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Pandemic gives dad and son time to launch a 'Chirpy' daily comic

Pandemic gives dad and son time to launch a 'Chirpy' daily comic


When Jeff Koterba isn’t drawing editorial cartoons, he’s collaborating with adult son Josh on the antics of Cat, Dog and Turtle.

The critters are the stars of the Koterbas’ feel-good comic strip, “Chirpy.” It debuted online in April, inspired by COVID-19 and self-isolation.

It’s an extremely socially distanced collaboration, too, with Jeff living in Omaha and Josh living in Florida.

“Our goal is to bring humans joy each and every day,” Jeff says.

Good-natured and non-gendered, Cat, Dog and Turtle are the pets of The Humans — who influence the animals’ world, but are always out of frame.

The comic explores a wide variety of themes as the four-legged creatures ponder their existence and differences, the true nature of animals and why pets do what they do — all the while realizing at the end of the day, maybe they’re not so different after all.

“When we wound up socially distanced, 1,200 miles apart, we found ourselves looking for smiles on social media and an outlet for our built-up creative energy,” Jeff says. “We decided to do something we’ve both wanted to do since we were kids — a generation apart.”

Jeff has been the editorial cartoonist at the Omaha World-Herald since 1989, and his work now appears in more than 850 papers around the globe.

Josh honed his storytelling and social media skills while writing songs that have appeared on MTV and performing them all over the country.

Josh’s children, ages 9 and 7, have occasionally helped to color the cartoons drawn by their Papa K and also have written a few.

Your can follow the daily adventures of Cat, Dog and Turtle on Facebook and Instagram. Search for “Chirpy Comics.”

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Chris is a magazine and special sections editor for The World-Herald. She writes on lifestyle topics and trends, including interior design, travel and fashion. Follow her on Instagram @chrischristen and Twitter @cchristenOWH. Phone: 402-444-1094.

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