**HEY GUYS! Thank you so much for joining me tonight! As much as I'd love to stick around, it's time to feed my very hungry & cranky toddler dinner. I tried my best to answer everyone's questions in the order I got them, but this was my first time on Reddit and got a bit overwhelmed! Thank you so much for everyone who took the time to ask me questions, and so sorry if I wasn't able to get to yours. Feel free to message me on my Facebook page with any questions, any time. Thanks again!!*

Hi, I'm Liz!

I am a comic artist, children's book author and animator. I have worked as an artist on The Simpsons for over ten years.

I have a Tumblr site, LizClimo.Tumblr.com, that I post comics to whenever I can. If you're interested, you can find a book of those comics right here: http://www.runningpress.com/book/hardcover/the-little-world-of-liz-climo/9780762452385

My first children's book, Rory the Dinosaur: Me and My Dad, will be available in just a few weeks! You can pre-order it here: http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/liz-climo/rory-the-dinosaur-me-and-my-dad/9780316277280/

Please feel free to ask me some questions, and I'll be happy to answer, as long as they're not: too personal (because, privacy!), too mean (because, come on guys that's not cool) or about math (because I won't know the answer). Thanks, everyone!

Proof! https://twitter.com/elclimo/status/585950111798206464

Comments: 239 • Responses: 63  • Date: 

AreYouDreaming328 karma

As a children's book author, what do you think of this non-comissioned drawing my 3 year old son did of my penis?

lizclimo292 karma

Non-comissioned? You mean someone didn't pay him for that? It's stunning.

DanaKaye102 karma

How have your characters evolved since launching your blog? Do you draw them in the same way or have they changed/grown up?

lizclimo96 karma

I think the characters have all sort of developed personalities, and totally on accident. A lot of them have taken on the personalities of my friends. I draw them using the same tools/program, but the style has definitely evolved a bit.

acronyms68 karma

I have my favorite Simpsons episodes, but those favorites are all based on the plot of the episode. From an animation standpoint, what are a few of your favorites?

PS. Rory is my favorite cartoon animal since Hobbes.

lizclimo83 karma

first of all, THANK YOU that is the nicest compliment. Favorite episode: And Maggie Makes Three

jungle-boogie47 karma

Did you ever doodle yourself into the background of a Simpsons episode? Also, were there any episodes you particularly loved working on?

Also, I love your comics! :)

lizclimo64 karma

I have definitely tried to sneak in a character who looks a bit like me, or a friend, or a relative, but only in the background, and only if it works with the rest of the scene :) I really loved working on "The Girl Who Slept Too Little" - such a cool and fun episode!!

CatchThisDrift43 karma

What exactly does an animatic layout artist do?

lizclimo53 karma

Good question! We work with the storyboard artist (who stages all of the shots in the episode) to help clean up the characters and come up with the acting.

snickerdoodle8541 karma

Hi Liz! I was just wondering where you get your inspiration from? I love all of your comics, they always bring a smile to my face even on the gloomiest of days.

lizclimo36 karma

Thank you so much!! From my friends, mostly. And just observing stuff around me. I go on a lot of walks!

Origamipana26 karma

What animal would you like to include in your drawings that you haven't done yet?

lizclimo70 karma

I really want to draw a waterbear (or tardigrade), but haven't come up with an idea yet - THEY'RE SO LITTLE AND WEIRD. I love them.

kicksticks24 karma

Was it always your goal to draw for a living? What was the turning point for you?

lizclimo55 karma

It was! Getting the job on The Simpsons, after just being rejected from San Jose State's animation program, gave me a boost in confidence that I desperately needed. It was a huge turning point for me.

Larsson6916 karma

Hi Liz, which is your favourite animal/favourite animal to draw?

lizclimo30 karma

Hi! I really love pigs and sloths, and I love drawing them as well. I also love dogs - but I don't like to draw dogs or cats, I think because it's been done so much already it's difficult to come up with my own unique style.

volve13 karma

Hi Liz, thanks for doing an AMA!

How much personality do you get to give to your work on the Simpsons? Specifically if the writers have an idea that you're trying out some sketches for, but feel a different vibe for the character or scene, what opportunities do you have to give feedback?

