-4:00 p.m.

This class is taught by critically acclaimed cartoonist and Xeric grant recipient Caitlin Skaalrud. Caitlin also runs the local comics micropress, Talk Weird Press.

Illustration from Caitlin Skaalrud's Houses of the Holy.

Illustration from Caitlin Skaalrud’s Houses of the Holy.

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Mother’s Day 2018

In honor of Mother’s Day, here’s a couple cameos done by my Mom
that have appeared in the funny papers…

This next strip is from June 1, 1997,
when I was writing and drawing Flash Gordon.

My Mom passed away just last year, but I’m very happy that
I had the opportunity to honor her in this small way with these strips.
She was my biggest supporter as far as this weird career path I took.

Ending with a glamour pic of her.

This is my Mom on her honeymoon on a cruise ship from Bermuda bound for New York where she and my Dad would see Yul Brynner in “The King and I” on Broadway. What’s classic about this picture is how much boats made her seasick.

Love you and miss you, Mom. You were one of a kind!


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Making Comics – The Assembly Line

I’ve seen the top version posted here and there on social media (don’t know the artist).

The bottom version is my variation using my experience working on syndicated comic strips (Flash Gordon/Sally Forth). For Sally Forth I’m the penciller, letterer, inker and colorist (colors for the Sunday page only, the dailies are colored in-house at King). For Flash Gordon I did everything but the editing, and the editor was once at the end.

My variation puts the letterer before the inker in the assembly line of making comics. Putting lettering last can make for some badly placed type IMHO.

Here’s Joe Kubert talking about how he lays out his lettering while penciling – and how he thought laying it in as an overlay as the last step was “a little nutty.” (Go to 5:51). I agree COMPLETELY with this sentiment!

I do lettering the Kubert way – it just makes for a better marriage of words and pictures.

A quick side note: Lettering is the “invisible art” of a comic page when done well. If done horribly it stands apart from the page like a sore thumb.
Check out the Todd Klein Facebook page for examples of lettering done right.

And last but not least, a top notch production staff is ESSENTIAL and are the unsung heroes of this business. Any kink in the chain, and no matter how outstanding particular individuals are, you’ll end up with a crappy product.

That’s all for today – class dismissed…

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Jim Gainey – A True Superman

I’m using a copy of the recent Action Comics #1000 cover to pay tribute to the memory of real life Superman, Jim Gainey.

Jim died January 11, 2016 at the age of 34 of colorectal cancer. Jim was my cousin Maureen’s son. Here’s a pic of Jim with his wife Catherine and the kids, Shamus and Finn.

 “I had an amazing life. I regret nothing because everything I did made me who I am. I’m proud of the family I came from. I’m proud of the people I call friends. I was lucky enough to meet my soulmate and have her family become my family. Most of all, I’m so proud of my boys and I love them more than air.”

Jim Gainey – December 2015

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Art vs Artist

Art vs Artist, also known as #ArtVsArtist or #ArtvArtist, is a hashtag used online to showcase an artist’s work as well as a selfie of the artist. The template for the meme features several boxed images with a photograph of the artist at the center.


Although I’m currently known for drawing the Sally Forth comic strip,
I picked the following samples of my work because I find it important to experiment in different styles and mediums.

-Jim Keefe

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Everett K. Ross at C2E2

Word on the street was that Ulysses Klaue was in Chicago April sixth through the eighth looking to fence a stash of stolen Vibranium. My Command Center for the weekend was at McCormick Place – concurrent to some convention called C2E2 (whatever that is).

As luck would have it I found an ally.
Enter – The Black Panther!

Unfortunately before we could pool our resources, Doctor Otto Octavius (street name Doctor Octopus) attacked! Thankfully Spider-Man happened on the scene and was able to subdue him before any injuries were incurred.

Derailed on my search for Klaue, I ran into a new formidable adversary…

I’ll add that he was NOT at all happy that I called him “Killraven” by mistake.
The look he gave me after the fact was to die for – literally.

But before Killmonger could wipe that smug look off my face, we were set upon by Galactus, devourer of worlds!

Thinking fast, I made it known to the all-powerful Galactus where the nearest McDonalds was (to satiate his endless hunger) and the threat was over.
But Killmonger had escaped!

I barely had time to catch my breath before running into none other than…


And he had obviously bulked up since our last encounter (something about a heart-shaped herb he ingested – a plant native to Wakanda).

But before he could exact his revenge on me, I was saved  by the combined forces of none other than  Supergirl and Wonder Woman!

My mind reeling from the licensing and copyright issues of a DC/Warner Brothers & Marvel/Disney crossover, I commandeered the nearest vehicle and made my escape.

All in all a successful assignment.

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