John McNamee is the artist behind Pie Comic, hand-drawn comics that feature dry, sarcastic humor that hits you hard in the chuckles. John started drawing Pie Comics back in college, and just never stopped. He has since worked for satirical news organization 'The Onion' and now works for Cartoon Network.
Have these experiences influenced Pie Comic? “My Onion experience does come in handy,” John told Bored Panda. “You really have to observe the world and see what's weird about it to write Onion headlines. I once heard someone describe my sense of humor as "wry," and after I googled what that means, I thought it sounded about right.”
“I used to try to think of a good joke and then start drawing it, but I found that my comics were too predictable that way. So instead, I just started drawing a character doing something and see if I could get them to end up in a clever joke. My number 1 comedic inspiration is the Simpsons. My knowledge of seasons 2-9 is like... weird. I would also reread Calvin & Hobbes comics all summer long. As for webcomics, I really love Poorly Drawn Lines. He's very good at pacing out a joke and delivering a plot twist.”
Pie Comics has been a full-time pursuit at times throughout John's career as a cartoonist, but he finds stability in dipping his finger in a number of 'pies.' “Now I'm writing at Cartoon Network, so I don't update with these cartoon drawings as often,” he explained. “My Patreon works OK for me, but it's really my fault it doesn't work better. Engagement has never been a strength of mine. I also have done work for Mad Magazine and the New Yorker. I guess if I'd have any advice, it would be to cobble together multiple revenue streams. You never know when one might take a hit, and that will help protect you from instability.”
And while many comic artists use a variety of software to create their funny comics and upload them directly to the web, John prefers to keep it old school. “I draw on bristol board with blue pencil, then I go over it in and 05 Micron,” he told us. “I lay out my borders and guidelines with a ruler, but then I ink them freehand. I think the wobbly line makes the funny drawings more accessible and reminds you that a human being made them.”