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How one cartoonist 'live-toons' Grumpy Cat

Editorial cartoonist Shannon Wheeler couldn't get in to the Mashable tent to see Grumpy Cat in person, but he drew a comic about his experience anyway. Here's his process for cartooning on the fly at SXSW Interactive for VentureBeat.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
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Gagging by hand

Wheeler starts off the old-fashioned way -- with paper, pen, and a single-panel gag.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
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Digital cameras are the new scanners

Next up, Comixology events coordinator Ivan Salazar takes a photo of the comic and uploads it to his Mac. Wheeler has been working with digital comics marketplace Comixology to get his wry take on the SXSW antics online.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
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PhotoShop FTW at SXSW

Salazar changes the off-white background of Wheeler's drawing paper to white and then begins to color in the comic. Wheeler's wry observer, Too Much Coffee Man, gets colored red. The background turns blue.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
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Extreme close-up

Here, Salazar zooms in for some additional image cleanup.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
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Last-minute corrections

After saving (always, always save your work) but before uploading to VentureBeat's servers, Wheeler takes a final look at the comic. In this case, he found the blue background to be too dark. Some quick PhotoShop magic and Salazar has lightened the background to Wheeler's taste.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
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From idea to Web in 30 minutes or less

With the comic's logo in place, Salazar attaches the cartoon in an e-mail and fires it off. All told, the process took less than 30 minutes.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
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