Astro Gator Number 53

Matthew Thiele
2 min readFeb 17, 2024
Original Art by Matthew Thiele

Dated 8/1/03. Astro Gator, Astro Gecko, and Abstract Gator head out to take on the Abstract Armada after breaking out of jail, but what hope does one small ship have against the firepower of an entire armada?!

Here’s a note about process and materials. Before computers, comics were drawn and inked on Bristol board, similar to poster board. I did not know this when I began Astro Gator, and I never used anything but plain white copier paper to draw on.

The big problem with using regular paper is apparent when you have a lot of black on the page. The paper I used couldn’t stand up to the ink, and it buckled from being moistened and then dried when I applied the ink so heavily. It is not super noticeable in the scans, because I pushed the contrast up, but in the raw scans the warped paper around the edges is noticeable.

Even if I had known about Bristol board, I’m not sure I would have used it. It’s expensive relative to paper, and even though I used good pens, I was not really thinking about these lasting forever. But if you’re reading this and thinking about starting your own comic strip, I recommend board instead of paper.

Start at the beginning: Astro Gator Number 1

Get a list of all Astro Gator strips by clicking the Astro Gator topics tag or searching for Astro Gator.



Matthew Thiele

Teacher. Satirist. Scholar. Published in Slackjaw, Points in Case, McSweeney’s, Ben Jonson Journal, and elsewhere. Definitely not a representative of GSU.