Release The Dragon!

It’s past time to share the news about the release of my latest comic, one my collaborator and I have been working on for quite a while: The Dragon Templar!

 It is the depths of the Middle Ages, the era of the Crusades… A time of expansion for both populations and empires, the Universal Church is committed to laying claim to the Holy Land… The legendary Knights Templar are Rome’s agents on the ground protecting traveling pilgrims and battling the Saracens, all the while harboring in their midst a power they can’t fully understand…

Writer Brad Starnes and I talk a bit about the genesis of this medieval adventure tale in the book itself, but I want to share here how excited I am to be working on this project in tandem with another creator. Even if it can draw the process out a bit, having someone else involved in this project’s creation has helped push us both, and the creative give-and-take adds a level of excitement that I don’t get when writing and drawing stories on my own. We plot out the story ideas together, then I draw it, giving storytelling notes in the margins that Brad then works into his script (what comic nerds call “the Marvel Method”). I’m really happy with how well this worked in our first issue, and Brad did a great job, raising the bar above what I could accomplish on my own! While I’d hoped we would have a second story ready to go before we released the first issue, we’d waited long enough and decided to release the first story into the wild to see what response it garners! Since I wanted to play up the Monster Market release of Monster Melee in October, I’m finally able to shift my focus to this project, one I’m thrilled to finally get into print and into the hands of readers! In the future, I guess I need to do a better job of scheduling my releases so they each get their moment to shine. Always something to improve upon, I guess…

The Dragon Templar #1 is a 12-page black & white standard sized comic on ivory stock w/ full-color cover; ask for it at your comic shop of choice (our list of retail partners is kept up-to-date on the Dragon Templar website), or get a copy by mail via my Square store for $5.00 postpaid in the US. You can also get a copy by becoming one of my Patreon patrons during the rest of 2021 at the Correspondent or Art Lover level (plus, joining (at any level) gives you immediate access to other online bonus comics, including a full-color Human Spring adventure)!

My plan, by the way, is to release a print alongside each issue of The Dragon Templar. Until I get my act together and figure out how I want to ship oversize prints, tho, you’ll need to get them from me at one of my in-person events. Like Crafts and Drafts, coming this November 13th to Crosstown Concourse…

Hot off the press: a one-sheet war!

“This is the story … of seven monsters … picked to be in a comic together … find out what happens … when monsters stop being polite … and start killing each other: Monster Melee!

After a soft debut at September’s Memphis Zine Fest 6 (my first IRL event in nearly two years, where I demo’d the folding/trimming on this book to its socially-distanced attendees), Monster Melee is getting its wide release as part of October’s Monster Market, which I think will be a good fit for it. Or at least as good as can be in a virtual shop where people can’t pick it up and play with it…

See, this minicomic is a little different than my usual Smeary Soapbox Press-ents minicomics: while this is also made from a single sheet of paper, it’s a sheet that’s not bound, but rather folded to achieve its book-ness. This summer I took an online RISO workshop from the fine folks at Outlet PDX where I was reminded of this folding format and decided to give it a try. I’ve never used it before because it’s generally done with a letter size piece of paper, yielding what to me feels like a too-small finished book, but their example started with an 11×17” sheet (as mine does), which folds down to the familiar minicomic size, and I was off and running…

Interested in your own copy? You can get Monster Melee (8 two-color pages on blue stock; trim size 5.5 x 4.25″; unfolds into 11 x 17 poster) exclusively through Monster Market (it’s a fine $2  add-on to the other items you’re going to want to order from the shop!) thru Halloween … or by becoming one of my Patreon patrons during October 2021 at the Correspondent or Art Lover level (plus, joining (at any level) gives you immediate access to other online bonus comics, including a full-color Human Spring adventure)!

The secret (finally) revealed!!

Revealed at long last– the secret origin of Watusi the Talking Dog!! Or maybe “originS” is more accurate, as told in this collection of comics by me, Matt Corrigan, Steve Peters & Daniel Heredia, Steve Skeates, Drew Boynton, Nate Corrigan, Larned Justin, Tom Cherry, Billy McKay, and J.B. Winter!

This “untold origin” project is one I’ve had on the back burner for a shamefully long time; it fell into the cracks when jam comic participation dried up before this invitational issue was filled up and other projects pushed to the fore. But it’s finally complete, and I’m really happy with how it turned out!

