As a mentioned last week on this blog, after a five month unplanned hiatus, I need to reevaluate how I can "sustain momentum" as a comic book writer (i.e. no more nervous breakdowns and still keep writing). Find balance in my life, family, teaching, and comics. Thus, I need to prioritize, focus, and cut down my work load. No more working on seven projects at a time. I'm going for a leaner, smarter David Hopkins as writer. The plan. I've divided my writing work into five categories:

1. Completed projects: stuff I've already written (and maybe it's completely art'd), and it just needs to be published 2. Ongoing projects: stuff I'm currently writing and/or it's in the process of being published 3. New projects: stuff I haven't written yet, but I'm planning to work on 4. Abandoned projects: the graveyard of rejected proposals and unfinished projects 5. Loose ends: small bits of writing I've promised to people

As far as completed projects, I need to renew my efforts to find a home for ASTRONAUT DAD and HOW TO LOSE BIG. In regards to ASTRONAUT DAD, it's frustrating for a beautiful 160 page graphic novel to be completely finished and yet unread. Also, HOW TO LOSE BIG is such a great story. The proposal looks great. We just need to find it a home.

With ongoing projects, I'm focusing all my energy on WE'VE NEVER MET, which resides on the back inside page of the free weekly entertainment newspaper Quick. On a professional and creative level, it's everything I could ever hope for. It's consistent, paying work where I get to develop a continuity and collaborate with a talented artist. We have a massive local readership (Quick reaches more than 90,000 per week), and the potential for a huge fanbase. Story wise, I love the slice-of-life feel of WE'VE NEVER MET. It's a story about a person's life, an adventure in searching for meaningful relationships and pursuing artistic goals. It doesn't have to be a "gag comic" nor does it need super heroes, monsters, robots, zombies, pirates, or ninjas. Although, it does have one hobo.

ANNOUNCEMENT #1: As of this month, WE'VE NEVER MET is now weekly. It's no longer on an every other week cycle. This will give us a much better opportunity to build our audience. That's 52 pages every year. Unfortunately, it does end the regular appearance of LISTOONS (click here), created by my friends Geoff and Cal, with whom we alternated on that back page. LISTOONS isn't gone. There should be periodic appearances elsewhere in the pages of Quick.

In the next few weeks, Liz (our protagonist) will be in the studio recording an EP. We will introduce a new character, Lindsay Graham from Junius Recording Co. Liz's last name will finally be revealed, as well as the band's name. Exclusive preview: The band name is Inklings.

ANNOUNCEMENT #2: Speaking of Inklings, music producer Lindsay Graham and I are entering the bold terrain of fictitious bands -- Gorillaz, Josie & the Pussycats, Partridge Family, Monkees, The Oneders, etc. We're still in the early stages of everything, but you can expect to actually hear Liz's band. You'll be able to buy the album, proudly wear an Inklings t-shirt, request them on KXT, or vote for them in the Observer Music Awards. Who knows where it will all lead? I'm proud to be working with Lindsay, and I can already tell this is going to be an exciting experiment.

Inklings are my new favorite band.

But first, Liz has to write some more songs (below: a preview of the October 14th comic).

My other goal in the "ongoing projects" category, unrelated to WE'VE NEVER MET, is to try to write at least two features for D Magazine every year. And guess what?

ANNOUNCEMENT #3: I just signed a contract for my first magazine feature (2,000 words). I don't want to go into any further details. Let's wait until the story is sent to my editor, and then off to the printers.

With new projects (and this is a difficult issue), I'm going to work on only one new graphic novel proposal at a time. Jamar Nicholas and I have our BULLETPROOF WEST project. That's the one. Nothing else until that's complete. I know I've mentioned this idea before, but it's new because all we have is a plot outline and some characters. I'll have more details soon.

With abandoned projects, unfortunately, there are too many to name: FRONTIER, BOLIVAR, OMISOKA BRIDGE, JACK RUBY, KARMA INC 2. Better not to think about it.

With loose ends, Paul and I are working on the finale for SOUVENIR OF DALLAS to appear on D Magazine's Frontburner blog. Also, Brock and I have a short Emily Edison side project that I need to script this week.

And that's the update. Sound good? Let me know your thoughts.


