Artwork of Cherie Hellemeyer Part 2

Courtesy of the wonderful Cherie Hellemeyer, this is actually an original piece of work that she drew just for us! To see more of her work, visit one of these links:

Artwork of Paul Hobbs – Feature 1

Here is installment 1 (out of 3) for Paul Hobbs. If you like what is here, you can find more of his work on Amazon, and at He’s also on Twitter and Instagram as @finchcomic

Interview with Paul Hobbs, Writer and Illustrator of Robot Love Cow

Paul’s artwork will be posted shortly. In the meantime, enjoy this interview!


Hello there, and welcome to! Could you start by telling us the name or names of everyone on your creative team?

My name is Paul Hobbs, writer and illustrator with my brother, writer, Kevin Hobbs. He was the one who came up with the story for our book, “Robot Love Cow,” which was initially conceived as a short film we had planned on making.

We also worked together to come up with our series, “Finch, Former Sidekick,” later titled, “Finch and the Sidekicks.”

Where are you all from?

That’s a long story! We moved around a lot growing up. I was born in Independence, Mo. And Kevin was born in Jacksonville, Fl. We grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and spent a lot of time in the south, and in the Chicagoland area. We moved back to the Kansas City area, where I met my amazingly supportive wife, and where Kevin lives now. My wife, Sarah, and I live outside Austin, Tx with our dog, two cats, and five beehives.

Share a little bit about yourself: childhood, education, family life, etc.

Like I said, we moved around a lot growing up. I also got to travel abroad through Asia. I went to four different high schools, but comics and art were always a constant for me. I was lucky. Unlike a lot of parents, mine were incredibly supportive of me persuing a love and interest in the arts. I was fortunate enough to attend Columbia College of Chicago, where I studied animation and screenwriting. I found that I loved the writing and storyboard aspect of filmmaking, which translates so well into making comics.

Tell us your latest news. What kind of projects do you have going on?

I’ve got two projects in the works right now. We are getting ready to release a big compilation of our Finch, Former Sidekick stories from the past eleven years… except issue #3. It’s just bad. Kind of funny, but just awful!

I’m also working on a follow-up to a comic I did called, “Adventures of Hanuman,” based very loosely on the Hindi character who is a super-powered monkey. He’s a fun, virtuous character, and an homage to when comic book heroes were straight-forward good guys.

That follow-up issue will feature most of the Finch, Former Sidekick characters and be an homage to old 1950’s scifi movie serials.

When and why did you begin writing/drawing?

I started when I was very young…when I was old enough to hold a crayon! My mom said I would go through coloring books like crazy.

I loved, and still do, science fiction, cartoons, and comic books. They were a great escape for me as a shy kid, and I would obsessively draw my favorite characters, which were often Superman, Batman, Wolverine, and Spock.

What inspired you to start expressing yourself artistically?

I think it was that I had a lot of positive encouragement when I was younger. I could create something and enjoyed doing it.

As a kid, I loved comics and Mad Magazine was a huge influence on me. They really inspired me to tell stories and to keep drawing.

How has your style changed since you began?

I embraced the simple, yet exagerated imagery in cartoons as an animation student. I also came to love how the starkness of black and white can enhance a visual image and story.

What do you find the most challenging and/or rewarding about writing/drawing?

I have to recognize my limitations. Sometimes when I’m writing, I have to ask myself, “can I make this look good on the page?”

The most rewarding part is just having created something and seeing traffic on my blog from all over the planet!

How much of your work is based on reality, whether it was experiences or people you know/knew?

I would say that all of it, even the crazier stories we’ve done are based on situations we’ve been in, or just born out of our own philosophical ideas and beliefs. The two that are most literally based on actual situations I’ve been in are the Finch, Former Sidekick stories, “Sick Day,” and “Drive-Thru Drive.” I just like telling the kind of stories that entertain me.

What have you learned while working on your latest project?

Puting together the Finch anniversary book, and finding some unfinished pieces that I’d like to revisit, have shown me how much I’ve grown as a storyteller and artist. Moreover, it’s shown me how much I’ve grown as a person from who I was when I wrote those as a younger person.

Do you have any advice for other writers/artists?

Always keep working at it. No matter if you are a professional, working artist, or a guy like me with a family and fulltime job not in the arts, love what you do and keep expressing yourself.

Most importantly: seek feedback if you want to get better. Share your work and be humble enough to listen to feedback and be willing to learn.

Do you have any links where we could find your work?

You can find our work on Amazon, and at I’m also on Twitter and Instagram as @finchcomic.


A Brief Pause in History Due to Other Projects

I don’t want to write a long post about history today. There is too much else going on, both personally and with other projects. Today I just don’t have the energy for it.

What else is going on? Well, I am not going to discuss the personal things. I may be a fan of social media, but I don’t believe in using it to air my dirty laundry. Some people do that to get pity or the gratification of someone “liking” their post, but it makes them look pathetic and desperate. Let’s just say what’s happening with me now would be enough to drain ANYONE’S battery.

As for writing projects, I am more than happy to talk about them. I browsed through a whopping 25 poetry collections, finding lines that were visual in nature so I could share them with a gentleman who is helping me create artwork and format each collection.

Then there is my novella “Maybe the Dream Knows What is Real.” Starting next week, that will be posted in serial format on the website Writer to Writers. This week they posted my “warning label” about the upcoming work. I’m terrified, but excited.