Watusi the Talking Dog #40 is a 16-page black & white digest w/ full-color cover; ask for it at your comic shop of choice, or get a copy by mail via my Square store for $3.00 postpaid in the US. You can also get a copy by becoming one of my Patreon patrons during the months of May/June 2021 at the Correspondent or Art Lover tier– plus, joining gives you immediate access to online bonus comics, including a full-color Human Spring adventure!

A horrific year, reflected in drawings

As you might guess from its cover, the latest issue of my Smeary Soapbox Press-ents minicomic series is another “art” mini, collecting drawings from the pandemic year of 2020. It’s no big surprise that 2020 was a difficult year (I’m sure you know why), and that mood of impending doom was reflected in my drawings from that time. Lots of monstrous images, including ghosts, murder hornets, and silent era horror movies. 

Interested in your own copy? You can get a copy of Smeary Soapbox Press-ents #21 (an 8-page minicomic) from me by mail, postpaid for just $1.00 … or by becoming one of my Patreon patrons during April or May 2021 at the Correspondent or Art Lover level … plus, joining (at any level) gives you immediate access to other online bonus comics, including a full-color Human Spring adventure!

Celebrate the 901!

The membership of the Mid-South Cartoonists Association are back doin’ what we do, this time celebrating The Good, the Bad, and the Sketchy about our own hometown! Memphis may be known for Blues, BBQ, & Beale Street …. but it’s much more than just that! This issue kicks off with my own 3-page “The Legend of Robert Church”, and includes comics & art by Kevin L. Williams, Grace Smith, DaMarco Randle, Jim Palmer, Michael Irby, Charlie Forrester, and Jason Negen; Beale-tastic cover art by Charles Ettinger.

The Good, the Bad, and the Sketchy #6 is a 20-page black & white digest w/ full-color cover, and is available in the area at 901 Comics and Comics and Collectibles & by mail via my Square store for $4.00 postpaid in the US.

Hot off the press: Double Dip #3!

Well, maybe “warm” off the press, since Tom Cherry and I finished the latest issue of our two-person anthology Double Dip at the tail end of last year. With the holiday rush behind us, now is a great time to share this issue’s release with the wider world! As always, it’s a joy to team up with Tom to serve you a heaping helping of our different but eerily simpatico cartooning sensibilities…

In Tom’s half of the issue, Dadman & Sonny confront an unexpected visitor, while the alien FooF reveals his secret origin in my story, which incorporates a tactile structure that can only be appreciated in its physical form!

I was thrilled that Tom and I were able to finish this issue in so much less time than it took to finish #2, and that’s even with drawing two covers for it! While I’m not a big fan of variant covers, Tom’s cover gag was such a winner (and of the moment, too!) that it’d be foolish to not use it. My gag was … well, kinda what I used on the first issue, but that’s what happens when there’s a years-long gap between issues #1 & #3, I guess…

Double Dip #3 is a 16-page black & white digest w/ full-color cover; ask for it at your comic shop of choice, or get a copy by mail via my Square store for $3.00 postpaid in the US. You can also get a copy by becoming one of my Patreon patrons during the months of January/Feb 2021 at the Correspondent or Art Lover tier– plus, joining gives you immediate access to online bonus comics, including a full-color Human Spring adventure!

Walking in a winter wonderland…

While it’s not really winter yet (not that it ever is here in the MidSouth), once I dust off my holiday CDs for their annual spins I can’t help but think about winter & snow & the like. Fortunately, the members of the Mid-South Cartoonists Association are feeling that way, too, in the latest issue of The Good, the Bad, and the Sketchy! It features comics & art by Jason Negen, Jim Palmer, Lin Workman, Kevin L. Williams, and me. I even did the cover for this one, featuring my take on some of the characters appearing inside! The Good, the Bad, and the Sketchy #5 is a 20-page black & white digest w/ full-color cover, and is available at comic shops all around Memphis ( 901 Comics, The Cellar, Comics and Collectibles) as well as by mail via my Square store for $4.00 postpaid in the US.

Thankful for collaborators (and for comics)

Like for most artists, this pandemic year has been a challenge for me. With all my IRL events for the year canceled, I’ve been working on a number of collaborations with other artists in a similar situation. While I love collaborating with others, I’m especially thankful for it during this year. And even though most of these projects have not reached fruition yet, one of them sees print in a new collection released this month…

Take a walk on the wild side in the animal-themed fourth issue of the Mid-South Cartoonists Association’s The Good, the Bad, and the Sketchy; it’s led off with a Watusi/Muley crossover by Kevin L. Williams and me. For years now, I’ve wanted to work on a story with another artist where we could both draw our own characters on the same physical page, and at long last I’ve been able to do so! I think it turned out pretty good, too! Other comics & art in the issue provided by Jim Palmer (who also drew the cover), Jason Negen, Jack Cassady, Kevin Thorn, and Lin Workman; co-edited by Jason & me. The Good, the Bad, and the Sketchy #4 is a 24-page black & white digest w/ full-color cover, and is available at comic shops all around Memphis ( 901 Comics, The Cellar, Comics and Collectibles) as well as by mail via my Square store for $4.00 postpaid in the US.