Some links and updates... This one is from January 4th. Very proud to have MINE ALL MINE mentioned in Cherry Grrl: Lesbian Entertainment News + Culture. The article talks about the one-page comic illustrated by Cat Staggs and written by me, titled "Darcy." Despite being only four panels of art and 24 words of dialogue, I put a lot of thought into this one, and of course, Cat's art is absolutely sublime. I'm glad Cherry Grrl picked up on all the details. The article mentioned that the comic was written for a friend of mine who recently came out, and that's true. It also adds "and is having a difficult time dealing with it." In all fairness, I don't know if that's completely accurate. I took liberty as a writer to send her a little message, a pat on the back, which I think she needed. I've always been an ardent supporter of gay rights (PFLAG), but I'm hesitant to write gay, lesbian, or bi characters simply to be subversive or exploitative. Certainly, some writers do. That's their artistic choice, and there's a need for that. However, for me, if a character is gay, I want to write them as naturally as I would write a straight character. I think "Darcy" captures that.

The second to last batch of comics for Design-PT is finished. Cal Slayton posted them on his blog. It was a fun challenge to develop an advertising campaign for an I.T. company using comics.

Paul Milligan and I finished the May installment of D Magazine's SOUVENIR OF DALLAS. This comic will focus on the re-design of the Texas Giant roller coaster for the 2011 season at Six Flags. I had the chance to interview the director of construction and maintenance, which was interesting. No links yet.

The next WE'VE NEVER MET will be in this Thursday's Quick. Also, the comics archive has been updated on their blog.

I received my pro registration confirmation for 2010 Comic-Con International. I haven't worked out hotel and travel plans yet, but I'll probably plan it around a visit to see my family in Huntington Beach and attend the convention on Thursday and Friday. I'd like to attend the Eisner Awards. Yes, yes, I know it'll be impossible to book a hotel. I'll figure something out.


It's a good week when my comics for D Magazine and Quick both hit at approximately the same time. The next four installments of WE'VE NEVER MET deal with Austin, SXSW, NX35, and the personalities of the various cities in Texas. It's my opportunity to pick on our neighbors a bit. All in good fun, of course. Best of all, we get some quality time with Liz and her band (still unnamed). Since the comic posts every other week, it's tricky to make each one "self contained" and still try to continue a larger story. I have to resist the urge to move too fast with what I want to develop. I could write WE'VE NEVER MET for as long as Quick and Chad Thomas are willing to tolerate me.

The March issue of D Magazine features a new SOUVENIR OF DALLAS (click here). This one was a real challenge. I knew what I wanted to do, but I had to interview everyone and get the quotes. Mike Snider at AllGood was such a nice guy. I could've talked with him for an hour. Pete Zotos of St. Pete's Dancing Marlin returned my call while he was at a Cowboys game! It was a short conversation, but I appreciate his effort. Tim Frazin, owner of Zini's Pizzeria, was a fortunate last minute interview. I was roaming the streets of Deep Ellum at night trying to find a third restaurant after my other interview never materialized. I saw Zini's was open. Tim was there. We had a good conversation. He's a cool guy. In fact, Zini's is also seen in WE'VE NEVER MET. They might become the official pizza of my comics -- like Duff Beer in the Simpson's, but real. Paul Milligan did a great job as always with a script that wasn't the easiest to work with.

Speaking of difficult scripts, David DeGrand finished the first page of our Happy Bullets mini-comic (the song: "F--k Yeah, I'm In Love With You"). It looks great. I went overboard with these scripts. Working with DeGrand and the Happy Bullets lyrics, it's hard not to get a little weird. In fact, "Lead Balloon" might be one of the best comics I've ever written. No words and pitch perfect. No pressure, DeGrand.

In case anyone missed the tweet, Brock Rizy and I finalized our proposal for EMILY EDISON AND THE END OF THE WORLD.

And one more thing I'm excited about, the talented Chris Medellin has launched his webcomic for Roam. Bookmark it. Seriously good work.


I just completed an order of 1,000 5x7 postcards through We should have them in time for Dallas Comic Con.

I'll distribute the remaining cards to various DFW comic book stores and other strategic retail locations. The hope is to spread the word about our work in D Magazine and Quick.

Postcards designed by Paul Milligan. WE'VE NEVER MET art by Chad Thomas. SOUVENIR OF DALLAS art by Paul Milligan (again).


This week, I've been working on SOUVENIR OF DALLAS for D Magazine's March issue. It's covering affordable dining in Deep Ellum.

In addition to some other freelance work, I'm plotting WE'VE NEVER MET through the month of April. Here's a sneak peek at what's coming, without spoiling too much.

January 14th: Disaster Picnic 2010. Already scripted and illustrated, this one will come out on Thursday. We're introducing another major character, Patricia.

January 28th: Already scripted, this one flashes back to what else happened at Lee Harvey's on New Year's Eve. Keith and Patricia are involved.

