Starting in 2001 I wrote and drew a comic strip for The Tornado, a local (Lawrence, KS) weekly. “Continuity and Vine” was my chance to snark about pop culture, art, history, and whatever else caught my fancy. Including comics about comics:
Unfortunately, six months into the strip’s run the Twin Towers were destroyed and cartooning about movie marketing schemes and celebrity misadventures didn’t seem so important any more. Over the next year, the strip veered into overtly political territory and was getting darker in tone than I enjoyed. Also during that time a number of things happened to lead me to end the strip: The Tornado folded, posting strips on my website at the time wasn’t very satisfying for me, I wasn’t able to find a syndicate interested in the strip, and Watusi jams were keeping me busier (and making me happier) than “C&V” was. The final nail in the “Continuity and Vine” coffin, though, happened when someone at a show said he was glad to read my comics … so he’d know what to think about the news! I certainly wasn’t writing these strips to become some sort of political guru!
While the “Continuity and Vine” strips are pretty topical– and as a result can seem a little dated at times– I’m proud of this body of work, which features some of my best brush inking and satiric writing. I’m happy to announce that all three collections are now available in my online store as downloadable .pdf books:
- I’ll come up with a title later. The first collection begins with the earliest strips from spring 2001, along with the very the first post-9/11 strips. Originally published in October 2001.
- Days of Wine and Anthrax, the second collection, is particularly dark and political in tone. But it still has moments of levity, including the desert island strips. Originally published in October 2002.
- The Cliche Squad Strikes Back was the final collection (so far), and used superhero comics as comment on the war in Iraq. One of my favorite parts was the five-page “Cliche Squad Theme”, original to the collection. Originally published in April 2003.