We have great news for fans of the webcomic Bold Coarse Blend, the cartoon that centers around the musings and misfortunes of a sentient coffee mug named Joe.
BCB writer and illustrator Dan Misdea, who is also the nephew of MUTTS creator Patrick McDonnell, has released a graphic novel based on his popular online series. The Book of Joe follows Joe the mug through a series of hapless relationships and along a humorous path of heartbreak and self-discovery. It is now available for purchase on Amazon.
In conversation with Team MUTTS, Dan reflects on the somewhat roundabout path he took before launching his comic — and ultimately achieving his dream of publishing a book:
“Like most cartoonists, I began doodling in any notebook I could get my hands on at early age,” he says. “I always felt like someday I would be a cartoonist, but my entry into the profession took a bit of an unconventional path.
“As Patrick McDonnell’s nephew, I was fortunate enough to be influenced by a syndicated cartoonist right within my own family. I’ll never forget drawing the first panel of a MUTTS comic strip as a child or going to see my uncle accept the Reuben Award in 1999.
“While it seemed like I was already on my way to becoming a cartoonist, I was steered in other directions as I grew older and my dream became less of a focus. Instead of pursing art, I attended Penn State where I played club baseball and received a BA in Economics. Shortly after graduating, I began a career with a top financial institution.
“Looking back, I’m not entirely sure why my path shifted. Was I skeptical about a career in cartooning? Did I lack the confidence? Was I influenced by peers around me? Whatever the reason, I still kept my dream in the back of my mind. I did not stop doodling.
“Then one day in the confines of my cubicle, I created a character I instantly felt a connection to in Joe, a sentient coffee mug with a cynical yet endearing presence. It was like a spark went off that was waiting to be ignited for years. Then I gave Joe an unusual friend in Oscar, a feisty chimpanzee, and the webcomic Bold Coarse Blend was born in 2015. From there, I went on to publish The Book of Joe, which featured my new characters. It was literally a dream come true.
“Regardless of how I got to where I am now, I intend to continue on this path, publish more work, and hopefully inspire a few people along the way.”