Comments: 508 • Responses: 73  • Date: 

ActingLikeImNotJimKB206 karma

So, when is this Dear Dumb Diary movie airing?

JimKB195 karma

so glad I you asked. Sept 6 on hallmark channel. Check your listings.

enVicious112 karma

Just want to say thank you for the comics! Very few other comics deliver the same amount of intelligence, emotion and wit so simplistically and beautiful! They can really make my day! :)

JimKB66 karma

That's very kind, enVicious. Thanks for that.

zanzer61 karma

In matters of motivation: Are you doing sketches so frequently in purpose? Did you start with a plan of doing one per day let's say so for it to become a habit. Or everything comes so naturally that you just cannot put down your pen?

JimKB128 karma

I can't help. I just love drawing. I

onefourfive75 karma

Go on...

JimKB294 karma

I stopped to go draw

Comika53 karma

Your comics often reach the front page, people love them and they get millions of views. Why do you link to imgur (I think) instead of to your website? Even if you dont want the ad money, you are missing out on new followers that enjoy what you do and would like to see what else you are doing.

(The comic with the clown face falling off is my personal favorite btw)

JimKB158 karma

IMGUR is fast and easy. The readers don't have to wait, and I personally don't much like ads, so I don't subject others to them.

WithAWaddleAndAQuack47 karma

How many pens/pencils/writing implements do you have on you at any time to note/sketch down random ideas?

JimKB54 karma

At any one time...four or five.

WithAWaddleAndAQuack24 karma

Wow, thanks for answering. Follow up question if I may: do you carry that many because they are useful for different things or because you forgot you already had a couple so grabbed more just in case?

JimKB44 karma

I like different pens for different looks, but mostly it's probably because I have this crazy addiction to drawing supplies.

edman190539 karma

What do you look like?

*Can you sketch yourself and show us?

JimKB75 karma

brownboy1338 karma

Hey Jim! Have you ever drawn a comic but then decided it was too edgy (not the exact word, but I can't think of a better one) to be published/displayed?

JimKB102 karma

Frequently. Something will strike me as funny and I'll take it all the way to completion and then go WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME and file it away.

SimplyQuid57 karma

You should give us an imgur album of all your deep dark comics. Give us a look at the dark side of the moon.

JimKB22 karma

maybe I need an alter ego...

cuahieu35 karma

Hi Mr. Benton, I'm from Vietnam and I'm a huge fan of your Dear Dumb Diary series. Too bad they stopped publishing it after Volume 9. Can you do anything about it? If you don't I think I'm going to kick a puppy.

JimKB42 karma

Thanks, cuahieu. Sometimes the international editions trail the US publishing, but I know that very soon they will all be available as digital books if that helps.

BEEfStU_14032 karma

Is there anything you've sent to the publishers that you immediately regretted? Or anything you published that seemed like a good idea at the time, but not so much when you see it again years later?

JimKB66 karma

Yes. Urgh. I have a kid's book about bereavement that was rejected AND accepted four times. each time, they said "We'll take this is you change the ending". But the ending was really important to me and I couldn't make myself change it. So it remains, unchanged, and unpublished.

nsfw_reddits_acc28 karma

Have you thought about self-publishing over Amazon?

JimKB62 karma

We might do that. My excellent assistant is researching.

BEEfStU_14027 karma

I love the content you bring to reddit; however, I'm wondering if you have ever had any trouble with the admins concerning spam? I believe "reddiquette" states you shouldn't constantly post your original content, but also share other posts from around the internet.

Again, I love when your comics pop up in my feed, and I'm not against what you do.

JimKB53 karma

thanks, BEEfStU_140. /r/comics says this in the sidebar:
Comic artists are welcome to post their own work in whatever format or at whatever host they want. So they're good with it, and a few others are, too. I have been bounced out of a few. Now I message the mods if I'm not sure.

tendoman25 karma

I'm considering trying to publish a book with short stories by my grandfather. It would be a children's book. How does one go about getting started?