Last but not least there is my novel THE SIZE CURSE. This is also going to be serialized on the same website/ I have been going through and editing it, dreading the section that has always felt like filler to me. Well, I reached that section yesterday. Rather than struggle with what to write, I simply cut the offending passage from the main text and pasted it into its own file, just to see what I’m working with here. Turns out if I excise this section, I am losing a whopping 8,000 words.

Do I look forward to having to do this? No, but I have to. Plus I came up with plenty of other ideas that could easily replace this section.

My plan is to continue editing up until the end of the novel. Then I will circle back to the offending passage. I have time. After all, the last section of the novella won’t be posted until October 30th. Before I post any of SIZE, I plan on writing a little “note from the author” post. That means I won’t need to have the novel ready to post until mid-November. Even then, that’s only the beginning of the novel; the part that has to be rewritten is more than halfway through it.

In other words, I am way ahead of schedule on this. I can relax. 🙂



REDemption: 08/22/2017

Aha! Thought there would be a comic here, didn’t you? Well, due to changes in schedules and life responsibilities, Johnny and I have decided to shuffle around how we do things. Watch the video for a preview of what is to come.


Changes Coming Soon

Johnny and I have been discussing changes to the way we approach this comic. Once we have settled on something, y’all will be the first to know! Actually, Johnny and I will know first, but you will be second! In the meantime, enjoy some sketch art of Fitzsimmons (the guy we saw popping out of the trees on the July 11th post)!

The Origins of REDemption Part 9

This has to be the slowest Thursday ever. As proof that it has knocked me for a loop, I am only just getting around to writing this blog post! Well, they always say “better late than never.” Now I am going to prove if “they” are right or not, my dear readers!

When we last visited the history of the comic, I had just whipped up an approach and outline to Part 4 of the story. (REMINDER: I modeled their search for the Immune Child after Captain Willard’s pursuit of Colonel Kurtz in APOCALYPSE NOW.)

However, there wasn’t enough time in my day to let me type up Part 3 while also writing Part 4. I had to choose, so I decided to focus on typing up the mammoth of Part 3, which (in handwritten form) had filled up FOUR 3-subject notebooks.

Needless to say, this was going to take some time. I didn’t want to lose touch with Part 4 completely, so I would take a couple minutes every day to just pore over the outline, making sure it was as tight as I could get it.

Somewhere along the way, I was talking with an old friend from high school about the comic via Facebook. I told her how the protagonists needed to go beyond the quarantine wall to look for a functional lab. She told me about the National Institute of Health (known as NIH going forward) and said that any research into searching for a zombie virus antidote would be bound to happen there.

I’d never heard of NIH before, so I looked it up. (Got to love Google!) While I was not able to get pictures of the interiors of the buildings, I DID manage to find a map of the entire grounds, with each building labeled. This got the old creative juices flowing.

At first I got hung up on the fact that I did not know what these buildings were set up like on the inside. Then one day I decided, “If people can suspend their disbelief and invest in a story with zombies and what not, then they can also accept the fact that I am going to manipulate the interior of every single NIH building.”

So that was what I did. I came up with a plan for how the team could invade the NIH, and I wrote up an outline for Part 5 with that as my starting point.

Needless to say, there is a LOT going on in Part 5. The team has to safely make it all the way east to the NIH. Not only is the Federal government still after them, but they also have to worry about other survivor groups. We are also introduced at long last to a full-blown view of the Unexpected Enemy. Last but not least, I created another major HUMAN antagonist in the form of an insane Army leader named General Phillips. Imagine if Thunderbolt Ross from THE INCREDIBLE HULK comics was completely insane, and you have General Phillips.

There were also some neat little twists that I threw in with FBI Agent Bill Davidson. I don’t want to say too much about what happens with him or we will wander into a spoiler mine field. Needless to say, he is not your typical one-dimensional, stone cold, humorless Agent Hotchner (Thomas Gibson’s character from CRIMINAL MINDS).

Eventually I finished typing up Part 3, and I dove right into writing Part 4. By this point the outline was incredibly well-crafted, so it was just a matter of taking each bullet point and fleshing it out into a full-blown story. Some bullet points took longer than others to bring to fruition, but in the end I think every last one of them was expanded to the necessary length.

My previous pattern had been to write a section out by hand and then type it up. However, that was only because I found myself temporarily stumped with how the action should flow in Parts 2, 3, and 4. I did not have that problem moving from Part 4 to Part 5; both outlines were written one after the other. Therefore I decided to move forward with writing the last segment of the tale. As always, the story flowed out of me almost faster than I could write it down; it’s like the words were all just sitting there in my brain, waiting to be discovered. Whenever a story writes itself, I take that as a good sign.

Now you may have noticed that, all while I am talking about the process of me writing it, I have done very little talking about any artists stepping up to draw it. In fact, the only artist I have mentioned is my former coworker Clarence.

For those of you who may be wondering what was happening on the visual side, fear not! I will address this in next week’s post because guess what? Just because I am closing in on the end of the writing process doesn’t mean the history is done being told!



Brief Intermission

Our main man Johnny has been a little under the weather, so we have to pause in our regular posting schedule. However, to fill the gap I wanted to share some promo artwork. Here is a vision of the soon to be main protagonist of the story, our very own butt kicking, zombie killing Molly Burroughs.