Really love your comics! Thanks!

lizclimo18 karma

Thank you so much for visiting!! :D I really don't have any creative say in the writing process, that is all left up to the writers at Fox (and it's in very good hands there!) The only creative license I get to take is with the acting, where I actually have a lot of freedom.

aengelberg13 karma

Is there a particular cartoonist or artist you would want to collaborate with?

lizclimo37 karma

I would love to do a collaboration with some other female cartoonists - Marlo Meekins, Kate Beaton, Allie Brosh, etc. That would be so neat.

GelatinousPower9 karma

Hi, Liz!

I really love your comics and the sense of your quirkiness really shines through in each of them. However, here in Houston, I haven't seen any of your birthday cards at any of my Targets! It's actually quite frustrating.

Anyways, my question is this: where does your unique sense of humor come from?

lizclimo14 karma

Hi! Thank you! They are actually still just testing the cards in a small amount of stores right now, which is probably why you haven't seen any yet (but if you do, please let me know!) I definitely got my sense of humor from my mom, she was so funny! She always encouraged me to laugh, and not to be afraid of finding the humor in things.

ems4269 karma

Hi Liz! You're the best. I've always wondered, do each of your characters have voices that you imagine whenever you write their dialogue?

p.s. Your hammerhead shark is my favorite :)

lizclimo16 karma

Hi! You are! They all sort of have the same voice - sort of a naive, sweet, raspy sounding little kid. (And thanks!)

downtherabbittrail9 karma

Hello! I am very interested in writing and illustrating children's books -- is it very difficult to get started in the field? Many years ago, there was a directory that listed publishers called the Writer's and/or Illustrator's Guide. Is there a similar reference contact guide that is especially helpful? Thank you for doing this IAMA. I will definitely look for your books.

lizclimo11 karma

Thank you so much for stopping by! I'd say your best bet is to try and find an agent, they are super helpful when it comes into breaking into the business! And they give great feedback when you're coming up with ideas (mine does, anyway :D)

livejamie7 karma

What's your favorite joke?

lizclimo17 karma

I've been trying to come up with the answer to this and am totally drawing a blank, and since I'm running out of time I'm just going to tell you who some of my favorite comedians are! Louis CK, Paul F Tomkins, Maria Bamford!

TheRedFoxx7 karma

In the cartoon of Rory arranging his dad to make him hug him (link below), do you identify with Rory or with his dad?

For the record, I have a print of that because I'm totally Rory.


lizclimo5 karma

Rory :) Definitely Rory.

SpaghettiSauced7 karma

Hi Liz! What's your favorite sandwich? Love your comics! _^

lizclimo22 karma

BEST QUESTION. You win. Something with a lot of cheese. All the cheese. And avocado and pickles and onions and lettuce and I could spend all night on this question.

Mattia917 karma

Hi Liz! Huge fan here! My girlfriend and me really love your works! I bought her your book for valentine's day, best present ever! I'd like to ask you: 1. How can you keep your work being so funny and cute for children even if sometimes there is quite a bit of "adult humor"? 2. If I mail you a picture of my 12 years old dog, can you lizclimoize her? (Just jocking, but there she is... Just in case...) http://imgur.com/9RyCd4O

lizclimo8 karma

Ha, Thank you! I wish I could but I don't have time right now :( And I think it's just because I draw that way, even though my sense of humor tends to be more "adult"

idunnoausername7 karma

Hi Liz! I wanted to say thank you for your awesome comics and for doing this the day before my birthday! I love them a lot and it always makes me smile to see a new one on my Tumblr dashboard, even if I'm having the worst day ever. You rock! Keep doing what you do!

As for my question, what got you into comics and animation? Was it a lifelong goal or something that developed later?

lizclimo16 karma

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOMORROW! It's been a lifelong goal, I've always loved comics and was always a HUGE fan of The Simpsons. I was lucky enough to get a job on the show pretty young, it took a bit more time to start doing the comics.