JimKB90 karma

I apologize if it sounds blunt, but I'd say the best way to start is to finish. Many people have great ideas inside, and don't take the first step. Many take the first step, but never the last step. Finish your beautiful book and then start contacting publishers. The internet has made them very easy to find.

it_is_abomination24 karma

Have you ever eaten rabbit?

JimKB30 karma

A few times. I like it.

QuestionSleep20 karma

Whoa - I've followed your stuff on here for some time but never realized that you created It's Happy Bunny. As an angsty teenager I really enjoyed it and briefly used "ItsHappyBunny" as an AIM screen name (for whatever reason girls used to change their handles online more than they washed their hair). What was it like to start seeing your creations pop up in retail stores?

JimKB11 karma

When I did It's Happy Bunny, I had already had a few big commercial successes, so I was used to seeing things in stores. I never get tired of it, but it wasn't as shocking as it was the very first time.

rogerology17 karma

I would like to know about your creative process, how do you work on a comic?

JimKB35 karma

I do quick sketches. Super fast and ugly. If it's funny to me, I redraw it and sharpen it up. I work mostly with traditional tools. These first four were scanned and colored-up in photoshop.

roller ball.

dip pen and bottled ink.


brush and bottled ink

I also love working with ink and water color.

CosmicPancakes17 karma

Hey Jim, love your stuff, I don't think you've made a comic yet that I haven't liked.

How do you come up with so many ideas? You seem to come out with fresh comics almost everyday, and I was curious as to your thinking process.

JimKB26 karma

Thanks, CosmicPancakes. I sometimes wake up thinking of one. Other times I say something like Is there anything funny about__________? Occasionally I'll think of genre, like I recently did a few where inanimate objects speak.

Zerrok17 karma

Why are there mostly pointless musical episodes in every show I know from the US? I don't know who else I could ask.

JimKB40 karma

Every Show? Awesome. I can't wait to see The Walking Dead musical. Jazz Hands. I don't know. Musicals are just kind of silly-assed I guess. You don't like them?

Adolf_Hitler__16 karma

Do you of liking Germany? Vould you like to visit one day?

JimKB34 karma

I do like Germany. wait a second....AdolfHitler_????

kazneus16 karma

How did you know you wanted to be a cartoonist?

JimKB36 karma

I never knew a time when I wasn't one. I never thought about what I would do when I grew up. I just figured I'd be a taller and hairier version of myself.

Salacious-16 karma

What is the worst cartoon series ever published in the newspaper cartoon section?

JimKB29 karma

There was one when I was a kid called Dondi that I just hated. I couldn't keep myself from reading it, but for some reason it just set my teeth on edge.

Salacious-24 karma

Family Circus. Got it.

JimKB59 karma

Well, here's the thing about Family Circus. I like the art. I like how tight and retro the drawings are. And when I was a little boy, I liked following those dotted lines around the great big scenes.

toomanygerbils7 karma

Did the art influence your style? What were some of your early influences?

JimKB13 karma

Not really, I was probably more influenced by MAD magazine

zanzer16 karma

Would you say that your everyday sketches belong to the surrealism genre of the new millennia? I have tried to find some inspiration in literature but your art has became my main source.

JimKB20 karma

Yes, I would say that. Mostly I would say that to sound smart.

swiley198315 karma

When are you and Andre3000 finally gonna reunite for a new Outkast record?

JimKB12 karma

Listen, talk to A3K abut that. He has my number.

iloveninjacats14 karma


JimKB12 karma


bertbargo12 karma

my question is why is your title so long?

