The UnNamed #1

Hey, now.

We are finally getting to some of the more recent work I’ve done (READ: comics I’ve made in the last 5 years or so). Today, we take a sneak peak at the story that officially starts The UnNamed series, which I am continuing later this month with the release of Issue #2.

Now, you’ll notice there’s two other stories from this series that we’ve already seen — The UnNamed #0: Molting and #1/2: Lilith. GBC released all three as a special collected edition only available at CAKE 2013 — and we got about 10 copies of that limited run out into the world. But, while some of you will know this story, no one will know (for certain) the connections between all three stories.

In part, that’s because they were originally conceived separately! As already noted, Molting was a random comic I made and Lilith was one created for a class assignment — but in retrospect, I knew they all inhabited the same world. And since I kinda like that world, I’ve decided to bring the three characters together — although it feels more like they just HAVE to come together to me. Point being: read this story as a separate one, understanding that we’ll get the connections with the previous ones later on. (That’s why Issues #0 and 1/2 were labeled as such, and not as a proper #1).

First there was a cover (that is available in the original zine in which this appeared narrative #1, and an earlier draft that was to be inked by my good friend Ryan Vu, but after years of inaction, I jumped onto this story in 2006. In the midst of starting my graduate program, I needed to do something creative, and while my longer graphic novel Great Lakes (still in process) was stalled pretty severely, I turned to this short story.

The UnNamed was originally inspired by a Bruce Lee film where his sister, Su Lin, is raped and killed despite her mad martial arts skills. And all I could think was, ‘that’s total bull shit! why does girl-martial-artist get raped but her brother kicks ass. OUTRAGE!’ So then I decided that I should tell a story where the girl lives and the boy dies — and since I was reading a fair amount of H.P. Lovecraft and Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, I decided there would be a darker flavor to the story — in that the hero was given her super powers by a corrupt father figure who was part of a dark elder god workshipping cult.

Now, I actually know a much longer story for this character — I know how she grew up, where, when, and all sorts of things about her childhood. She had a sister, but was closer to her cousins. Her family all lived fairly close to one another in a village in a fictional nation in South Asia — she grew up wealthy relative to others in her town — though she did not know it was because her father was a part of a cult. Or that she had been birthed as part of a dark ritual. Or — or — really, I could go on — but I won’t.

Instead, here’s my FAVORITE comics page that I’ve ever done:

Needless to say, I cut a lot out of this story to make it make SOME sense at five pages. I hope you get a general sense of the tone and the story — and though looking back, I would probably change a few elements, I really respect this story. I was trying to do a lot, challenge a lot of my understandings about the medium, and I think it works really well.

Here – we skip a page so you can get a sense of the storyline…

So, if you want to read the rest of this story, you’ll have to get a hold of one of the collections of work — seeing as I know most of my readers, drop me an email and let me know if you’d like to purchase it. That’s just for now. As I stated much earlier this month, I’m planning to start an Etsy shop — and I’m going to drop off some collections at a few local stores I know in Ann Arbor, MI.

In the mean time, enjoy the next post — in which we follow teenage Sadie Hawkins on her first day of her sophomore year and get deeper into the mystery of who’s blackmailing her friend. Dont’ worry, things get WEIRD in Sadie’s story (after all, it’s a supernatural / mystery / romance / ghost story / teen detective / depressed grad student / feeling-depressed-about-the-future-of-the-human-race novel)– just not for a little bit longer…

Growlingly yours,

J

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