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The Japanese Beetle! #01: In The Beginning

Story Guide

Character Bios

Frequently Asked Questions

Okay, so you guys don't ask these questions frequently, if you even ask them at all. We're answering them anyway, because it's just nice to know some of these things for general reference.

Who are you guys?

We're two brothers from Media, Pennsylvania who decided to collaborate on a comic strip. We plot the strips together, Chris writes 'em, and I draw 'em. For those of you craving more info, here it is:

  • Chris White is a 24-year-old graduate of the University of Richmond with degrees in journalism and history. He currently works for a Washington, D.C. news agency. Chris enjoys playing the trombone, staring at the walls, and writing occasional editorials. His homepage can be found at

  • Dave "The Knave" White is 25 years old and the proud owner of an almost completely useless degree in fine arts from Carnegie Mellon University. When he's not living it up as a girl drink drunk, he's either working obsessively on this comic strip or listening to his Dead Milkmen CDs backwards. He wrote a book once, though if the sales figures are any indication you probably haven't read it.

Haven't I seen the Japanese Beetle somewhere before?

If you went to Carnegie Mellon University between 1994 and 1997, you probably did. The Japanese Beetle was a fixture of The Tartan's comic page during that time, though he was a very different character. If you're curious, we put one of these old gems on the web site every week as a Japanese Beetle Classic.

How do you draw this comic?

Dave has this to say: "I sketch out each comic with a 3H pencil in a 2x2 grid on 14"x17" bristol board. Then, I letter and ink the comics with Tombow brush markers. The comics are then reduced 50% by a photocopier and scanned at 300 dpi. Once I've got 'em on my computer I add the gray tones in Adobe Photoshop, rearrange the panels into a strip, and reduce the resulting image down to a manageable size. The whole process takes about 3-5 hours per strip."

What does "mamekogane" mean? I can't find it in my kanji dictionary!

"Mamekogane" is the common name of popilla japonica, the voracious garden pest better known in English as... the Japanese beetle. Duh. The reason you can't find it in your dictionary is that there are no kanji for the word; as far as we know, it's always written out in katakana.

How did Dave get nicknamed "the Knave," anyway?

Dave has this to say: "I gave it to myself. Why? Because you need a rhyming or alliterative nickname to be a cool cartoonist. Think about it. There's Stan 'The Man' Lee, Jack 'King' Kirby, 'Jazzy' Johnny Romita, 'Dandy' Don Simpson... Anyway, it beats the hell out of 'Whitehead,' which is what they used to call me in high school. Which reminds me, I owe Dave Zimmerman a good beating for coming up with that one."

What the heck is a "Button Man?"

Button Men is a popular game produced by James Ernest and the fine folks at Cheapass Games. If you're curious, the rules to the game are on-line at We're producing our own set of Japanese Beetle Button Men, which will be available for sale shortly.

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Published online by World Famous Comics. The Japanese Beetle and all related characters are copyright ©1998 - 2000 by Dave "The Knave" White and Chris White; ©2001 - 2022 by Dave "The Knave" White. All rights reserved. Any passing resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead or otherwise, is purely coincidental except when it isn't. Really, we swear. Please don't sue us.
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