JimKB41 karma

Too windy? Yeah, sorry about that. I probably should have tried to make it sh

Shezzam10 karma

How exciting to catch you! What is key to your ongoing success, I am almost done with a degree in children's literature and am planning on working in the film industry coupled with writing for people who like magical tales. As i am a creative insomniac who is riddled with anxiety and self doubt, how have you overcome any issues of that nature? Any clues will be greatly appreciated, thank you :)

JimKB18 karma

I think every artistic type has some self-loathing mixed in with generous quantities of egomania. I guess I always think of what I do as kind of a what-the-hell thing. I mean, why shouldn't you tell your tales? What harm can your art possibly bring if you're sincere? Make it, and if needs improvement, then improve it. Some people will hate what you do, but what the hell. You can live with that.

btdailey10 karma

If you had do some other job other than this, what would it be?

JimKB39 karma

I'm a pretty good cook and bartender. So I guess I'd be fatter and drunker.

polkapunk10 karma

Any chance of a Dr. Sheila's Robot book? Or cartoon? Or anything more than the trickle of comics you release that gives us a tiny taste and leaves us hungering for more?

JimKB13 karma

My manager wants me to pitch it to Adult Swim. What do you think?

Peirol10 karma

Do you have any pets?

JimKB13 karma

I don't. I'm crazy about dogs, but we have allergies here.

szp10 karma

How old is Dr. Sheila? Can I marry her? She doesn't deserve the constant abuse. Not that I'll get rid of the robot, though -- his emotional cruelty is amusing. Actually I would be a horrible husband. Never mind I asked.

JimKB15 karma

Dr. Sheila is 31. You may not marry her for reasons I can not yet reveal.

ectopunk9 karma

Considering your impressive body of work, why do you suppose you have been snubbed by Literary Review for its well known annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award, as well as Oprah's Book Club? Also, how's that novel you been writing coming along, hmmm?

JimKB20 karma

I blame the sexlessness that is so rampant in children's literature.

AshleyJean6158 karma

What has been your favorite reaction from a child over one of your comics or books?

JimKB12 karma

They send me pictures of themed birthday parties. Video reviews online are a lot of fun. I get email from parents that say things like "My son would not read until he started reading your Franny K Stein books. Now he reads all the time." Seriously, I can hardly read those without welling up. It's so meaningful to contribute that way to a kid's reading experience. I'm such a drip, but I can't help it.

musical_hog8 karma

Hi, Jim. I like your comics.

Aside from charitable donations, what would you do with a million bucks if it fell into your lap today?

P.S. -- I don't have a million bucks, don't hold your breath

JimKB16 karma

thanks, musical_hog. First, I'd hire a carpenter to fix the latch on the money cabinet directly over my monitor. It's very distracting when millions of dollars fall in your lap while you're doing an AMA. Next, Oh, I don't know. Maybe I'd snap up a teensy pied-à-terre on Manhattan.

musical_hog9 karma


A small living unit usually located in a large city some distance away from an individual's primary residence. It may be an apartment or condominium.

So, which is it, Jim? An apartment or a condominium? The people demand answers.

JimKB10 karma

condo. better returns.

a_calder8 karma

Hi JimKB, I'm a big fan of your work. How long does it take from germinating an idea to finished product?

JimKB10 karma

like a single cartoon? about 30-45 minutes.

Anglaceandwhiskey8 karma

What inspired Happy Bunny?

JimKB13 karma

I do little sketches all the time and pin them up on bulletin boards. If I like something after having looked at a lot, I pursue it. It's Happy Bunny was one of those things.

pacificsun8 karma

How do you go about developing a character that you have a difficult time connecting with? I'm having troubles creating believable characters if I can't identify with them from the start. Also, have you dealt with an editor that tried to drastically change your work? If so, how did you handle it?

JimKB17 karma

enjoy not connecting with them... ridicule them. mock them. make horrible things happen to them. they are your toys—build them and then tear them to shreds.

editors, in my experience, are on your side, and it's valuable to really consider the changes they suggest. my advice: listen quietly, think about it for several days to a week, then address it.

pacificsun5 karma

One final question: Are you still designing T-shirts?

