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An interview series featuring notable people whose lives intersect with the world of pens. We got the opportunity to chat with Joel Duggan, the artist and mastermind behind the wonderfully clever webcomic, Starcrossed.

Starcrossed, by Joel Duggan


Please tell us a little about yourself.

I was born and raised in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Currently, I work full time from my home studio in Dartmouth as a cartoonist, illustrator and designer.


What inspired you to start drawing comics?

When I was very young, I was inspired by classic Looney Tunes and Disney animation...in fact, I still am. Growing up, I just wanted to draw cartoons of any kind. In my teens, my interests quickly shifted focus to comic strips. Bill Amend (FoxTrot), Frank Cho (Liberty Meadows) Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman (Zits) and the venerable Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes) were my canon. My first strip, "Jungle Jazz", was published in my university newspaper for three years.


June 3, 2013 - Posted by David to Pen Pals Interviews

An interview series featuring notable people whose lives intersect with the world of pens. Hailing from the City of Brotherly Love, Greg Pizzoli has won numerous awards for his artwork and shares his wealth of knowledge as a teacher. He just published his first children's book, THE WATERMELON SEED, in May of 2013.

courtesy of Colin Kerrigan

Please tell us about yourself and what you do.

My name is Greg Pizzoli and I live in Philadelphia. These days I think author/illustrator/printmaker is the job description that seems to fit best. I also teach part-time at the college level in both printmaking and illustration. I really enjoy the balance of teaching and working in my studio.

I'm getting married this summer. I'm a cat person.


May 7, 2013 - Posted by David to Pen Pals Interviews

An interview series featuring notable people whose lives intersect with the world of pens. In honor of National Teacher Appreciation Day, we had the privilege of interviewing Brent Acuff, an educator from Hutto, TX. Along with directing his middle school band, he inspires students to write with his own passion for stories and pens.

Mr. Brent Acuff

Please tell us about yourself and what you do.

My name is Brent Acuff, and I am a middle school band director in Hutto, TX, a small town just outside of Austin. I teach music to students between the ages of 11 and 14, and also assist with the high school marching band. I have been a teacher for more than 13 years and an amateur writer for about five years.

For the last seven years, I have been a serious fan and collector of fountain pens, inks, pencils and journals. Lately, I have started encouraging my own students, and now my own daughter, to take an interest in writing and writing supplies. Over the past three years, I have sponsored a group of students in NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers Program and have had many students successfully complete the competition.



An interview series featuring notable people within the pen, art, and design worlds. Matt Vergotis is a talented Logo & Corporate Identity specialist and the founder of VERG, based on the Gold Coast, Australia. He has a simple philosophy on life and that’s to "do the things you love to do."

image courtesy of Matt Vergotis

Please tell us about yourself and what you do.

I'm Matt Vergotis from the Gold Coast of Australia. I specialize in corporate identity. A lot of the work I do focuses around logo design, but I'm always trying to educate clients that there's more at play than just their logo when acquiring a solid visual identity for their company. I have also found a new love in both lettering and typeface design. Outside of work I'm an ultra obsessed surf nerd and I'm married with two of the most adorable little girls.



An interview series featuring notable people within the pen, art, and design worlds. Kathy Zadrozny and Donovan Beeson are the dynamic duo behind 16 Sparrows. Their partnership led them to create the Letter Writers Alliance in 2007, out of their passion for the art of letter writing. Since then, their organization has been constantly expanding as they increase traffic to the post office.

image courtesy of Letter Writers Alliance

Please tell us about yourself and what you do.

We are a group for letter lovers, both new and old, with the mission to encourage mail art and letter writing. In this era of instantaneous communication, a handwritten letter is a rare and wondrous item and the Letter Writers Alliance is dedicated to preserving it. We offer membership to the L.W.A., which makes you privy to exclusive letter writing items and tools. We also host monthly letter socials that are open to all, which turns the solitary act of letter writing into a social event. By offering the use of typewriters and free stationery at these socials we hope we can get other people excited about letter writing. With this combination of online presence and in-person gatherings we strive to give people the tools to maintain the art of letter writing. At this moment we have over 3700 members and we continue to grow every day.