February 11th: We return to Disaster Picnic 2010. In honor of Valentine's Day, Patricia and Liz talk about relationship problems. Actually, Patricia does most of the talking.

February 25th: SXSW, part 1. The band loads up and prepares to make the trip down to Austin for SXSW.

March 11th: SXSW, part 2. The band in Austin.

March 25th: SXSW, part 3. The band in Austin.

April 8th: SXSW, part 4. The band returns from SXSW, and they're happy to be back.


The January issue of D Magazine is now available in newsstands around town. It features a new installment of SOUVENIR OF DALLAS (click here). Also, this week's Quick has the latest WE'VE NEVER MET (click here).

SOUVENIR OF DALLAS covers the opening of Main Street Garden in downtown Dallas. I attended. (What? You think I make all this stuff up?) It's a beautiful park, and finally we have some green in a downtown dominated by concrete. Score. However, being satire, it wouldn't be any fun for the comic to leave it at that.

WE'VE NEVER MET introduces Trenton, one of Liz's best friends and a fearless bike rider. I was a little worried that I'd get a negative response from the biking community, especially my friends at Bike-Friendly Oak Cliff. However, with the exception of this twitter post from Pedal Dallas, I haven't heard much. Maybe everyone is still worn out from the Observer's big story on the subject? Yes, it's not a good idea to ride on the highway without a helmet and other proper equipment (rear-view mirrors, etc). It's also probably bad for someone to ride with you, standing on your back wheel pegs, at night, on the highway. This comic might stereotype bicyclists as having unrealistic expectations of their place within traffic. If you feel slighted, let me know! Alas, responsible behavior just isn't as funny. Given the chance, Trenton will grow as a character. Mostly, I wanted to make one big statement with this issue: It is possible to live in Dallas without a car, but it's probably not easy. Trains, buses, and bicycles will be instrumental, along with other creative alternatives.

The next WE'VE NEVER MET will come out December 31st and will debut our new logo, designed by Jenni Leder.

Currently, Paul, Chad, and I are working on some postcards to promote SOUVENIR and WE'VE NEVER MET. I should have them ready by January's Dallas Comic Con.

In other news, I shipped ONE NIGHT STAND to retailers yesterday. If you live near one of these stores, pick up your copy on December 30th. On that day, I'll be signing at Golden Apple Comics in Los Angeles with Cat Staggs, Sina Grace, and Christopher Higginson.

Comps will be sent soon to the artists involved. If you are a ONE NIGHT STAND artist, try to wait for your comps. I want regular store customers to have a chance at this mini-comic. Supplies will be limited.

One random link: Here's a humorous and insightful review of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (click here). It's 70 minutes in length and worth every minute. This video actually doubles as a fairly good Creative Writing lecture on critical mistakes made with characters and plot. Valuable stuff to keep in mind when you work on your next story.


This week, Paul Milligan and I are working on SOUVENIR OF DALLAS for the August D Magazine. Oh yes, the Best of Big D issue. Here's a portion of our email conversation to work through the details.

TIM: Arrows! Can I get arrows pointing from the ID boxes to the people? You've used arrows in the past. I like arrows. They are pointy.

DAVID: Agree on the arrows. Dammit, Paul, we like our arrows! :)

PAUL: I know, I know! It's just a rough!!! Just assume from now on that if you don't see arrows but think you should, they will eventually be there. :)

DAVID: Paul, all this talking, and I still don't see no damn arrows on this rough file! I'm waiting.

TIM: You guys are awesome. Next time, the arrows are on me. My treat.

PAUL: Wait... where do the arrows go again?

DAVID: I have a few ideas on where you could put those arrows...

See? We are absolute professionals.


The June issue of D Magazine is now available. It looks awesome. On page 24 of the "Pulse" section, Paul Milligan and I have another SOUVENIR OF DALLAS comic (click here). For some reason, the webpage is there, but the comic is not. It should be loaded soon...? I don't know.

If you are particularly impatient and you love SOUVENIR OF DALLAS, you could go to the D Magazine Frontburner blog -- hunt down the email address of either Tim Rogers or Eric Celeste. Tell them how much you love this comic, how much you need it, and that the latest isn't online. Be nice. These guys give me money.

Or you could just buy a copy at any local grocery store or bookstore.

**UPDATE (06/10/09)** The comic is finally available on the D Magazine site.


It's that time again. Paul Milligan and I have our comic SOUVENIR OF DALLAS featured in the April 2009 issue of D Magazine. This one is titled "Lost in Victory Park." (click here)

The new D Magazine website now makes the print content more readily available. I recommend taking time to browse through and read some of the great writing. I particularly like:

The Spectacularly Incompetent Bonnie & Clyde by Jeff Guinn
Evangelical Bodybuilders Saved My Son's Soul by Tim Rogers
Don’t Bum Rush the Bushes: How not to get shot by the Secret Service and other tips for living with an ex-president by Trey Garrison

Yesterday, I emailed my editors about the June issue. If the topic is approved, it will be... interesting. More information coming soon.


