Sunday Fun

As today marks the last Sunday of our Rivertown News run, we thought a formal thank-you was in order for our volunteer colorist. As previously mentioned, we didn’t do any official Sunday RN strips. But we thought it would be fun to add some color to a few regular strips to post on Sundays.

The coloring was done by Christina from (aka Mark’s wife) using markers on printed scans which were then re-scanned and uploaded. She turned this around in record time and we appreciate her great-looking work. Now, please understand that these “colorized” strips are not canon, and were provided for entertainment purposes only (and in a fashion much classier than when Ted Turner tried to colorize Casablanca).

You can see these colored strips at these links: week 1, 2, 3, and 4. Unfortunately, a scan of a scan of a scan loses some quality with each successive generation, and there was a little fuzziness around the edges. So today we are presenting the original strips for reference purposes (they are only a scan of a scan :)). Click any of the images below to embiggen the glorious black and white original.


Thanks for reading! New strip Then Comes Marriage starts this week. And check out Mark’s new book The Launch which features some of these strips (release date December 8th).

New Book on the Way!

Launch Teaser.png

There’s a new book coming soon from Hanton House Creative Media that we’re pretty excited about here at L&Y headquarters. Featuring words by Young and comic strips by Levins and Young, it promises to bring the funny in a big way. Please join the Thunderclap to help us spread the word.


That’s them all shiny and new out of the box. We’ll be running some giveaways as well as getting advance review copies into the hands of reviewers soon. Tim’s copy is in the mail (but don’t tell him that or you’ll spoil the surprise). Sample chapter now available as well as teaser vid from Mark’s YouTube channel below.


Behind the Scenes

behind the scenesAs today is Sunday and it’s now becoming a tradition with me, here is an alternative to a black and white “daily” strip. We didn’t complete any full color Sunday strips, as I’ve mentioned before, because the Comics Syndicates didn’t require them as part of a submission and SCENE Magazine didn’t have a Sunday edition. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t write any scripts for Sunday comics. I believed that it was only a matter of time before we were syndicated across North America and having to come up with a new one every week.

Here is a scan of the first such script I wrote. It gives you an idea of the kinds of things I routinely demanded of Tim without much consideration for the effort it would cost him. “So, I’m seeing a full color Sistine Chapel ceiling with Dexter fist bumping the Almighty, who looks like Charles Schulz.” 🙂

RN Sunday Script 1

Sunday best – A Tale of Joe

Dex on a stroll through Gotham City.

Dex on a stroll through Gotham City.

It’s Sunday again, so no black and white strip today, but check out the full colour splash page we have to offer instead! (Click the image to “biggerize” it to its glorious full size – special thanks to Dan Piraro for the use of his word today).

Those of you who have perused our About page will know that Tim went on to bigger and better things after we shut down Rivertown News. One of the projects for which he is best known is Batman: Gotham Adventures.

In issue number 41, he needed a character who was making bad choices and in need of help from the Batman to prevent him from going down a bad path. Tim had some fun dusting off our character and reshaping him for this part in the issue.

You can see Dex’s trademark vest and goatee are present, but the scarf might have added too much artistic flair for the needs of this character, so he left it out. And that’s how Dex became Joe in an alternate universe.

Happy Sunday and thanks for reading!

Our only Rivertown News “Sunday” Strip

We’ve been having a lot of fun posting these strips from our archives, stuff we worked on over twenty years ago, but which still gives us a measure of pride and a chuckle or two. But it’s been pointed out that we don’t have any full-colour, Sunday-funnies type strips, so maybe we shouldn’t post on Sunday. Then I remembered another treasure from the archives which I’m happy to share today:

RN Colour

This is the only full colour Rivertown News strip in existence and it was given to me by Tim in a frame sometime after we began working on the strip. I took it apart and scanned it so I could share it with you today as our only official Sunday strip. I believe he hand-painted it on the original Bristol board version of the strip, but I’ll let him chime in on that if he likes.

A word about the opening panel, if I may… For those of you who haven’t given James Joyce’s Ulysses a shot, this situation harkens back to the opening scene of the novel, which takes place at the top of the Martello Tower in Sandycove, south Dublin:

Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressinggown, ungirdled, was sustained gently behind him by the mild morning air. He held the bowl aloft and intoned:

Introibo ad altare Dei.

So, the original was about sacrilege and shaving and my version envisions the same but with added modern convenience. What more could you want from the auspicious opening of a new comic strip destined for the funny pages, than an obscure literary allusion followed up by a mall culture cliché? Look out world, here we come! 🙂

Thanks for all the likes and comments! We appreciate it.

Mark (& Tim)

The First Strip

RN cover.jpegTim and I met while working at the Public Library in the early ’90s and discovered a common interest in comics, not to mention ST:TNG. We struck up a friendship and began working on a comic strip together in the hopes of having it syndicated. I wrote and Tim drew them and while we were waiting for super-stardom in the world of newspapers, we sold it to the local entertainment weekly paper in London, Canada, called Scene Magazine.

The strip was called Rivertown News, a loosely self-referential narrative about an artist who publishes a strip in the eponymous local entertainment weekly (cover inset) in the town where he lives. The comics center on cartoonist Dex, his best friend Brendan, girlfriend Andrea, Dex’s parents, and the whole Gen X scene that was going on the late ’80s and early ’90s. It’s fun to look back on them now and really dig into those dated references. 🙂