Dana Simpson

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Dana Simpson
Winter institute 2016.jpg
Dana Simpson at the 2016 Winter Institute, in January, 2016, promoting 'Unicorn vs. Goblins.'
Years active1998 - present
Notable workOzy and Millie
I Drew This
Phoebe and Her Unicorn

Dana Claire Simpson is an American cartoonist, best known as the creator of the comic Phoebe and her Unicorn, as well as the long-running webcomic Ozy and Millie. Other works created by Simpson include the political commentary cartoon I Drew This and the alternate reality drama comic Raine Dog.


Simpson was born in Pullman, Washington, and then lived in the Seattle area for most of her life.[1] She is a graduate of The Evergreen State College.[1]

Simpson considered herself an artist from an early age, drawing comic strips as young as five years old as part of making her own homemade newspaper.[2][3] As she grew up, she began drawing inspiration from Peanuts, The Simpsons and Pogo.[4][5]

In her 20s, she came out as transgender.[6] She currently lives in Santa Barbara, California.


Ozy and Millie[edit]

The webcomic Ozy and Millie, Simpson's first published comic strip (published under D.C. Simpson), began running regularly in 1998 while she was attending Washington State University as a graduate student.[4] The strip centered on Ozy (an Arctic fox) and Millie (a red fox) as they and their friends dealt with everyday elementary school issues and more surreal situations. For her work on Ozy and Millie, Simpson was a finalist for the 1998 Scripps-Howard Foundation Charles M. Schulz College Cartoonist Award.[1] The comic went on to win the 1999 College Media Advisers award for Best Strip Cartoon and the 2002 Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards for Best Anthropomorphic Comic. It also won the Ursa Major Award for both "Best Anthropomorphic Other Work" for 2002 and for "Best Anthropomorphic Comic Strip" for 2006 and 2007.[7] Simpson continued the strip for ten years while attempting to seek syndication for the title, but could not secure any deal.[4] The final regular strip was published on December 23, 2008.[8]

Cover of I Drew This vol 1 showing the main characters
I Drew This volume 1: Insert title here

I Drew This[edit]

Simpson's second published comic strip, I Drew This, was concerned mainly about politics, from a liberal perspective. It is semi-autobiographical, in that one of the main characters is the author (the other is Joe, the Liberal Eagle)[9] and its focus is often the author's own musings. I Drew This began life in the Washington State University Daily Evergreen in January 2004, while Simpson was attending graduate school. Like Ozy and Millie, this comic is part of the webcomics portal Keenspot, beginning November 2006. Material from I Drew This was included in Attitude 3: The New Subversive Online Cartoonists. The May 16, 2005 edition, "Teaching Gravity", featured the first reference to the theory of intelligent falling.[10] insert title here and I Drew This (a complete collection of the strips) are both available for purchase on Lulu.

Phoebe and Her Unicorn[edit]

Simpson's most popular work commenced in 2012 as a web comic and continues, as of December 2022, as a daily comic strip.

Other work[edit]

On January 16, 2009, Simpson posted the first page of Raine Dog, a graphic novel which follows an anthropomorphic dog living among humans with other recently liberated house dogs. The most recent update was in January 2010.[11][7] Simpson abandoned the project "for the foreseeable future".[12]

Simpson announced that she is writing and illustrating a book about her transition, targeted for middle-school students, titled Only You're Different.[6][13] She also illustrated a picture book, I'm Not a Girl, written by Maddox Lyons, a 12-year-old transgender boy.[14]



  1. ^ a b c Hanson, Merridee (2015-03-29). "Columbian adds 'Phoebe and Her Unicorn' to comics lineup". The Columbian. Retrieved 2015-03-30.
  2. ^ Wolfe, Billy (2015-03-29). ""Phoebe and Her Unicorn" cartoonist draws inspiration from life". Charleston Daily Mail. Archived from the original on 2015-05-02. Retrieved 2015-03-29.
  3. ^ Janoski, Steve (2015-03-30). "Cartoonist Dana Simpson speaks on new comic "Phoebe and Her Unicorn"". The Record. Retrieved 2015-03-30.
  4. ^ a b c d Bently, Rick (2015-03-29). "Artist Dana Simpson gets magic touch for her new comic strip from a unicorn". Fresno Bee. Retrieved 2016-12-05.
  5. ^ Brutsch, Rachel (March 28, 2015). "'Unicorns are everywhere': Cartoonist Dana Simpson shares lessons on friendship in comic strip 'Phoebe and Her Unicorn'". Deseret News. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Ponnekanti, Rosemary (September 25, 2015). "Q&A: Cartoonist grew up in Gig Harbor, lives in Auburn and likes unicorns". The Tacoma News-Tribune. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d El Santo (2010-01-29). "The Webcomic Overlook #106: Raine Dog". Archived from the original on 2010-02-02. Retrieved 2011-02-22.
  8. ^ Sholley, Diana (2015-03-30). "'Phoebe and Her Unicorn' to debut, add whimsical flair to the funny pages". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved 2015-03-30.
  9. ^ Simpson, D.C. "I Drew This, Wednesday, September 22, 2004". Retrieved 7 July 2012. Hi! I'm Joe, the Liberal Eagle.
  10. ^ Simpson, D.C. (May 16, 2005). "Teaching Gravity". I Drew This. Keenspot. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  11. ^ Simpson, D. C. (2009-01-16). "1. The Smell of the City". Raine Dog. Archived from the original on 2009-04-04. Retrieved 2009-04-03.
  12. ^ "F.A.Q. | Dana Simpson". Retrieved 2020-02-28.
  13. ^ Alverson, Brigid (June 20, 2017). "Interview: Dana Simpson, Creator of 'Phoebe and Her Unicorn'". School Library Journal. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  14. ^ Simpson, Dana. "Happy to announce this book | Dana Simpson". Retrieved 2020-02-28.
  15. ^ Simpson, Dana (October 10, 2015). "Winners of the Washington State Book Awards (2015)". The Seattle Times. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
  16. ^ Simpson, Dana (January 7, 2016). "2016 PNBA Book Awards". The Seattle Times. Retrieved February 21, 2016.

External links[edit]