About Dumbstruck

Cartoon Chuck

Dumbstruck is a journal comic chronicling the journey of a cartoonist actor from post-college to career while watching society around him change in response to 9/11 and the Iraq War. Along the way, our intrepid hero and his friends travel to exotic locations, navigate the banality of regular non-artistic day jobs, and encounter bizarre and crazy people, all while trying to maintain a sense of humor about the world.

Dumbstruck began in the early days of 2003, as the United States marched to war with Iraq. The internet had finally progressed to the point where cartoonists could begin publishing online, and many of us started by publishing journal comics — comic strips recording the daily misadventures of the artist. The strip was especially influenced by the work of my own college classmates Les McClaine (Life With Leslie) and Drew Weing (The Journal Comic).

It has appeared online, in two early collected editions, and in Savannah’s Chronicle newspaper for several years. The strip archive is currently being cleaned up, expanded, and completed in preparation for a published collection (print and digital) in 2015.

About The Artist

Chuck's Headshot 2010

Dumbstruck is created by me: Charles Riffenburg IV. I am a graduate of the Savannah College of Art & Design with degrees in both Sequential Art (comic books and storyboards) and Performing Arts. I currently live in Chicago, Illinois, and make a living as an independent creative professional (i.e. a freelancer) working closely with the local theatre community. You can find examples of my work on my portfolio site: Grab Bag Media. I also, when time permits, act on stage and on camera.

The people and events that appear in Dumbstruck are real and true. While artistic license is occasionally employed to condense action, all the situations, events, and dialogue are as accurate as I could make them. Some people have claimed that things actually transpired a little differently than depicted here, to which I can only reply “that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.”

This story is my odyssey, full of colorful characters encountered along the way, and the events that have changed me for better or worse. I hope within this story, you find something that also means something to you.