Every so often you get the proverbial offer-you-can’t-refuse. For me, sometimes that’s work with a creator or for a project that I love. Sometimes it’s when somebody you respect needs help. Sometimes it’s a fun artistic challenge, and sometimes it’s a really cool opportunity to make contact with a new audience.
And sometimes it’s all of those things, because maestro Scott Kurtz needs somebody to write and draw a guest story for his wonderful flagship strip PvP while he heals up a sore back and gets ready to launch a big new project. So! For the next little stretch here I’m happily dropping (almost) everything to do just that.
I’ve been sweet on Scott’s work, and on PvP in particular, for years now – and especially since the story moved to Seattle, my old hometown. That means that I also get to depict some of my favorite landmarks from around the city. Tough gig!
So I’m having an absolute ball taking Scott’s lovely, silly, brash, sincere characters out for a spin. If you’re already a fan of PvP, I think you’ll probably enjoy this little story; if you’re new to the strip, well, you have some very fun archive-diving ahead of you! Either way, head over to site, check out the first strip from my run, and (hopefully) enjoy.
I’m taking the week away from Family Man to compensate for producing a weekday strip; I hope to be back next week! It’s a small price to pay for having such a ball.
In the meantime, if you peruse my store, you might notice that I have soft-launched two new books! I’ll make a big deal about it later, but if you missed your chance to get in on my Kickstarter project from 2012, you can now purchase your very own copies of Outfoxed and Danse Macabre. I still have a lot of orders to fulfill from backers, so expect a slightly longer turnaround than usual, but…they’re HERE!
One of my favorite ongoing gigs for 2012 has been with the alt-weekly Portland Mercury. I grew up in Seattle, and my teenaged face was frequently glued to the subversive pages of the Merc’s parent paper, The Stranger. I still get a kick out of seeing that logo on the paycheck envelope. Arts editors Erik Henriksen and Alison Hallett are both smart, funny, sarcastic people – I absolutely love working with them.
The last piece I did for the paper this year was a collaboration with Alison, summing up some of the notable happenings in the Portland creative scene this year.
As a bonus, I got up-and-coming cartoonist Lucy Bellwood to wander over to my computer and draw her autobiographical comics self-portrait for item #7. I predict that you’ll be hearing a lot from Lucy in 2013!
Hop on over to the Mercury to see what each of these items references! (Personal triumph: I was directly involved with #5 and #7.)
What a busy week it’s been! Here’s a quick round-up of all the excitement.
(permanent link to page 259)
And, over in the Land of the Kickstarter, we’ve cracked $23.5k (less than $1500 to go until fox patches!) and an amazing 511 backers. That is beyond spectacular.
Here are some of the inked pages for the new Bite Me!
short story. This has been unspeakable amounts of fun! And it’s rare that I do a book-exclusive story (this sucker won’t go up on the regular internets) so I feel very mysterious.
I’m also finishing up design work for the Outfoxed print edition. One of the things I’m happiest about is a repeating pattern that will appear on the inside covers. It’s a whole panoply of laundry from the story!
You can download a desktop wallpaper of this pattern by visiting the Kickstarter version of this post.
And, lastly (for now), I’m putting together the spreads for the Danse Macabre 2.0 book! That means I get to write nasty little revenge ditties like this one. I live in Portland, so this one was especially satisfying.
Man, what a week! The 2012 Library is now over $18k on Kickstarter, which means that all three books will be going to print, and that the anniversary edition of Bite Me will have a new 11-page short story! All of that is a very big deal for an indie artist/publisher like me. Thank you to everybody who has pitched in so far! And hey, the rest of you: the books will never be cheaper online, and they certainly won’t come with as much cool cool extra stuff. You have until July 17!
(And, if we hit 20k, you will have a shot at getting a set of Skullhouettes prints, aka my fastest-selling design ever.)
In other news, Portlanders may have been seeing even more of my illustration work around town lately. The last two weeks of the Portland Mercury have both featured art by me – last week’s Pride issue included one of my Lady Parts images, and this week’s story on wind energy had me drawing Senator Ron Wyden in lumberjack mode:
It’s not every day you get paid to look up photos of lumberjacks. It’s a fine job, my job.
And now, on to pagan rituals in the back woods of Moravia in the 18th century! Here’s your teaser panel for this week’s page of Family Man:
Warning: we are back into Bunny Guts territory. If you do not care to gaze upon (tastefully rendered) rabbit innards, put this one off until you’re feeling a little more up to it!
Incredible! Less than a week since the Kickstarter project launched, and we’ve passed the initial goal of $15,000. I’m blown away by the enthusiasm and generosity of all my backers. Thank you to all of you!
We still have almost a month left on the project, which means a month left to get a 10% discount on books and receive your copies (and all that sweet extra stuff!) before I put them on sale.
It also means we can start adding on new rewards and features! If we raise $17890, I’ll be able afford the inclusion of a NEW 11-page story in the anniversary edition of Bite Me! Guys, I have wanted to do this since forever, and I know we can make it. I can’t go on living as the only person who knows how Audric became a vampire, and why it involves a lute, an untimely sneeze, and a room full of nuns.
If we do make it to $17890, I’ll add a reward where a high-level contributor will have a cameo in the comic as the person indirectly responsible for all of Bite Me! happening.
And, on a related note, here is the image for the second 4×6″ art print – a little line-up of Claire through the ages! (Hey, when you’re that pale, you pick a palette and you stick with it.)