Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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(Last updated March 28, 2016)

I have always loved making comics. My first comic strip was about a baby named Boppy, and I created it for my family newsletter. Sadly (happily?), I didn't keep any samples. However, here's another comic that I did back then (click to enlarge):

I post a lot of one-panel comics for writers in Inkygirl.com, many of which are inspired by my own experiences. Especially the ones about rejection -- I, um, have a LOT of experience in that area.

I'm starting to post about picture books:

I also have several comic strips which are irregularly updated and full of wildly varying illustration styles, like Will Write For Chocolate (I was surprised when blogTO wanted to interview me about the comic back in 2007, and that's part of what got me thinking more seriously about webcomics):

and my semi-autobiographical My Life In A Nutshell:

and my Waiting For Frodo comic about avid fans waiting in line for the Lord Of The Rings movies (I had fans at Weta! I put one of them in my comic and he sent me a Weta Visual Effects LOTR crew t-shirt! Hear my music group performing our "Waiting For Frodo" song (track 2) in concert!):

Plus I also post comics for board gamers over on Boardgamegeek.com and on Twitter at @BGGgirl:

In retrospect, I've learned a ton about storytelling and audience connection through creating comics such as:

- Boiling a story down to its essence.

- Learning about pacing.

- Improving my sequential storytelling skills.

- My readers care far more about connecting with the characters and story than they do about my illustration technique.

Recently, I've started experimenting with incorporating comics and illustration into my middle grade work. I'm not talking much about these new projects until I've finished them (and I haven't shown them to anyone yet) but I'm pretty excited. Wish me luck!

- Debbie