Drive comic logoDave Kellett is a creative and indie from another mother–he’s the creator of two very successful and long-running webcomics: Sheldon (since 1998) and Drive (since 2009). We invited him onto the show to discuss world building and character creation for his sci-fi driven comic and passion project that has turned into so much more. We also had time to talk about the digital disruption that comics experienced–it’s eerily similar to what rocked the trad pubbed writing world–and the strange new world that has become the norm.


You don’t have to be a fan of Dave or his comics to appreciate this special mini episode. He is a font of information that will benefit any writer.

About our Guest:

Dave Kellett is a southern California native. He holds two master’s degrees in the art and history of cartooning: First, at the University of California San Diego; and then at the University of Kent, UK, at its Centre for Cartoon and Caricature Studies, on a full academic scholarship from the Rotary Foundation. After working for Mattel Toys as the head writer and a senior toy designer for 8 years, Dave pursued cartooning full-time in 2007. He is the creator and cartoonist of two webcomic titles, Sheldon and Drive, as well as the author of several printed comic books and co-author of theHarvey-Award-nominated book How To Make Webcomics.

Image of Dave KellettDave co-directed the comics documentary, Stripped with twice-Sundance-nominated cinematographer, Fred Schroeder. He is regularly invited to speak at festivals and conventions, including but not limited to: Savannah College of Art & Design, the Society of Illustrators, Ohio State’s triennial Festival of Cartoon Art, the Charles M. Schulz Museum, the San Francisco Cartoon Art Museum, Loyola Marymount University, South by Southwest Festival (SxSW), San Diego Comic-Con, New York Comic-Con, Seattle’s Emerald City Comicon and more. His cartoons have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union-Tribune, and dozens of others.

Questions and topics discussed:

  • What is Drive?
  • Drive has a well thought out history and geography of your galaxy, how did you build this fantastic galaxy from the ground up?
  • Space travel is a huge thing in sci-fi. We’ve got Stargates, warp drives, star drives and hyperdrives. What space travel did you come up with for Drive and how did you make it different from all of the above?
    • Dave explained a few different theories for faster-than-light travel
  • Erica likens Dave’s way of incorporating current events and history into his comic’s rich history to Star Trek
  • How Dave came up with the characters. Did the sketch come first or the background and did one influence the other?
    • Dave goes into detail about the main characters and how some of them were born
  • Setting common yet popular sci-fi tropes on their end and how they make for more interesting storylines
  • It’s business time! Our two creative industries have something in common. They’ve both gone through a digital disruption. Can you briefly explain how that happened for comics?
  • Which leads us into the current business model for comics and generating income (Erica shows off her Flaco pin–one of her fave characters from Dave’s comic Sheldon)
    • Kickstarter explained–best for one off projects
    • Patreon explained–best for long-term projects that provide regular content
    • Do they work best if you already have fans or will it work for newbs?
  • Web comics come and go, some don’t even last a month. What do you put your success and longevity down to?
  • Erica thanks Dave by saying how much what he has said resonates with her as a self-published writer and gushes about how inspiring he is.
  • Don’t forget to watch Stripped <– click there for the trailer


Cover image for the comic Drive which will soon be published Stripped documentary poster Cover image for How to Make Webcomics

If you have a second, an iTunes review would be VERY appreciated!