The restaurant sketchbook series will return soon. Thanks for your patience while I launch this new project!
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!
I’m in a show opening this Friday at Henry Ford Community College’s Sisson Gallery. It’s curated by Sean Bieri (who is no stranger to this blog) and features a bunch of extremely talented local folks (some of whom also have done sketches I already have or will eventually post here, too).
More info: Featuring comics and illustrations created by eleven area artists, “Demented Detroit” is an eclectic sampler of cartoon artwork, including humor, horror, whimsy, adventure, social commentary and more. With art by James Anderson, Suzanne Baumann, Sean Bieri, Matt Feazell, Victor Green, Kelly Guillory, Jane Irwin, Kelly Larson, Crystal Mielcarek, Vicki Shepherd and Ted Woods. The show runs thru March 20.
Announcing a new addition to the schedule: I’ll be participating in the Artists’ Alley of the 2014 MSU Comics Forum in Lansing, MI this February 22nd. The forum actually kicks off on Friday the 21st with keynote speaker Stan Sakai, so come both days if you can!
I haven’t set up in Artist’s Alley for this show in a couple of years and I’m looking forward to coming back. I’ll have minicomics which haven’t shown there before; including, if all goes according to plan, a brand new comic (the first in a brand new series)! Things are brewing here at Fridge-Mag HQ. More news soon.
Check it out: As Eavesdropped Vol. 4 was nominated for a SPACE prize! Now, I’m up against some stiff competition, so don’t congratulate me yet — vote (if you’re eligible)! Volume 3 took third place in 2012 and I personally think the newer issue is better than that one. Let’s see if AE can move up to first or second this time. More about the SPACE prize here.
If you need help deciding, you can order either issue from me, or watch the following video from this past October of my reading excerpts from 3 and 4 (with audiovisual accompaniment) live at Detroit Brain Frame.
Also, this is as good a time as any to announce that I’ll be exhibiting at SPACE 2014, April 12-13. See you in the spring!