DangerAndExcellence7 karma

How do you comment on reposts of your material on sites like Funnyjunk, 9GAG etc? I remember Oatmeal having very strict views regarding this, especially with blanking out the author's signature/watermark. On the other hand, if it wasn't for those reposts I personally wouldn't have been introduced to either you or Oatmeal etc that soon.

Oh, and an obligatory "I love your work" is really in order, I think your comics are both hilarious and touching. Hopefully you'll get translated to Croatian some day, I'd love that someday my kids would get to read your book as one of their firsts.

lizclimo10 karma

Thank you so much, I would love it if my work is translated to Croation - that would be awesome. I am always super grateful when my work gets exposure, especially if it eventually leads back to my original postings. It is, however, a bummer when my name & credit gets removed. I usually ask to be credited, or to have the post taken down if the person is unwilling.

pjdrr6 karma

Hi Liz! I love your comics!! Are your characters related to/ based on anyone in your life?

lizclimo9 karma

Hi! Thank you! Yes! Here are a couple examples: the bear and rabbit (in that order) are based on me & my husband, and the super nice collared lizard is based on my pal edwin

3uu5 karma

Hi Liz! How long does it take you to come up w/ a comic idea? And then how long does it take you to draw it? Thanks for doing this; I love your comics!

lizclimo3 karma

Thanks so much!!! An idea usually just comes to me, sometimes quickly and other times not at all! That's the harder part, drawing them usually only takes about 20 min or so.

mankind_is_beautiful5 karma

Can you do a very quick sketch of Homer and the Reddit logo holding hands victoriously?

I know you got better things to do so I'll ask a question you can answer instead too; I've got a baby girl on the way in about 2 months, how much longer do I have before I have to have your book?

lizclimo9 karma

I wish I could!! And congrats on your baby, I have a 1 1/2 year old girl :) The book is available next month, May 5!

ratstrangler5 karma

Love your work and I'd just like to know if ... you have an animal character you've not used yet because you're waiting for something special or super relevant to happen?

lizclimo9 karma

I've been trying to find a reason to draw a water bear!!

aengelberg5 karma

Waffles or pancakes?

lizclimo17 karma

chocolate chip pancakes


Did you ever have any formal artistic training?

lizclimo13 karma

Yes and no. I took classes in high school, and attempted a degree in animation in college, but was rejected from the program. Most of what I've learned has been on the job, and from my super talented coworkers.

DoodleBug93615 karma

Hello I met you when you were in LA for the release of your book and I just wanted to tell you you're awesome!

My question is:

What is the best advice you can give to someone starting out in the writing world?

lizclimo7 karma

Hello! Thank you! Nice to talk to you again, thanks so much for coming to that :) I'm actually still sort of starting out myself - when I try to write anything longer than a children's book, it's still a struggle! For me, having someone you can bounce ideas off of (a writing partner, an editor, a friend you trust) really helps.

ReshenKusaga5 karma

Hi, Liz! Super big fan of your work! It never fails to give me a little boost in my mood when it comes across my dash on tumblr.

Where did you happen to get the inspiration for each of the recurring animals?

lizclimo5 karma

Hello! Thank you so much, that's so nice of you to say! Some of the animals I just really like to draw (like the sloth, and the penguins) and others are inspired by my friends. The collared lizard, for instance, was inspired by my dear friend Edwin

UnnaturalSelection135 karma

Are the animals/people etc you draw ever inspired by real people? :)

lizclimo6 karma

Yes! The bear and rabbit are my husband and I, for instance :)

fuckinmiracles4 karma

From where do you get your jokes and/or the inspiration for your comics?

lizclimo3 karma

Mostly just observation, I sort of just go on walks and look around and try to let ideas come to me. My friends give me a lot of inspiration, too.

gobears814 karma

How has the Simpsons changed over the last 10 years? What are qualities the Simpsons staff looks for in applicants? Were you a Simpsons fan in high school?

lizclimo8 karma

I was a huge fan in high school! The biggest change over the past 10 years is probably the process, we used to draw on paper and now (although it's still traditional animation, rather than computer) all the drawings are done in a computer using a wacom tablet.