With economic situation the way it is, Paul and I were almost certain our days at D Magazine were numbered. As magazines and newspapers trim their budget, we thought our contribution of SOUVENIR OF DALLAS would be cut. We worked on the December issue and were stopped mid-production due to a lack of space. I thought we'd be pushed back to the January issue, but no such luck. It was hard to gauge what this meant. Then, last week, I met with D editors Tim Rogers and Eric Celeste. I'm happy to say we're back in the regular rotation. Even better, D Magazine is revamping the pulse section in such a way that I'm fairly confident SOUVENIR OF DALLAS will continue for quite some time. Our comic won't appear every month, but you can expect it four to fives times a year, which is perfect for me. The editors have been incredibly supportive. I just finished the script for the April issue, and I'm about to send it to Paul. I have to commend Paul for his work. Normally, I try to keep the content manageable (i.e. not too many panels, not too much dialogue, nothing too insane to draw). However, I confess with SOUVENIR I get sloppy. I create these impossible scenarios and think: "Oh well, Paul will figure out how to do this." Bad writer. Bad.

Hall of fame: -1- Big Tex fighting a large giraffe, a pegasus, and the Mayor of Dallas while a dandy in a hot air balloon observes overhead. Sheep dogs run wild. (click here) -2- Mayor of Dallas carrying several commuters to work in the middle of a traffic jam while a helicopter flies overhead. (click here) -3- New Cowboys stadium rises from the ground, a la Death Star, while the coach as Darth Vader force chokes a construction worker and Jerry Jones as the Emperor encourages him on (click here)

Unfortunately, panel 4 of the latest script may be a contender for the #1 spot. Sorry Paul.


Thanks to Dave Levinthal for mentioning our "unauthorized" D Magazine comic in the Dallas City Hall Blog.

I'm guessing David Hopkins and Paul Milligan are really fun guys to have a beer with. Anything depicting Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert attempting to sock Big Tex in the groin is at least worth mention. Dudes, you're officially invited to my Halloween party.

Dave, I would love to have a beer with you. Anytime.


Paul Milligan and I are working on a new project. I'm excited about this one. It's currently untitled -- takes place in Lawrence Kansas and involves some small press/indie comic book creators.

Also, Paul posted pages from Souvenir of Dallas, our semi-monthly comic for D Magazine. It's available on Paul's deviant art site.

#0 - Tour of Dallas
#1 - Loath and Fearing at the Ritz-Carlton
#2 - The Next Round
#3 - Water Slides & Magic Wands
#4 - The Mighty, Mighty Hands of Mayor Tom Leppert
#5 - Stadium Death Star

Enjoy. Our next installment will be featured in D Magazine's October issue.


I'm back from my family reunion. (Photos will be loaded on Flickr soon.) After a year working on BOLIVAR, which has characters based off my extended family, it was a little surreal spending time with the older real life Hope, Jesse, and Linda. I had to remind myself they never actually visited the spirit world of Campeche. Yes, sometimes, reality is an issue for me.

The August issue of D Magazine is now available. Paul Milligan and I have our "Souvenir of Dallas" comic featured on page 22. It's about the Dallas Cowboys and the Death Star. Yes, you heard correct. It's the "Best Of" issue. So, did I happen to miss the "Best Of D" party? I went last year and had a great time. If so, I'm sorry I missed it.

One thing that no one should miss (note the transition) is our comic book creator gathering at Lee Harvey's this Thursday from 8 PM to 10 PM. Our event was mentioned in their weekly newsletter: "We are also proud to host Dallas area comic book writers, artists, and fans for their monthly get togethers starting next Thursday, August 7. It's absolutely informal, and everyone is invited." There. We made them proud. It would be rude not to attend.

I've donated some signed graphic novels to "I Wanna Be A Robot" at Club Dada. Some of my favorite local bands will be performing: Laura Palmer, Lovie, Happy Bullets, and The Tah-Dahs. I will certainly be there. (more info)

In other events, you need to mark your calendar for August 21st at Zubar on Greenville Avenue. The show PLAYLIST boasts "classic, old, new, true, and all real hip-hop" and will feature art by Khalid Robertson, Samax Randolph, and Michael Lagocki.