JimKB6 karma

yeah! I love t-shirts

christiaanmeyer7 karma

Hi there! My sister loves Dear Dumb Diary and she has a question:

Are the books inspired by your childhood?

Here's a pic of her holding her favorite book

JimKB10 karma

So glad to hear that! I try to take stuff from everybody's childhood. ( great picture )

elmuchoprez7 karma

I met you in person once years and years ago. While we were talking, I noticed a complete stranger wearing a shirt with your art on it, and I asked if you ever mentioned to people like that that you were the artist. It's entirely possible that I'm remembering this wrong, but in my head you said something like:

Besides seeming a little self-congratulatory, it's easy to let people down in those situations. They buy a shirt because they think it's funny or cool or whatever, then they meet the guy who came up with it and he's just a normal goofy guy. In a random two minute meeting on the street, I'm just as likely to come off as an accountant as I am a comedian. And nobody wants a shirt made by an accountant.

Feel free to correct me if that doesn't sound like something you would say, but regardless, it's a notion that has stuck with me: sometimes it's better to not let them see the man behind the curtain.

Anyways, I bring it up because in recent years you've become incredibly active on reddit. You don't just post your work; you follow up with the replies, comment on other people's work, talk about your methods, do AMAs, etc... at least online, you don't seem to shy away from letting people "behind the curtain" any more. Has your opinion on this changed? Do you find that the internet has provided a new avenue for letting people see the person behind your work? Was it a conscious decision or did it just happen?

Or am I just remembering everything about this wrong?

JimKB6 karma

I'm sure it was something like that. The difference is that people here ASK to see behind the curtain. And I only share the things I think are interesting. Nobody wants to hear about that big red sore on my a

Knuckleballerr6 karma

What made you start writing comics? You do great work btw! :)

JimKB12 karma

Thanks, Knuckleballerr. I've drawn since I was two. Unreliable reports say it was Mickey Mouse. They're just a great way to make people laugh, and if you were born a jackass inside, you can't help but pursue that, I think.

TheReasonableCamel6 karma

Hey Jim, just wanted to say I'm a big fan of your comics. This one and this one are two of my favourites. I was wondering how much time you spend making a comic and if you ever get tired of doing it?

JimKB3 karma

thanks, TheReasonableCamel. They're all different. I had to look up images for that star wars cartoon. It probably took 30-45minutes. Some go very quickly--15 minutes or so. Some might take an hour. I never get tired of it.

Sonofarakh6 karma

Which artists/writers/cartoonists do you look up to the most?

JimKB7 karma

It would take me an hour to list them all. How about just a few: charles addams, gahan wilson, charles schultz,

GoofyLookingBastard6 karma

Shortly after finding the greatest pumpkin in the world 4 panel comic, I discovered I had seen quite a bit of your work around the internet. I want more but find myself overwhelmed as to where to start.

What would be your recommended way/order to consume your creations? Is there a difference between where you would place the "START HERE" marker of your universes for adults and children?

( Please let me know where I (and my children, if different) can start, then feel free to get back to me later if you need to. )

JimKB10 karma

Here's the WEBSITE "Comics" is listed on the top menu

Most of the cartoons I do these days are right here on GOOD OL'REDDIT

Here's a link to my DAILY SKETCHES LOTS of images here. some are comical, some are just drawings for the sake of drawing.

And my Twitter where I sometimes post stuff I don't post any place else.

Not all of the stuff here is okay for children—here are some swears and comical violence. I'd have a look before I turned the kids loose. .

for kids, depending on their ages, my books are better:

pxtang6 karma

Whenever I'm bored/upset/sad I just go through the submitted section of your userpage. Thank you so much for sharing so much on reddit when you could be putting it on your site to drive traffic and sales.

Uh, I need a question, so... Where do you get most of your inspiration from?

JimKB3 karma

thanks, pxtang. I don't really know where it comes from. When I pick up the pen, something is already coming out of it.

heyyitskait5 karma

I had a sticker of Happy Bunny saying "Wow. You're Ugly." on my car window for the whole 7 years I had it. It got many laughs and comments. It also became one with the window. So somewhere out there, there's a green Grand Am with a permanent Happy Bunny on the back passenger window.

