Coming in February… Mudslide Mayhem!

SC_Mudslide_MECH.inddHey, Stinky Cecil fans! Book Three in the Stinky Cecil series, Mudslide Mayhem!, is on its way. The release date for the book is February 27 so mark your calendars! You can also pre-order it here.

Here’s a sneak-peek:

“It’s springtime at Cecil’s Pond and everything is coming alive: the flowers, grasses, insects, and butterflies. The marsh around the pond is all in bloom. Poor Nesbit (the chameleon) is overwhelmed by it all. He sees all the change as unsettling chaos!

Nesbit grew up in a pet store before moving to the pond. He has no idea what it’s like to live in the wild or where he fits in the chain of life. Cecil and his pond pals will have to help Nesbit along on his journey of self-discovery. Join Cecil and his friends as they celebrate all the diversity of life in the pond and the marsh that surrounds it. Sometimes, mayhem is good!”

I recently shared some of the newest installment of Cecil’s adventures with a group of aspiring cartoonists at my local library. It’s always fun to inspire kids with comics. Children have a surprisingly sophisticated sense of humor and it always cracks me up to hear them repeat jokes from the Stinky Cecil series.

Comics classSome early reviewers have offered good feedback for Book Four in the series. For example, Stinky Cecil expert, Phoenix, age 5, let me know in no uncertain terms that in the next book, Jeff should have a backhoe.

Phoenix painting Jeff with a backhoe.

I have to agree with Phoenix that the story possibilities for the things Jeff could do with a radio-controlled backhoe are endless.

I painted Jeff with a backhoe, too.

It’s rewarding to write a story for kids that’s fun and appealing, while at the same time teaching them a little bit about the science of the world around us. The residents of Cecil’s pond, despite their differences, come together for the common good of their shared ecosystem. In the end, they create an environment that works for everyone.

As we make our way through 2018, let’s remember how many creatures live downstream from us and how what we do in our daily lives affects the global ecosystem. My personal goals for 2018 are to be kind to others, to be kind to the environment… oh, and to draw lots more Stinky Cecil comics!


Terrarium Terror is Out!

SC2_COVER_finalThe latest installment in the kids graphic novel series, Stinky Cecil, is here! Join the pond gang and fun new characters in the second hilarious adventure, Stinky Cecil in Terrarium Terror!  Meet Nesbit, Cecil’s scary friend, a philosophical garter snake and third-graders Amelia, Teddy and not-so-nice Edgar.

Cecil and his amphibian pals are taking a well-deserved break after saving their pond from freeway construction when a third-grade science class shows up for a field trip. The kids nab Cecil for their classroom terrarium!

At first Cecil is terrified, but he quickly gets used to being a class pet. That is, until Nesbit the chameleon shows up. Nesbit wants to be just like Cecil, so he matches his colors and follows him all around the terrarium. He’s driving Cecil crazy!

Meanwhile, Cecil’s pals back at the pond are planning a rescue mission using Jeff the hamster’s radio controlled helicopter. But what will they do about Nesbit? Find out!

Author Paige Braddock brought copies of Stinky Cecil in Terrarium Terror! to LumaCon. Stinky Cecil fans gave it two thumbs up.

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Making Stinky Cecil: The Comics Process

Everyone has different ways of making a comic book. But all of us follow the same general steps to bring a comic book page to life. There are four main steps: Pencils, Inks, Flat colors and Final colors. I thought it’d be fun to show one page from the second book in the Stinky Cecil series, Stinky Cecil in Terrarium Terror, as it goes through this transformation.

Step 1: Pencils
Like most cartoonists, I loosely pencil each page of the book. This the “story” phase of the book where I’m figuring out how much text and art will appear on each page. Every page needs to have the right balance of text and art so that you move the story forward at a good pace. The goal is to have each page be visually interesting on its own, but to fit well into the larger story. The penciling phase is probably the most important phase of all.

Step 2: Inks
Inking is probably the most fun for me. This is the stage where I solidify the look of the characters and sharpen their facial expressions.

Step 3: Flat colors

I work with my friend Jose Flores on coloring. I send Jose the inked pages and he sends back flat colors. Basically this means that he assigns a color to each shape that I’ve inked. At this stage, the coloring isn’t final he’s just creating shapes to make the final color easier.
Flat colors

Step 4: Final colors

At this point I create the final look of the page in full color. I change the colors to match the rest of the book and I also add shadowing and texture. It’s really fun to see a finished page come to life.

Final colors

Happy comic book drawing and reading! 

Stinky Cecil Celebrates Earth Month

Operation Pond Rescue cover Author and Creative Director at Schulz M. Creative Associates, Paige Braddock, will be reading from her new graphic novel to celebrate Earth Month.

Released in February 2015, Stinky Cecil in Operation Pond Rescue is the hilarious tale of a group of amphibians (and one free-range hamster) who set out to save their tiny pond home from one very large steamroller.

Mark your calendars for the following
Stinky Cecil Earth Month readings on Tuesday, April 14, 2015:

9:00 AM PST
La Tercera STEM School
Petaluma, California

10:30 AM PST
Miwok Valley School
Petaluma, California

1:00 PM PST
Dunham Elementary School
Petaluma, California

4:00 PM PST
Petaluma, California

Stay tuned for more Stinky Cecil events on, Facebook, and Twitter. We hope to see you there!

Stinky Cecil in Operation Pond Rescue is OUT!!

Operation Pond Rescue coverKids graphic novel Stinky Cecil in Operation Pond Rescue is available for purchase today!

From the Creative Director at Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates and Peanuts illustrator Paige Braddock and amp! Comics for Kids, Stinky Cecil in Operation Pond Rescue is the hilarious tale of a group of amphibians (and one free-range hamster) who set out to save their tiny pond home from one very large steamroller.

Here’s what adults and kids at heart are saying about Stinky Cecil:

“‘Sometimes big stories happen in small places’ and a big, fun, totally enjoyable tale happens right here in Stinky Cecil in Operation Pond Rescue. Paige Braddock has created a loveable cast of quirky animal pals in a very funny and environmentally-friendly adventure. I’m looking forward to the next installment!” — Patrick McDonnell, creator of “Mutts”

“The minute I finished reading this graphic novel, I knew I had a winning title in my hand.” — Esther Keller, School Library Journal

“Braddock’s expertise with the pacing of three-panel comics is on full display.” — Publisher’s Weekly

Recommended for kids ages 7 to 12 years old, kids are lining up to meet Stinky Cecil.

Schulz Museum SigningLumaCON signing

“Cecil is really stinky, but in a good way.” — PB