A Birthday, an Update, and a Truth

Howdy, Great Bear lovers! Today is my birthday, so you get a couple of special things. But before we get to those few special releases (which will be taken down within 24 hours – so watch out), let’s get to some updates.

The Update

Summer is inevitably far more complicated and busy than I expect – this year alone, I’ve had to help my family out due to my father’s health issues, I’ve taken on 3 different gardening spaces, and I seem to keep signing up for publishing and other scholarly stuff, not to mention the multiple part-time jobs that adjuncting requires. So, in the name of honesty and not-going-crazy, I am re-naming and re-vising Great Bear Month as Great Bear Summer.

You’ll notice that last month was not nearly as productive and awesome as I had hoped – this was due mainly to various trips and distractions in the latter part of the month – which led to my hoping to extend Great Bear Month into July. That, of course, was disrupted by the complexities of that month – which led to general stress and feeling crappy about not getting more comics and such posted.

So, from this point forward, Great Bear Summers will stretch from June 1st to July 31st – with 40 pots total (instead of 30). This is a big productivity boost for myself and is entirely based on the academic year, which tends to structure my ability to work on comics and art. But we’ll see how it goes, eh?

Tomorrow, I’ll be announcing the future schedule – which will include much of what I mentioned in previous posts, along with more art-related stuff that’s not necessarily just comics, and a few other comics stories that I have put on the back burner. It will also include some links, hopefully, to the Great Bear Etsy store – where you will be able to buy Great Bear Comics and, some day soon, paraphernalia.

The Truth

Special release number one is a story that I started ages ago – or really just 7 years ago – after watching the film The Naked Kiss (which is fantastic!). It’s a noir film about a prostitute who tries to start over in a small town only to realize that there is darkness everywhere – but it also features a madam named Candy who employs attractive young women as her bonbon girls – one of whom is named Marshmallow, with the others taking seemingly random names. That one instance of naming, alongside my reading Paul Auster’s The New York Trilogy at the time – which includes a story about men named after colors – inspired me to write a gender-flipped noir. Why can’t women be the badass tough guy with a heart of gold or the charming but villainous love interest? Why shouldn’t men be the vulnerable heroines or the femme fatales?

That story was terrible. Just awful. My good friend Carlea Holl-Jensen helped me out, though, and kept me from trying to write a story where I flipped the use of all personal pronouns as well as any reference to a man or woman. Which was a life-saver for this story.

In any case, enough introduction! Here you have the first 2 bits (or chapters) of a larger novella that is just about finished – but BEWARE – the language is definitively adult (hello grimey bar talk!). Once the novella is finished, it will only be available in physical form – with a pulp-inspired cover and design. So, watch out for a future post with a preview of the cover and info on where to find The Color of Truth.

The second special release is the entire first issue of A Dude’s World – which is available for one day only because it’s the first real comic I ever made. Look for it later today (and don’t worry, it will be posted for 24 hours).

And the third and last is a surprise Battle special issue – which will be posted either today or tomorrow and will, as with these others, only be up for 24 hours. So get ’em while they’re hot!

Here be the excerpt:

The Color of Truth

The woman on the street was wearing a suit like a man would in an old noir film, but she fit in perfectly. Her brown wool hat matched her suit nicely and managed to keep the sun out of her eyes. She did not stick out among a crowd of strangers, but blended in like a rock in a pebble quarry, somehow larger but not noticeably so at first. Her black, curling hair was up under her hat, hidden. Grif did not want to be seen, as usual.

But above her, on the third floor of a nearby building, just the other side of her official office, Detective Griffin Hunger’s first client of the day was waiting, watching her. He was not so thick as to not see Hunger’s beauty hidden, covered with wool and the desire to disappear. In the gray of this particular Monday, the detective shone in his eyes, perhaps because she held salvation in her ability to solve problems, mysteries. For this man who’d signed in as Mr. White, Griffin would hopefully play the role of an idiot savant untangling a winding riddle, tearing all the circuitousness of his reality with ease to reveal truth, hidden, beautiful, ringing. The man squeezed the cane he held, looked over the costume he wore and readied himself to meet her…

Aw, you missed it! But look for this story o be continued in The Color of Truth full novella…

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