89.1 WEMU

creative:impact - Ann Arbor Man Creates Thought-Provoking Laughter Through Cartoon Panel

Jul 2, 2019

Dave Coverly and his dog Macy
Credit Dave Coverly / speedbump.com

Ann Arbor resident Dave Coverly loves to draw.  In fact, he has taken that love of drawing to the rest of the country with his one-panel print cartoon, "Speed Bump."  Coverly talks about his journey with WEMU's David Fair and Arts Alliance CEO Deb Polich in this week's "creative:impact."


Deb Polich, President and CEO of The Arts Alliance

Creative industries in Washtenaw County add hundreds of millions of dollars to the local economy.  In the weeks and months to come, 89.1 WEMU's David Fair and co-host Deb Polich, the President and CEO of The Arts Alliance, explore the myriad of contributors that make up the creative sector in Washtenaw County.

About Dave Coverly

Dave Coverly, a native of Plainwell, Michigan, is the creator of the cartoon panel “Speed Bump,” which runs internationally in approximately 400 newspapers and websites, including the Washington Post, The Globe & Mail (Toronto), the Los Angeles Times, and the Detroit Free Press.  His work was named “Best in Newspaper Panels” by the National Cartoonists Society, in 1995, 2003, and 2014.

In 2009, the National Cartoonists Society gave him its highest honor, the prestigious Reuben Award, for “Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year”.

His cartoons are published by several greeting card companies, which include American Greetings, Sellers/RSVP, Paperlink (UK), and NobleWorks.

Coverly’s cartoons have appeared in The New Yorker, USA Today, The New York Times, Newsweek, Esquire, Ranger Rick, Jr., and have been a regular feature in Parade.  He is also the principle cartoonist for BarkBox and has done multiple labels for Bell’s Beer.

His cartoon compilation books include A Collection of Cartoon Skidmarks (Andrews McMeel), Cartoons for Idea People (ECW), Just One %$#@ Speed Bump After Another (ECW), Laughter is the Best Medicine (Sellers), and Dogs Are People, Too (Henry Holt).  Cats Are People, Too (Henry Holt) is to be published in 2019.

Éditions Caurette will publish a series of four “Speed Bump” collections for the European market beginning in the fall of 2019, and IDW Limited is set to publish a 25th Anniversary collection in early 2020.

Children’s picture books include Sue MacDonald Had a Book (with Jim Tobin, Macmillan) and The Very Inappropriate Word (with Jim Tobin, Macmillan).  His chapter book series began with Night of the Living Worms: The Misadventures of Speed Bump & Slingshot, and continued with Night of the Living Shadows, and Night of the Living Zombie Bugs (all with Macmillan).  How to Care for Your Pet T-Rex (with Ken Baker, Macmillan) was published in the spring of 2019.

Coverly earned his BS with a double major in imaginative writing and philosophy at Eastern Michigan University in 1987 and received his MA in creative writing from Indiana University in 1993.

In 2011, he was asked to give the commencement address at EMU, where he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts. 

He has two daughters, Alayna and Simone, and lives with his wife Chris in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  He may be reached via his website, www.speedbump.com.

Non-commercial, fact based reporting is made possible by your financial support.  Make your donation to WEMU today to keep your community NPR station thriving.

Like 89.1 WEMU on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu