The Cartoonists by Susanna McLeod

Paul Trap, Creator of "Thatababy"

December 31, 2010

Creating "what he knows," cartoonist and illustrator Paul Trap has penned a comic strip success. Inspired by his own wee child who is the uncontested boss of the family, Trap's new comic "Thatababy" tickles the funny bone in nearly reader. Syndicated by Universal and debuted on October 4, 2010, Trap's comic caught editors' eyes when he entered "Thatababy" in the 2009 Amazon Comic Strip Superstar contest, sponsored by Universal Uclick.


"Thatababy" by Paul Trap

One of those kids that just has graphite for blood, Paul Trap was always drawing. "It's something I've done as long as I can remember," Trap told Nikki Gardner of GateHouse News Service in November 2009. "I've drawn cartoons for my high school and college newspapers, and I've done a sports cartoon in some form since graduating." He was good enough to make a career out of it, too.

Editorial cartoonist for the Baseball America Magazine, Trap is also a freelance computer graphics illustrator. He creates artwork for marketing firms and public relations companies, and works on projects for big name firms such as Kellogg's, AOL, USA Today, Fidelity Investments and more.


The ideas for a comic from a baby's perspective were in Trap's mind for a few years before he created the strip. He "finally dedicated a weekend to building a submission package for the syndicates," Trap mentioned to Alan Gardner in the Daily Cartoonist on October 4, 2010. Before the syndicate editors had time to respond, the Amazon Comic Strip Superstar was announced and the cartoonist "plucked a few strips from my packet, added some new Sunday samples, and entered.

Since he was already a cartoonist, Trap didn't have to worry about gaining artistic skill - the lines of "Thatababy" are clean and crisp, the humour direct and truly funny. The basis for the strip came from Trap's own home - he and his wife have a small child. A large portion of the comic strip is autobiographical, "filtered," said Trap in Q&A with GoComics, "through my lingering baby-induced sleep deprivation."

Cartoonist Paul Trap  

Trap includes references in "Thatababy" to modern events and people, not restraining himself only to the youngest view. (Babies are so smart and capable these days!) The adorable, round-faced baby has work to do: causing chaos and driving his parents around the bend. And he does a good job of it, with joy and enthusiasm.

Along with baby, the cast includes his father, his mother, a cat, a girl (his daycare friend) and, with a presence all its own, the TV.

"Thatababy" Comic Strip by Paul Trap

Though "Thatababy" didn't make the top spot in the Amazon Comic Strip Superstar contest (a strip titled "Girl" by Dana Sampson took the Grand Prize), Trap's feature is still a winner. The celebrity judges - cartoonists Lynn Johnston, Garry Trudeau, Mark Tatulli and Scott Hilburn - assigned glowing reviews to "Thatababy." John Glynn, Universal Uclick vice president of acquisitions and development, noted, "It caught our eye very early on...We knew it was a strip we wanted to bring to a larger audience.

After the contest ended, Universal offered Paul Trap a development contract for "Thatababy"; the captivating comic strip debuted online on October 4, 2010.

"Thatababy" Dad by Paul Trap"Thatababy" Mom by Paul Trap  

That's one great comic strip, Paul Trap. Cheers for a long and happy future in the funny pages for "Thatababy"!

Visit "Thatababy" at GoComics to bring a big smile to your day.

All images are © Paul Trap and Universal Syndicate

© Susanna McLeod 2010