Oni will collect Derek M. Ballard’s ‘Cartoonshow’ in August

The online strips pull from Ballard’s own life as a single father.

Oni Press has announced plans to collect Cartoonshow, the online comic strips of animator Derek M. Ballard, in August.

Ballard, who has worked on the megahit Adventure Time for Cartoon Network and on Netflix’s The Midnight Gospel, created the strips based on his own life as a single father.

“This book of cartoons is a whole slew of dumb, funny, embarrassing and true things that happened to my kids and me. Stuff that befalls average families every single day,” Ballard said. “Oni Press made it possible to support my family while I brought my uncompromised scribbly vision to the page. That’s a big deal. Unbelievable really. Extra special thanks to my editor Zack Soto.”

Here’s the description from Oni Press:

Derek is a solo parent raising three kids in the American South while trying to make art. Told in a series of free-flowing and often hilarious comic essays, Cartoonshow gets to the heart of the struggle to be a creative person in a society that doesn’t value anything other than how much it can grind out of you. Covid, poverty, the failing social safety net, predatory lenders, and literal acts of God can’t stop our hero! 

“I think Derek’s comics are truly Great—like capital GC Great Cartooning, and the issues he’s talking about are important, under-discussed stuff. It’s like Hi & Lois but with a social/political consciousness,” Soto said. “Working with Derek and designer Carey Soucey to bring Cartoonshow to life in its current form was one of the more rewarding collaborative experiences in my editorial career to date, and I can’t wait for everyone to pick up a copy!”

Look for it in stores on Aug. 2.

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