September 30, 2016
Well, maybe more “warm out of the oven,” since I’ve taken this collection to my last two events (with two more on the horizon: the Memphis Comic Expo, Oct. 22-23 and Wichita’s Air Capital Comiccon, Nov. 12-13) . But with the print copies now in hand, and my shipping costs figured out, I’m happy to share these comics with those of you who aren’t able to catch me at one of my appearances!
Watusi and the Emerald Serpent is the story of an ordinary talking dog thrown out of his comfort zone into a crime-ridden island paradise! Watusi finds himself pitted against an outlaw gang and its lunatic leader in his most epic adventure yet! Inspired by the Kenneth Robeson Doc Savage novels and Floyd Gottfredson’s “Mickey Mouse” strips, this story may be my favorite project so far. Certainly my favorite Watusi story.
As I wrote a couple of months ago, I’ve been working on a print edition of this story, and I’m very pleased with how it turned out. This print edition has been edited and expanded from the story as it was first published online (46 of its 84 pages have new &/or updated content), and I think the changes help the story flow much better. And look better, too! In addition to interior art improvements, I’m also really happy with the full-color covers– I think it’s my best color work to date– and the full-color guest art from JB Winter, Billy McKay, Mike Sullivan, and Tom Cherry really rounds out the package in a classy way. As you can tell, I’m trying hard not to overdo the hyperbole, but I’m really proud of these comics, and hope everyone who reads these issues enjoys them as much as I did making them!
You can order all seven 16-page issues (b&w interiors with full-color covers) as a set from my online store & have them delivered right to your mailbox.
January 20, 2016
I’ve been thinking a lot about the differences between comic strips and comic books lately.
Even though I’ve essentially been writing & drawing a comic strip for years now, I’ve always thought of myself as a comic book creator. And, while I haven’t yet collected the “Watusi” strips like I’ve planned, my end goal with these stories has always been for book-length (or at least issue-length) collections. Which only makes sense, given how much more my storytelling sensibilities and influences have always come from the pacing of comic books than from gag-a-day comic strips. Still, I’ve found myself paying a lot more attention to comic strips than to books lately. Partly this is because there aren’t that many ongoing monthlies that appeal to me right now, partly because my own collection is largely inaccessible in my current studio space, and partly because the (how to say this kindly?) “vintage” graphic novel collection at the Memphis Public Library includes a lot more “Alley Oop” than Saga. And they only have one “Alley Oop” book…
But I’m enjoying what I’m discovering– not just in classic adventure strips that lean naturally toward my comic interests– but also in gag strips, both those being published today and what I’m rediscovering in older strips.
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September 15, 2015
While this isn’t exactly a lost interview, it kind of feels like one. Tom answered my questions quite a while ago, but for one reason or another (none of them good enough!), I didn’t get it formatted and published until now … but I think it’s still worth the wait! Tom Cherry is a creative powerhouse that has been making wonderful comics and actively working in theatre, radio, and television for years. The last few months have seen him be particularly active as a cartoonist– with lots of new “Oh! Those Savages” strips this summer– so, on the verge of “Draw Crabby Day” (more on that below), this seems like the perfect time to turn the “20 questions” spotlight on Tom Cherry…
1. Revisiting the TFI episodes (thanks, YouTube!) I was struck by how leisurely they were paced in comparison to the strips. (On the other hand, maybe I’m just reading the comics too fast!) Is your approach to writing for the comic different than writing for the show? How?
Yes, writing for the strip is vastly different than writing a script for television. Of course, as much as I like to believe my strip’s humor is character driven, it follows the classic gag strip format with a set-up that ends with a punch line. With three or four panels, there’s not enough space to explore the same story structure I can play around with in a longer format. With my comic strip, it’s designed (for the most part!) to be simple, funny, and to the point. With a script for television or radio, I have more time to tell a complete story with greater character interaction.
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