Monday, June 24, 2024


Cambridge Day is not getting a comics page – not yet, anyway. But starting this weekend, its free email newsletter (subscribe here) adds the first comics panel of work from the artist at Star Jelly on Instagram.

“Star Jelly” is the work of a fine artist who has long loved the medium of comics, but just begun to give them a bigger role – initially, nudged by artist Jake Parker’s 31-day Inktober phenomenon, which gives daily prompts (such as “build” or “dragon”) to get people started improving their art. But with Inktober done and the prompts ended, the “Star Jelly” artist has decided to keep going. (Without yet revealing a name.)

“Inktober was a great opportunity to brazenly dive into making comics. If a panel is bad, oh well – maybe the prompt wasn’t inspiring enough. Just keep drawing,” the artist said. “It prepared me to go forward with ‘Star Jelly.’”

As one-panel strips, the work focuses on flipping expectations on their head – in one, we remember that “toys” has different meanings for people at different ages – and often gives one occupant of that world the realization that what they think is odd is, to others, completely normal. It’s a spin on a kind of humor many might recognize from the world of newsprint.

“I love newspaper funnies. ‘F Minus’ is a favorite; Tony Carrillo is the king of single-panel humor. And my grandparents always had a ‘Far Side’ calendar around for me to gawk at,” the artist said. “Now, my aesthetic is probably Shel Silverstein without all the crying.”

As someone whose talent has been seen on some larger public works around the country, the artist says that “Fine art is … fine.”

“I love Klimt, Monet, Van Gogh, Sargent. Their work has always moved me,” the artist said. “But it’s never made me double over with laughter. To me, that’s the good stuff.”