Hichtec4 karma

What is your favorite animated TV show? ("The Simpsons" answer doesn't count!)

lizclimo14 karma

To name a few! - South Park, Adventure Time, Ren and Stimpy, Harvey Beaks (a new show on Nickelodeon I was lucky enough to work on - it's awesome!) and nothing quite compares to Avatar The Last Airbender & Legend of Korra. I know i'm missing some, I'll probably remember at like midnight and be kicking myself

carlito7way3 karma

whats your day to day inspiration to create such amazing comics?

lizclimo6 karma

Just day to day life! That might seem like sort of a lame answer, but I promise it's true!

DoYourHomeworkFirst3 karma

What was your inspiration behind your children's book? My son is almost three and this might be a great book to read to him :)

lizclimo5 karma

I think it will be, I hope he likes it! It's based on my memories of being little mostly, but now that I have my own daughter (1 1/2!) the stories are based on my experiences with her :)

dranten2 karma


I have recently bought a Wacom tablet and have been sketching a little bit, just to try it out. What does your setup (software etc.) look like when drawing outside of work?

lizclimo4 karma

I have a cintiq tablet, first generation! I love it.

mollyfin2 karma

Aside from Rory and his dad, do you have a favorite adorable animal character in your strips? (Mine is the helpful frilled lizard. He just makes me smile so much.)

lizclimo3 karma

I love him, too :) I like the bear, but maybe that's just because I relate to him the most.

wray_nerely2 karma

Any plans to make toys of any of your cartoon characters? I want to hug them all.

lizclimo3 karma

Hopefully very soon!! I'll keep everyone posted

UnnaturalSelection132 karma

What drew (pun not intended I'm sorry) you to children's animation? :)

lizclimo3 karma

Ha, I have always been drawn to it actually (pun intended), even since I was little. Maybe I just never grew out of it?

WibbleFluff2 karma

Which Simpsons character were your favourites to draw?

lizclimo5 karma

Milhouse!!! And Maggie :)

bafflethewaffle2 karma

hi Liz! What's your favorite comic you've drawn so far? Also, is the sense of humor in your comics like your sense of humor in real life? What made you first start drawing comics in the first place, and what do you think has been most helpful in making you improve? What are the biggest improvements you've noticed? (Sorry for all the questions -- I love your comics, and I'm so curious about the process!)

lizclimo4 karma

Hey! Sorry, I am running out of time - but my favorite comic so far I think is the one where the Lizard has turned himself into a kite for his friend :)

matagyula2 karma

Hi Liz! First of all, thanks for bringing a smile to our faces and hearts every now and then! :) As for the question - your comics are cute all the time, how do you balance all this cuteness in your life? Do you listen to black metal between drawing sessions, or play a multiplayer round of Call of Duty?

lizclimo4 karma

That is actually not far from the truth at all. Can you see into my windows at night?

BeerAndABurger2 karma

Hey Liz, first and foremost I want to thank you for your awesome comics, they always bring a smile to my face when I need it, now onto my question(s); What artist inspired you to start drawing and who inspires you most now? Also Coke or Pepsi? Burger or Hotdog?

lizclimo3 karma

Thank you so much!!! Gary Larson, Burger, coke!

oifella2 karma

Hi Liz, love your comics, they make me guffaw and laugh so hard, I love how simple and beautiful they are. My question is about the simpsons though, mainly how did you get a job animating there? Thanks, keep up the awesome work :)

lizclimo3 karma

Thank you so much! I was very lucky, I got in at the right time (when they were looking for new hires) and had a friend help mentor me on my entrance test

sztownsend812 karma

How long does it take you to complet a comic (from conception to tumblr post)?

lizclimo2 karma

Usually not too long. Coming up with the ideas is the hardest part - I usually go on walks in the morning, that's where I try and come up with the ideas. The drawings usually only take about 20 min or so.

black_flag_4ever2 karma

Did you work ever work directly with Harry Shearer and is he really that difficult?

lizclimo2 karma

I haven't worked with him directly, so I will take a guess - no, he's wonderful!

