Listen up, everybody! I got a very nice letter this morning and I want to tell you about it. It was from my new pal Matt Nelson, who has his very own pirate webcomic. It’s called Catbeard the Pirate, and you should go check it out immediately.

Did you check it out? Great! Now, here’s how I originally found out about ol’ Catbeard…

I teach a beginner’s class on making comics here in Montreal. At one of my classes last year, two students and myself did a jam comic and I wanted to add a goofy pirate character. I picked the silliest name I could think of, and it was Catbeard.

I liked my design for pudgy little Catbeard so much (he had little cat heads poking out of his beard) that my intention was to make him a sort of Tom Bombadil/Mr. Mxyptlk/Bat-Mite character for Strangebeard, showing up and making a nuisance of himself. But, as clever people do in this modern age, I Googled the name to see if it had been taken.

And that’s how I found Catbeard the Pirate. My version of Catbeard (who, sadly, is much less interesting than Matt’s marvelous rogue) never made it into the strip, but you can instead read a bunch of pages of a different (and better) Catbeard right now.