Well, the summer of the launch of Great Bear has come to an end. There are still a few things in the works — including some missing illustrations, a few collections I’ll be posting about soon, and working out that ever troublesome question of how to sell my comics online, which should be resolved soon in the form of an Etsy store.
In the mean time, I’ve been working on several projects simultaneously, and I’ll be giving you all a preview of some of these may slightly secret things. Which have been secrets only as I have been spending all of my time on them (that and re-doing my parents’ garden to be a produce-bearing paradise). So, for your viewing pleasure, here’s one of those slightly-secretive-stories.
I recently completed and submitted a comics story for a zine that my good friend is organizing. Check out Tiffany’s awesome art and her supercool comics, including Femme Schism (about tribal leader Loto’s dealing with the ‘civilized’ world and her subsequent travels around the world) and The Comicker’s Husband (about a spacey comics artist who falls for a dispirited college student) among others.
The story in question was inspired by many conversations that I have overheard, or sometimes been direct witness to, and by the series of articles by the New York Times criticizing ‘the hipster.’ This story is not meant to be a final word on the kinds of conversations that happen around this cultural category or others like it, but rather a kind of moment to stop and consider how strained conversation like this (based on really subjective categories) becomes. And how strange it is that a bunch of culturally privileged people are getting very involved in a conversation about how culturally privileged other culturally privileged types of people are.
Here’s the first page:
Personally, I think it’s all a bit silly — as you may be able to guess from the appearance of the characters in the story. They could each easily be called a hipster or somesuch thing — so discussing what exactly that term means is intentionally ridiculous. The part that I loved the most about this story, though, and which was honestly a learning experience — was incorporating elements of the page design into the story. At various points, characters are hit by speech balloons or notice other panels as if they could move across them (see the very first panel).
Although those elements started out as little silly things in the thumbnails and script, they soon became essential to the overall silliness of the story — and emphasize the way that words, even when not intended to do serious harm, too often do. As the text grows, it shows that the things we say (or do not say) can be more powerful than we realize.
Here is the best example, and my favorite page in the 6-page story:
I was partially inspired by the Scott Pilgrim series, and the way that characters therein interact with page design and even speak of different volumes as actual books that other characters should read to catch up on the action. Overall, I think it turned out well, and I’ll keep you all updated on the release of the actual zine itself.
Well, that’s all for now — but you can look forward to a few changes in the near future. For one, I’ll soon be posting Chapter 4 of Sadie Hawkins and the Girl in Question. For another, I’ll also be putting up a few rough pages for my contribution to an anthology that I am co-editing with the fantastic Vidyun Sabhaney of Captain Bichli Comics in Delhi.
In the mean time, you can look forward to a bit more regular comics on the site.
First up will be the bi-weekly Battle the Unicorn –a brand new comic strip series that I’ll be starting later this week. Second, the much-spoken-of Muse comic will begin showing up in a 6-page issue next week — with bi-weekly issues after that. The chapters of The Great Lakes should be showing up some time this fall, with more details to come on that front.