DMR_AC2 karma

Have you met any of the voice actors on the Simpsons? If yes, who?

lizclimo2 karma

I had the pleasure of meeting Julie Kavner while working on the movie, she is so nice! I have seen the others at various premiere parties and such, but I don't know them personally.

Batrachot0xin2 karma

If you could be the best in history at anything in the world for three days, what would it be and how would you use your new skills?


  1. If your answer is "cartoonist" say so, and then answer for your second choice.
  2. You're amazing.

lizclimo3 karma

  1. figure skater
  2. thank you!

burnwise2 karma

Hi, Liz! I believe learning from mistakes are important, but what would you do differently if you were starting over your career? Are there plans for a portuguese version of your books? Your comics are lovely!! Thanks for that.

lizclimo2 karma

Thank you, not sure yet about the Portuguese books but I'll let you know! If I were starting over I would try and have more confidence and be less afraid in general.

atonomouse2 karma

What is your favorite shading technique? your favorite type of line? Your favorite medium?

lizclimo2 karma

I only do one line, really - super clean. I love drawing on the computer or with a sharpee on paper

tony_chen02272 karma

Hello Liz, first I'd just like to say I love your comics! I show them to my friends all the time, and we all get great laughs out of them! :) That said, what do you think is the single, most important thing every artist must do/have in order to be successful? Thank you for doing this AMA! :)

lizclimo2 karma

Thank you so much! And, as corny as it sounds, keep trying - but also be willing to accept criticism in order to grow.

NorbitGorbit2 karma

what's the workflow on the simpsons like -- do you draw on cels to get scanned in, or directly on tablets, etc...? How is it different than working on your book?

lizclimo2 karma

We draw directly into tablets, and it's different in the sense that I have much more creative freedom when working on my own books.

hallflukai2 karma

I follow a lot of webcomics, and I think yours are one of my favorites. They're so minimal and simple and it's nice to get a break from life every once in awhile and just watch the adventures of some dinosaurs!

I guess I should ask a question. What music do you listen to while drawing, if any?

lizclimo2 karma

Thank you so much! And podcasts, mostly.

shaktown2 karma

Hi, Liz! I really love comics, and children's books, and I REALLY love animals, so I am wondering how you decided to make animals your main subjects in your comics?

lizclimo5 karma

I am terrible at drawing people! Also, I love animals :)

Gerbie30002 karma

Hi Liz,

I love your style and the comics you draw, but which comic took the longest to create and which one just flew out of you?

lizclimo2 karma

Thank you so much! I can always draw the comics with the snake and rat super fast, because they're really easy to draw. One of the more complicated comics that comes to mind is the one with the octopus hugging his pals.

hollabackguuurl2 karma

I love your comics! I had no idea you worked on the Simpsons until your AMA.

What does a typical day look like in your life ?

lizclimo1 karma

get up at 630 with a baby, get coffee, try to think of comics on my walk, come home, draw for hours, eat dinner, watch tv, go to bed!

DrawbridgeSyndrome2 karma

Can you actually play the ukulele? Play us a song.

lizclimo3 karma

No, I can't! So, no. You would hate it.

DWells552 karma

How did you get into art/drawing, and when did you decide you would make a career out of it?

By the way, bought your book for my girlfriend this Christmas and it was a huge hit. We both love your work and it always makes us smile. :)

lizclimo2 karma

Thank you so much!!! I've always loved to draw, ever since I was a kid :)

itstheworstidea1 karma

Hi! When did you start realizing your art was getting so popular? Was it just something that took you by surprise?

lizclimo1 karma

Hi! Yes! It all happened in an afternoon, actually. One comic, the "Turtle and Hare" one I did a couple years back, got a ton of attention one day and a bunch of notes on Tumblr, it all sort of took off from there!

Nozmog1 karma

Hey Liz, do you have a favourite comic artist or cartoonist? If so, why are they!

Love your work so keep it up! :)

lizclimo6 karma

Hey! I love Gary Larson, Bill Watterson, Kate Beaton, Allie Brosh... to name a few!

bazingahead1 karma

Why do all of your characters look lazy? just my opinion

lizclimo5 karma

Because they are. They live in a world without backgrounds, wouldn't you be?