Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Big Pond Comics Manifesto!


That's the manifesto of BIG POND COMICS! I began Big Pond in 2001 with the launch of my online and onGOING webcomic, Dandy & Company and it has expanded as the umbrella under which all of my own creations and key collaborations.

As a solo creator, I've published Dandy & Company, Scarred World: The Chronicles of Aegis, Apparition, Marjorie of the Weirdlings, Finding Dee and The Wellkeeper. Working with other creators like Martin Dunn, Marc Hammond and Valerie Stern, I've helped create Hooray for Harold, FETCH: An Odyssey and Tails to Amaze.

But the one thing all of the comics I've made have in common is that driving creed. I make the comics nobody else is making. The books that I would spend my own money to buy if it was already out there. I make the books that I would want to read.

It's really that simple. Now go and make some comics!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Finding Dee at MegaCon 2017!

The Orlando MegaCon is back this May 25-28, 2017, and so am I! And this time, I'm getting hilariously REAL!

My newest #webcomic, Finding Dee, is premiering as a #comicbook collecting the first 24 #strips of my semi-autobiographical #comicstrip!

#FindingDee is a semi-autobiographical look at the life of a 40-something cartoonist trying to find herself, navagate life as a transgender woman, and maintain a career as a cartoonist with a long resume with some guy's name on it.

Finding Dee can be found with new strips every Saturday at

The final cover may change between now and May, but you've been warned!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

"Finding Dee" launches!

Check out the premier strip of the new webcomic I'm experimenting with concerning my thoughts on the trials, tribulations and assorted nonsense surrounding MY experiences being a transgender woman. Brace yourselves... That be salty language ahead. Lol.

You can read new observations and get a chuckle at my expense monthly at

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Making Marjorie of the Weirdlings

Hey there, Dee Fish here. For those of you that don't know me, I'm the creator and artist of the webcomic "Dandy & Company" and the graphic novel "The Wellkeeper". As an artist and storyteller, I've also co-created and drew the Hashtag Comics series "Carpe Noctem" and have drawn stories for the IDW comics "Atomic Robo", "Star Mage" and "White Chapel" and the Image Comics "The Perhapanauts" and "The Mice Templar".

That bit of exposition aside, I wanted to do a little "step by step" blog showing the techniques I'm using to bring my latest concept to life, a comic called "Marjorie of the Weirdlings". It's a new comic I'm working on centering on a young Transgender girl named Marjorie that discovers a ring that transports her to a weird and dangerous world of monsters called Weirdlings. But when she's there, she becomes the most powerful Weirdling of them all and has a serious problem: Why go home at all when you discover a magical fantasy world where you get to kick butt.

So here is a step by step of the creation of a single page from start to finish.

Step 1 is the clean line inks. Drawn on a standard sheet of Canson 11" x 17" blue lined comic board, I ink over blue pencils using a Pentel Stylo inking pen and a Pentel Pocket brush. This initial step is purposely free of rendering and is inked in a clean, open style. I scan the art in at high res and place the art in Adobe Photoshop for production.

Step 2 is the rendered inks. Using the same Pentel Stylo, I add rendering to add volume, texture, light and shadows. I re-scan the art at this step, placing it as a separate layer over the clean line inks.

Step 3 is the reduction of opacity on the rendered layer to 50%. This creates the grey rendering level used for black and white printing that I feel gives the art an animated and unique feel.

Step 4 is the application of flat colors to the line art. I decided that this comic really needs COLOR to make the WeirdWorld pop and come to proper life. I used a gradient here for the sickly yellow sky of the Weirdworld which is on a separate layer in Adobe Photoshop.

Step 5 uses the rendering line work to add modeling and depth to the color. Using the rendered line art layer, I create a selection that I can fill using darker, slightly tinted color from the flats. This enables me to give the art a modeled and rounded feel with only the line art and not the colors.

Step 6 applies a painterly texture layer over the background elements to add additional mood and texture. This is applied ONLY to the sky, rocks and smoke and helps pop the characters even more.

From here, it's a matter of adding the lettering and it's on to the next page. I hope you enjoyed this little behind the scenes peak of the Making of "Marjorie of the Weirdlings"!

The black and white, 12 page preview of the premier issue is now available as a part of "The Big Pond Comics Sampler #1" and can be ordered for JUST $3.50, online along with all the rest of my titles.



Monday, October 24, 2016

"Marjorie of the Weirdlings" Preview!

So, here’s a 6 page preview of my latest adventure. A comic called “Marjorie of the Weirdlings”, that will be premiering the weekend of October 28th at MEGACON TAMPA!

But now onto the content of page 6. This is the page that establishes Marjory as transgender. The page I expect to get some poop over.

When designing the character, I realized early on that she had to be trans. I was putting a LOT of my childhood frustrations, identity and anger issues on the page wrapped in an otherwise fun, magical adventure. But I quickly realized that Marjorie was me. But a me that was able to come out and live as she knew she should decades before me.

I agonized over the exact verbiage she should use in her narrative. I wanted her descriptions to avoid specific labels or politically correct press release speak. She's a 13 year old transgender girl, not a political activist. Nor am I trying to have her description fit into any one sub groups agenda by using specific buzz word definitions.

Ultimately, I wanted her description to seem fitting for a kid that knows what she is but has a hard time finding the words to express that. So I used the verbiage that felt natural to ME when I was thinking about myself at that age.

I understand that there are some folks that will take issue with her describing herself as being born with "boy Parts" as that is not the currently accepted terminology. It implies that the shape of our genitals is automatically gendered. I GET all of that. But for the life of me, I couldn't justify having that kind of philosophical tightrope walking coming out of this characters proverbial mouth.

When I was still struggling with myself in this, I wasn't thinking in such terms. I still partly don't. I, as a 41 year old trans woman, don't think of what is between my legs as female anatomy regardless of my ever strengthening gender identity. I have decades of reinforcement in the opposite direction to overcome. So, for me, I wanted Marjorie's thoughts to mirror my own from he point of view of a very young person trying to express very mature concepts. I felt that her thoughts and experiences in this area needed to be honest.

So, if her specific verbiage upsets you, I am sorry. But I had to be honest as a writer and write truthfully for my character. Life is a never ending journey of self-discovery and this character is on that same journey.

If the book finds an audience and continues past this first issue, then I will have the time to explore this aspect of her and allow those ideas to evolve. But I do hope you can understand why I'm expressing this concept as I am choosing to.