Dave Kellett And Greg Dean Join Blank Label Comics

Two veteran webcartoonists have joined forces with Blank Label Comics — a recently formed co-op of independent cartoonists.

Dave Kellett, creator of Sheldon, and Greg Dean, creator of Real Life, bring a total of twelve years of webcomics experience to the group. Each will play key roles in the group’s ongoing development.

Kellett holds two Masters degrees in the art and history of cartooning from the University of California San Diego, and the University of Kent, Canterbury, England. His daily comic strip, “Sheldon,” revolves around a 10-year-old software billionaire and his pet duck. Routinely swinging from commonplace to surreal, the acclaimed comic strip has been online since 1999. In 2001, Kellett was signed by the United Media/United Features Syndicate, which will continue to distribute the strip on the Web. Under the Blank Label co-op, Kellett will pursue independent publishing, merchandise, and promotions.

Dean has six years of webcomics experience as well, publishing his autobiographical comic online for the first time in 1999. Although the comic is based on Dean and his friends, it occasionally takes a foray into the wildly fictional. In 2003, Dean started publishing his comic on the Web independently, and has since gone on to publish the first “Real Life” collection. He is currently working on the second collection. Dean brings his experience in independent online publishing and ad sales to the Blank Label group.

Beyond the formidable wealth of cartooning experience they bring to Blank Label Comics, both possess enviable business savvy and self-publishing knowlege. Kellett’s self-published “A Well Balanced Meal,” a collection of college-newspaper strips from 1993 to 1996, sold through three printings. Since taking “Real Life” independent in 2003, Dean has not only solicited and sold advertising for his site, but he has expanded his comic-related merchandising past books to t-shirts — and is currently exploring a line of licensed action figures or statuettes.

The artists join Blank Label founding members David Willis (It’s Walky, Shortpacked!), Steve Troop (Melonpool), Paul Taylor (Wapsi Square), Kristofer Straub (Checkerboard Nightmare, Starshift Crisis), Paul Southworth (Krazy Larry, Ugly Hill) and Brad Guigar (Greystone Inn, Courting Disaster). Blank Label Comics was formed on the principle that cartoonists can succeed best when they are in complete control of the business aspects of their creations. Since most cartoonists lack expertise in at least one of those aspects, they can gain expertise in their weak points in return for sharing their strong points.