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Webcomic / So... You're a Cartoonist?

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Portrait of the artist as a young bear.


So... You're a Cartoonist? is a webcomic started by Tom Preston (real name Andrew Dobson) in 2011. SYAC is a comedic autobiographical comic about Tom Preston’s life as an unemployed cartoonist and the challenges he faces day-to-day both on and off net.

Until June 2015 it was available on the artist's DeviantArt page but is now only being updated on his website. Unfortunately, it went hiatus since 2017, and many of its strips deleted. Many of the strips survived thanks to blogs talking about Dobson's work.

Both Preston himself and SYAC are controversial among many circles, so please exercise discretion.


So... You're a Cartoonist? provides examples of:

  • Art Evolution: In the older comics Preston drew himself as a human but later pages show him as a blue bear.
  • Art Shift: Happens occasionally. Example.
  • Asian Speekee Engrish: When he was younger he had a Chinese roommate who had immigrated recently and thus didn't speak English very well.
  • Author Avatar: Tom Preston a.k.a Andrew Dobson, is the protagonist of the comic. He originally represented himself with a cartoon version of him, then a younger looking man, only to end up as a small, blue anthropomorphic bear.
  • Based on a Great Big Lie: There is a strip about a Power Girl cosplayer getting harrased, and Dobson portrays himself as saving that poor girl from the man by violently attacking him with a bat. The strip is based on a real life incident where a Power Girl cosplayer allowed herself to be taken photos, and no harrasment whatsoever happened to her. A photo of the event can be found with Andrew Dobson in the background.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Preston's is (or was) artists thinking they can skip learning the basics because they draw manga. In fact manga and anime seem to be Berserk Buttons for him in general.
    • He also hates misogyny and sexism.
  • Black Bead Eyes: One-shot characters often have them, and Persistent Pam have these as part of her design.
  • invokedCaptain Obvious Aesop: Brought up in this strip. Preston says he's thinking of making a comic addressing terrorism or gun control. His friend argues that criticizing something everyone already hates takes no real effort. Preston thus decides to give himself a challenge and deliberately unleash a flame war... about Mario.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Andrew Dobson's former girlfriend was a recurring character in the strips, but she stopped appearing when she and Dobson broke up.
  • Dumb Blond: In a strip using the cast of Alex Ze Pirate, author Andrew Dobson depicts the winner of a beauty contest, who is blond, as a dumb broad. The woman is asked what her opinion is on gay marriage, and the woman, in her stupidity, mumbles that "marriage is like between a man and a woman", only for main character Atea to kick her yelling "Lesbian kick!" because she can't stand ignorance. The audience then congratulates her for her assault.
    This strip is based on real life model Carrie Prejean who during Miss Usa 2009 was asked her opinion regarding gay marriage, which she replied that due to her upbringing she believed in traditional marriage. Dobson characterized her as a dumb bimbo who barely speaks coherently.
  • Double Standard: Andrew Dobson has a recurring problem with empowered female characters, and how they tend to be called boring or Mary Sues, while male characters with similar attributes don't get this reception.
    • This stip, for example, has the Straw Character complain that Captain Marvel is boring and overpowered, asking who would want to watch that. Dobson looks at how there are eight Superman movies, and point out the double standard.
    • Another strip , he goes on to define a Mary Sue as a "idealized and seemingly perfect fictional character. Often this character is recognized as an author insert or Wish Fulfillment". He then complains of how the biggest mary sue is Batman.
  • Flame War: In-Universe. He demonstrates his "talent" to start an instant flame war by yelling "Metroid: Other M rocks!" Cue exploding computer.
  • Freudian Excuse: Andrew Dobson, in his words and artwork, has suggested that his dislike of blond people come from a bully he had when he was a kid in school. This grudge is intense enough that when that bully reached out to him to become friends on Facebook, he rejected it.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: In the comic's art style, humans have five, funny animals have four.
  • Funny Animal: Preston's later blue bear appearance, potraying himself as an small anthropomorphic blue bear wearing glasses and a Nice Hat. It's a funny thought that in an earlier strip he mentions he doesn't understand furries.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: In one strip, his roommate abruptly ran into their room and screamed "EAT THE PENCIL! RUNNING LIKE A DOG!" The next day it was made all clear; his roommate was referring to a new invention of his, a model car that could transform and grow legs if you stuck pencils in it.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Before he became a bear anyway, Preston only represented himself wearing a blue shirt and a pair of pants. As a bear, he goes full commando.


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