So, thanks for that. Also, I really like the comics you post.

JimKB3 karma

thanks, heyyitskait. wow that's some good damn glue

elmuchoprez5 karma

I imagine many aspiring writers and illustrators have reached out to you for career advice. Have you ever reviewed someone's work and told them they don't have the chops to cut it?

JimKB10 karma

I've told them that I thought they needed more practice before they jumped in the shark tank. One person in particular contacted me years later and thanked me for advising them to hold off a bit.

guy82145 karma

Were there any times when you were becoming the famous artist that you are now that you wondered if you could really make it as an artist? Did you have any side jobs until you made it?

JimKB11 karma

I was always too arrogant to wonder. In high school I worked at a burger king for 2 weeks.

dMage4 karma

No question here, just a big thank you for all your work! I have a few Bentons hanging up in my living room, couldn't have been happier

JimKB3 karma

I'm honored, dMage. Thanks,

osvchk4 karma

The reddit comic in the proof picture is pretty funny.

JimKB4 karma

thanks, osvchk.

bentonliu4 karma

I just wanted to say that I loved you books when I was a fourth grader.

The only reason I chose your book is because your last name is my first name haha.

JimKB6 karma

I'm glad you didn't choose based on my first name. You could have been the only fourth grader reading 50 shades of grey.

Lizard3 karma

Okay, the one thing I really want to know: Will Dr. Sheila ever find the happy ending she is hoping for?

Also, any real life inspirations for Dr. Sheila and/or her Robot? I just love their strips :)

JimKB4 karma

I'm not sure about that, Lizard. I have a lot of questions about the relationship myself.

ectopunk3 karma

You know, that novel, the one you told me about, the one you been thinking on, that idea you mentioned, hmm, how's it, coming along, hmmm?

JimKB4 karma

I don't know who you are, but you sound like an editor...

gongonzabarfarbin3 karma

Thank you for all that the comics that you post here. I get all warm and fuzzy everytime I see a post by you.

What's your favorite dinosaur?

JimKB5 karma

Helen Mirren

ryopwns3 karma

You smell like butt.

JimKB5 karma

applies new AX body spray

smells worse

monkeyfish993 karma

What is your favorite comic?

JimKB7 karma

IMPOSSIBLE to answer. There are so many great ones. As newspapers and magazines have started to vanish, we've lost so many, but the web has made a million more available. I kind of go on an individual cartoon-by-cartoon basis: everybody has their strong days and their not-so-strong days.

intis3 karma

I just want to say thanks for your work - it's very funny and I like it. Keep up the good work!

JimKB3 karma

thanks, intis

emperor_of_downvotes3 karma

I am your fan. So lovely, equal cuteness to Bruno Bozzetto's works. Thank you.

JimKB3 karma

thanks, emperor_of_downvotes

TheRockLobster3 karma

What is your favorite Happy Bunny?

JimKB6 karma

Not sure it was my favorite, but I did one that said "You look hot. I hope they filled your water dish." Nobody thought it was funny but me.

gadimus3 karma

Do you ever fear that future civilizations will refer to your work as something similar to Garfield?

JimKB5 karma

HAW. Not really. People are free to see things however they want. I make it, they judge it. That's the only deal I've been offered.

huffglue5302 karma

Any tips to become a better writer?

JimKB3 karma

I worked for Writer's Digest for ten years and the advice often renders down to a couple things: Write often, and finish things. Also, the secret of writing is rerighting rewriting.

Wood_Carving_Partita2 karma

Mr. Benton, I love your work sooooo much! Please, answer, this question is killing me: what do you usually eat for breakfast?

JimKB2 karma

Thnaks, Wood_Carving_Partita.

Coffee. Some sort of bread-like object. Bagel maybe or roll.