The guy above is me, Gregg Schigiel. I’m a cartoonist, author, illustrator, comedy enthusiast, and amateur cook and baker.
I was born and raised in South Florida, which is where I first started drawing, reading comics, and making up stores.
I remember in fourth grade giving real thought to whether I wanted to make animated cartoons, comic books, or comic strips. I determined then that I didn’t want to have to draw the same thing over and over and over the way animators did…and that the four panels of a comic strip wasn’t enough space to tell the kinds of stories I liked…and so comic books became my goal.
And since then I’ve continued to draw and make up characters and stories of my own.
I also got jobs doing those things!
My professional career started in 1997, drawing comics for and working as an assistant editor at Marvel Comics. In the year 2000, I went to work as a character artist for Nickelodeon. And in 2002 I started working as a full-time freelancer, and have since worked for Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Disney Publishing, Nickelodeon, Highlights Magazine, Simon & Schuster, Random House, Capstone Publishing, and more.
From 2010-2018 I was a regular contributor to SPONGEBOB COMICS, providing art as well as writing stories. I’ve written and illustrated two PIX graphic novels, and visit schools and libraries to talk about making comics and graphic novels.
When I’m not making comics, I host and produce podcasts, post my “Stuff Sketched” drawing/cartooning videos to YouTube, seek out great comedy, and I enjoy cooking and baking.
The best way to reach me is via email. And you can do that here.
I am represented by Danielle Chiotti at Upstart Crow Literary.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you pronounce your last name?
Schigiel rhymes with eagle, legal, regal and beagle. (Gregg rhymes with egg.)
Did you go to college for art?
I did and I didn’t. I did go to art school after graduating high school, but I didn’t like it very much and left after only a month (it was expensive, and by leaving sooner than later, I could get as much of the tuition back as possible). I ended up going to a “regular” college and have a Bachelors of Science in Advertising (my diploma is still rolled up in a tube in storage).
I didn’t take any art classes in college, but I incorporated comics into as many facets as possible. In my advertising classes, my ads were comics. I took writing classes – screenwriting, children’s literature, etc.), worked with a professor to develop an independent study about comics, wrote about comics for the college newspaper, took an eight-week workshop taught by (comics legend and innovator regarded as the “Father of the Graphic Novel”) Will Eisner, and did a summer internship at Marvel Comics.
How did you get your professional break?
When I first started my professional career, the internet was pretty much brand new, so the way it worked was an artist would draw sample pages (four to six pages) and send photocopies through the mail to editors. If an editor liked the samples, and had a job to offer, they’d offer a job.
I did a number of sets of samples, and got lots of rejection letters…until I didn’t!
I’m sure it helped that I was an intern at Marvel Comics and got to know a lot of the editors there. But interestingly, the editor that hired me was one I had very little interaction with during my internship.
Shortly after I completed my first job drawing my first comic, I was offered a staff position at Marvel as an assistant editor. I took that job. That offer, I’m sure, had everything to do with my summer internship
What supplies do you use? Do you do everything on a computer?
These days I do most of my work on a computer, yes, using a Wacom Cintiq tablet and stylus. But I’m still doing all the drawing by hand. It’s just that instead of holding a pen or pencil making marks on a sheet of paper, I hold a stylus and make marks on a screen.
But, and this is important, I’ve only been working digitally since 2013. Before that I worked on paper and used pencils and pens. Which is to say you don’t NEED a Wacom Cintiq or other tablet device to draw comics. I like to say we learn how to do math by hand before we’re allowed to use calculators, because it’s about understanding how to do math. Same with drawing. The digital stuff is a great tool, but the fundamentals of drawing need to be there to properly use that tool.
Do you do author visits to schools and/or libraries?
I do, and I talk about all of that here.
Where did you get the idea for Pix? For PAWS?
Way back around 2002-2003, I was seeing lines of oodles of kids waiting to pick up the latest Harry Potter book and thought, hm, these kids might read superhero comics. So I pitched an idea to a comic book publisher for one of their characters and…they were not interested in the least. A friend suggested I take the basic ideas from that pitch, which really had little to do with that character at all, and make it my own thing. I always liked fairy tales and mythology, so the idea of mashing up superheroes and fairy tales made a whole lot of sense, and so the concept of Pix was born. In 2007 and 2008 I did Pix as mini-comics…and in 2014 I went ahead and made the first graphic novel. Hard to believe the idea started that long ago (and took so long to become a real book).
PAWS came from a conversation with another cartoonist. He was struggling to find something he was excited to work on, and I was asking him a bunch of questions, including, what he liked to draw. He said he liked to draw animals, and I knew he liked wrestling, so I suggested wrestling animals. While the idea didn’t excite him, I couldn’t get it out of my head, and before too long I had a story forming. It took a bunch of years and false starts, but eventually I got to where it is now…a book waiting to find a home.
Who or what are your influences?
The short answer is all the comics and cartoons and movies and stories I’ve loved. But more specifically…
For art, comic artists like John Buscema, Alan Davis, Mike Wieringo are all big influences on how I draw. Will Eisner taught me so much about comics storytelling. Disney and Warner Brothers animation are also a big part of my drawing “DNA.”For writing and stories, I loved ALICE IN WONDERLAND the second I read it in high school. I love THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH (by Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer (and all the work of Jules Feiffer)), THE VIEW FROM SATURDAY (by E.L. Konigsburg), the work of Shel Silverstein, the picture book work of Lane Smith and Maira Kalman, and the comic book writing of Louise Simonson and Mark Waid. I also read “grown-up” novels, particularly books by Tom Perrotta and Tom Robbins. And an all-time favorite book is THE MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK. I also really like classic fairy tales, fables,and mythology.
My favorite movie is BACK TO THE FUTURE. Other movies I love: JOE VS. THE VOLCANO, BRIGSBY BEAR, AMELIE, HARVEY.
My favorite TV show is SEINFELD. Other TV shows I love: THE GOOD PLACE, PARKS AND RECREATION, JANE THE VIRGIN, GOOD TIMES, FAMILY TIES, THE ADVENTURES OF PETE & PETE.AND
Who is your favorite superhero?
As a kid the first superhero I loved was Batman.
When I was about 9 years old I “discovered” Power Pack, a group of kid siblings who got their superpowers from an alien, and they have long been favorites.
These days my favorite superhero is Pix, naturally.
Did you create SpongeBob SquarePants?
I did not. I just worked at Nickelodeon and learned how to draw him “just right.” SpongeBob SquarePants and friends were created by Stephen Hillenburg, who I was lucky enough to meet once, and thank for creating such great characters who I’ve gotten to draw and earn a living drawing for so many years.
When I worked on SPONGEBOB COMICS, I did create some stuff, though, including the look and story line for Mermaid Girl.
Are you really a prize-winning cookie baker?
I am! I have participated in an event called The Brooklyn Cookie Takedown a number of times. Twice I won judges’ honorable mention prizes. And most recently, in 2018, I won judges’ first prize! Check out the winning cookies below:
I’ve made a number of podcast appearances. Among them…
The Children’s Book Podcast
Lean Into Art
I also produce and host two podcasts.
One, “Stuff Said,” is mostly about comics and cartooning, and in it I talk to people who make or are otherwise connected to comics.
The other, “Cruisin’ Together,” where myself and fellow cartoonist, Chris Giarrusso, watched every movie Tom Cruise ever acted in, in order, and made an episode for each one. It’s incredibly silly, but hopefully funny and entertaining.