In the hands of a different artist, Patt Kelley's characters, with their noodle arms and their watercolor tones, might come off as cute. But as readily accessible as their big heads and cartoon faces are, there is a great deal of nuance to both his original characters and his fan art. By playing with lines and light, Kelley creates scenes that are thoughtful, reflective and sweet, and he finds a strange beauty in unexpected situations: a man mourning his wife, a girl who plays superhero to snails, a group of bikini-clad cuties on the verge of doom and Ripley surrounded by a crew of Xenomorphs.

Kelley is the creator of a number of comics, notably Parasitic Twin and What's for Breakfast?, a single-panel gag comic that appears in Boston's Weekly Dig. The gag comics are quick and clever, but Kelley's narrative comics are a lot like his illustrations, spinning an almost child-like art style with well-worn tropes to create something both clever and achingly human. Tales of vampires and UFOs turn into surprising love stories, and it's no surprise that he finds the lovely moments from other people's tales--from Haruki Murakami's novels to Wes Anderson's movies--with his brush and pen.

Kelley's full-length graphic novel, What Am I Going to Do Without You? is available digitally from Top Shelf, and you can see more of his work on deviantART and purchase original artwork from his Etsy shop.