On October 23rd, I will be participating in the "Writers as Readers and Readers as Writers" panel at the North Branch Mesquite Library, hosted by The Writer's Garret. It's part of a month long look at Ray Bradbury's FAHRENHEIT 451. Or at least, I hope I'll still be participating. The organizer sent me this nice email, and then I sent this lengthy response clarifying that while I am a "comic book" writer that does not mean that I write "comic" material, i.e. humor. I haven't heard back from her. Anyways, if I didn't come across as a complete jerk, I'll be at the library on October 23rd.

What else? I'm working on re-write for the BULLETPROOF WEST synopsis. And I'm waiting to hear back from Paul Milligan about a new project, possibly.


On page 18 of D Magazine's July issue, in the comments section:

"Prepare to laugh like an unstable hyena over this mighty hilarious D Magazine comic strip [Souvenir of Dallas] by David Hopkins and Paul Milligan." - Morning News Reporter Dave Levinthal on June's "Mayor Big Hands" Strip.

Our next installment will appear in the August issue. Expect more hilarity.


The latest installment of "Souvenir of Dallas" (illustrated by Paul Milligan and written by myself) is now available in the June issue of D Magazine. The editors loved this one so much, for the first time, they've also featured it online. Enjoy. However, you should still pick up the print version -- April read the "Sex and the Single Woman" article in this issue. It's hilarious.

I'm considering a "Souvenir of Dallas" subdomain site for Antihero Comics. Maybe expanding the concept? I don't know yet. Just thinking about it.

Thursday, June 26th, I'll be at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles for a book signing from 6 PM to 9 PM. If you live in the area, please come by and say hello.


The April '08 D Magazine is now available. This particular issue includes the latest installment of "Souvenir of Dallas" (written by me and illustrated by Paul Milligan), and an article "The Dallas Museum of Art Is Validating a Marginalized Art Form" also written by me. I could get used to this.

I'll be attending DenCon on Sunday (see yesterday's post). The day before, on Saturday, I will be giving a comic book presentation at the Ridglea Library in Fort Worth with Paul Milligan. 1 PM. Anyone in the DFW area -- feel free to come by and check it out.

The March Indie Show for Fanboy Radio is online. Scott Hinze and I interview Jim Mahfood and Mike Heronime. It's a great episode. I'm glad to have the Indie Show back in regular rotation.

And yes, LOVIE did win Quick DFW's Battle of the Bands. Congrats to Cari, Rebecca, Grace, and Cathleen. Well deserved.


The script for my third "Souvenir of Dallas" comic has been approved. Paul Milligan is working on the art right now. He showed me the pencils, and it looks great. Expect this comic to be in the April issue of D Magazine.

Also for the April issue, I wrote a pulse article on the DMA's Comic Book Club. Hopefully, it will be included.

Daniel Warner sent me the character sketches for our short story "50 Miles to Marfa." Good stuff.

Beyond that, it's been a crazy week. Kennedy has been sick. We went to the doctor on Monday, and she's been away from daycare the past two days. I kept her on Tuesday. Melissa had her today. Fortunately, Kennedy's temperature is now down. Thus, she'll be heading back to daycare.

Tomorrow, I might see Sarah Jaffe at the Doublewide. Looking forward to it.


D Magazine posted my review of Great Wolf Lodge on their FrontBurner blog (click here). Paul Milligan, my daughter Kennedy and I went to the resort this past weekend to do some research for an upcoming "Souvenir of Dallas" comic.

Also, I've joined the community blog for STAPLE! I haven't written anything, but soon I will.

If you're curious, other blogs I visit daily:
The Beat | Stereogum | Pop Candy | Unfair Park | FrontBurner


The December issue of D Magazine is available, with "Souvenir of Dallas" featured on page 26, written by me and illustrated by Paul Milligan.

"Our intrepid cartoonists go undercover at the Mavs' preseason opener."

Apologies to Mark Cuban, JJ Barea, and Sue Raagas, security representative. I'd post a link to the comic, but it isn't available on the D Magazine site. You'll have to pick up a copy at any local bookstore or grocery store. The magazine is all over the place. In fact, you might as well get a subscription. "Souvenir of Dallas" will be in the Pulse section every other month. We've got the best gig -- gonzo journalism in a comic format.

Other news: A few friends noticed I was in Thursday's Quick making NFL/College football game picks. (click here) Let's be thankful the Cowboys won.


Starting with the October '07 issue for D Magazine, Paul Milligan and I have a semi-monthly full page comics feature called "Souvenir of Dallas."

In the first installment, we cover the opening of a new restaurant. Mischief ensues. This is going to be fun. (click here for more info)