Mat-BartonIf you go to Mat Barton’s website — Get Happy! — and click on “About,” you will feel drawn into his world instantly. He invites you to put yourself in his shoes: “You’re a cartoonist living in Portland, Ore. You graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a MFA in animation/illustration in 2004. You’ve worked for Cartoon Network and Warner Bros. Animation. You’ve built sets for stop motion films, created illustrations for billboards and many publications, won an award for a short animated film and work as a graphic designer in the daytime. In your free time you focus on drawing comics.”

As early as the second or third grade, he realized that drawing was something he not only loved but needed. “I think that was the first time I kind of got lost in it. I’d draw Ninja Turtles nonstop on the bus just to get away from being picked on and bothered.” Barton, 33, was born in Santa Ana, Calif., but the family moved wherever his dad’s job took him. He lived in Louisiana during his grade school years, then moved back to California, where he went to junior high and graduated from Centennial High in Bakersfie