Also newly published is Smeary Soapbox Press-ents #20, another arty collection of my daily Instagram drawings, a more or less real? fictitious? document of my hair during our month of shelter in place. Can’t help but feel there are more sheltering hairstyles in my future, tho… This full color (my first!) 8-page minicomic is available from my Square store or from me by mail, postpaid for just $2.00 … or by becoming one of my Patreon patrons during November or December 2020 at the Correspondent or Art Lover level … plus, joining (at any level) gives you immediate access to other online bonus comics, including a full-color Human Spring adventure!

I hope you all have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Going back to print…

While this pandemic rages on, I and some of my cartoonist compatriots have stopped waiting for things to return to “normal,” and have resumed publishing material in the printed form! These two comics are a modest step in that direction for me … but it’s still a step in that direction! If things go as planned (by no means a sure thing in 2020!), I hope to have a couple more new print comics by the end of the year. But for now, there are at least these two…

The “magic”-themed third issue of the Mid-South Cartoonists Association’s The Good, the Bad, and the Sketchy! has just hit shelves of all the Memphis area comic shops ( 901 Comics, The Cellar, Comics and Collectibles) as well as through the mail via my Square store. This issue, co-edited by Jason Negen & me, features all-new comics & art from Jason, Kevin L. Williams, Jim Palmer, and Lin Workman, along with a jam page drawn at our MSCA meetings (back when we were able to meet IRL), & cover art from Greg Cravens. My contribution is a pair of Tarot illustrations. Someday I’ll finish drawing the whole deck… The Good, the Bad, and the Sketchy #3 is a 20-page black & white digest w/full-color cover, $4.00 postpaid in the US.

Also newly published is Smeary Soapbox Press-ents #19, another remastered Giant Jack Halloween comic from decades past! This was a gross-out little comic nugget, and was fun to revisit, even if I basically just tidied up the lettering & drew a new cover based on the original… You can get a copy of Smeary Soapbox Press-ents #19 (an 8-page minicomic) from me by mail, postpaid for just $1.00 … or by becoming one of my Patreon patrons during October or November 2020 at the Correspondent or Art Lover level … plus, joining (at any level) gives you immediate access to other online bonus comics, including a full-color Human Spring adventure!

New comics for a pandemic springtime

It’s been a helluva spring, hasn’t it? With all my face-to-face events cancelled and all my other outlets closed for the foreseeable future, it’s been difficult for me to stay motivated about publishing new comics …

But, before pandemic-mania affected my part of the world & weighed heavily on my mind most hours of most days, I did manage to finish a pair of new comics!

First up is the second issue of the Mid-South Cartoonists Association’s The Good, the Bad, and the Sketchy! This sci-fi themed issue, edited by Jason Negen and me, features all-new comics & art from Jason, Kevin L. Williams, Jim Palmer, Lin Workman, Michael Irby, and me, along with an “Out of This World!” jam page drawn at our MSCA meetings. My contribution is “The Fantastical Order of Foofthusiasts!”, a peek at the 26th-century legacy of my shape-changing hero FooF! The Good, the Bad, and the Sketchy #2 is a 24-page black & white digest w/full-color cover. It’s available for pickup from all Memphis area comic shops ( 901 Comics, The Cellar, Comics and Collectibles — call for their specific situation, of course) as well as through the mail from my Square store. With online sales providing my only source of income, your purchase would be much appreciated (& highly motivating).

Also newly published is Smeary Soapbox Press-ents #18, an 8-page minicomic collecting some of my favorite pencil drawings from 2019. You can get your own copy from me by mail, postpaid for just $1.00 (address on the Contact page). I’ll also include a copy with any purchase of physical content from my Square store during the months of April & May 2020 …

You can also socially-distance score a copy of both of these comics by becoming one of my Patreon patrons during April or May 2020 at the Correspondent or Art Lover level … plus, joining (at any level) gives you immediate access to other online bonus comics, including a full-color Human Spring adventure!