Pictured on my drawing table: the first few pages of Sucker Street, my forthcoming webcomic. I’m preparing a printed version of the prologue for purchase this Saturday at the MSU Comics Forum. Then, beginning in March, I’ll be running the ongoing series here on fridge-mag.com, releasing a page a week until…oh, I dunno, however long it takes. Maybe the rest of my life?
This is a departure for me. As a minicomics creator, one of my personal challenges has been to tell a self-contained, one-shot story in 1-12 pages. Sucker Street, by contrast, will be a long-form serial with a sprawling cast of characters and multiple, interwoven story arcs. While I always intended for it to be a big story, I resisted doing it as a serial. Believe me, I tried to compress this big world I’ve created down to a single book, or even a collection of books. I’ve come to accept that this just isn’t that kind of comic.
Yeah, yeah, I know. You want me to get to the part where I tell you what the comic’s about. Okay, fine. It’s about a close-knit neighborhood in a floundering Michigan municipality (a fictitious one, although my home state has no shortage of live models to work from) and the people who live and work there. The setting and a couple of the characters first appeared ten years ago (in very primitive form) in a 24-hour comic called A Quest for Quiet Cat Toys. The full comic’s there at the link, but it’s not required reading. A lot of changes have happened on the street since then.
Anyway, after 4 years of digging in my heels, I’m ready to step out of my comfort zone and release this thing into the world, page by page. Chapter One needs another rewrite and I still haven’t fully scripted Chapter Two or anything beyond. And— just between you, me and the internet—that kinda freaks me out. In a way, though, it’s nice to know I’m still capable of being freaked out by cartooning, after so many years doing it. I’m looking forward to this new adventure and hope you’ll join me. I’ll let you know when the comic goes live!