Pen, paper and laughs


Oceanside native Francis Bonnet spent his childhood reading comics in the newspapers. ‘Peanuts’ and ‘Garfield’ were among his favorites. They inspired him to become a cartoonist himself.

Now Bonnet, who works as a graphic designer at Molloy College in Rockville Centre when not drawing, just published his third book containing two years worth of comics from his strip, Suburban Fairy Tales.

“It’s something I’ve always been interested in,” said Bonnet, who grew up and lived in Oceanside until he moved to Seaford with his wife three years ago. “I used to go to this used bookstore near my house and I would pick up whatever books I could get.”

Bonnet publishes his comic strip three times a week — every Monday, Wednesday and Friday — on his website,

His comic chronicles fairy tale characters living in a modern world, eating pizza, discussing e-readers and cell phone apps, and trying to make it just like the rest of us, but with a very comedic spin.

“A lot if it is just stuff that happened to me in high school,” Bonnet said. “Sometimes I get inspired by stuff I read in the newspaper and what’s going on in the world. I try not to be political, but I try to be topical.”

Bonnet, who has been a cartoonist since 2001, explained that he spends about an hour or two on each strip, not counting the time he spends conceptualizing and coming up with ideas, which can take a few minutes or much longer. He keeps a sketch book with him at most times to jot down notes and ideas, and uses his cell phone to make recordings when there’s nothing available to write on.

After sketching out his strips in pencil, Bonnet inks them and then scans them into his computer. He does a little touching up on the computer, adding some fonts and tones, and then posts the strip onto his site.

All of Bonnet’s comics are accessible on his site for free, including an archive of all his past strips. Any money he makes comes from merchandise he sells — T-shirts, mugs and his books. Bonnet’s latest book, “This Little Piggy Gets Even,” compiles his strips from September 2008 to June 2010 and is available on Amazon for $12.95.

“I try to throw in a little bit of extra stuff that’s not on the web for people so it’s like a little bonus,” said Bonnet. “With this third book that just came out, I threw an exclusive story that I had only in my sketchbook that I never completed, just so people could see what my process is and how I get my ideas.”