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issue 2 progress

I’ve been drawing pages for Falling Rock National Park issue 2. Due in May, this one is shaping up to be an instant classic.

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#process #fallingrock #nationalpark

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#process #comic #fallingrock #nationalpark

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#process #fallingrock #nationalpark

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Bristol board paper #process #fallingrock #nationalpark

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#process

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autobiography Blog comic book

issue 1 is here!

Issue 1 of the Falling Rock comic book has arrived! Subscribers, you’ll be receiving yours in the mail within a week. Haven’t subscribed yet? Well, now’s the time!

issue-1-joshshalek issue-1-front-cover issue-1-back-cover issue-1-inside

If you’re wondering why I’m dressed like a guy who just hopped off a bicycle, that’s because I had just hopped off my bicycle.
I had to take advantage of one of the few sunny days Portland has to offer in February.

What are you waiting for?!? Subscribe now!

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Blog comic book friday robot

friday robots

While you are enjoying today’s robots, consider subscribing to Falling Rock! It’s only 20 bucks and it means I get to keep making comics.

 

That’s the end of the money bit, now leave a great weekend!Friday robots 2-8-13

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autobiography Blog comic book

pre-order issue 1 or subscribe

The long wait is finally over! Issue 1 of Falling Rock National Park, the comic book, is at the printer. 20 pages of sheer comic goodness, plus an extended contribution from my friend (and HUUUGE Indiana Jones fan) Reid. And a color cover. See:

issue-1-cover-joshshalek

You can pre-order Issue 1 right here for $4. Or, if you’d like Issues 1-4 delivered direct to your door, you can subscribe for the low price of $20. Again, here’s that link.

I’m very excited to share the next phase of Falling Rock with you all!

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autobiography Blog comic book comic con

welcome back to falling rock

issue-1-cover-joshshalekThe wait is almost over. The first issue of Falling Rock National Park, the comic book, is headed to the printer.

As longtime readers know, my comic strip Welcome to Falling Rock National Park ended in May of 2012. I made the hard decision to change formats. Although I love comic strips, newspapers are all but extinct. I cannot compete with both legacy strips (that is, comic strips drawn by the grandchildren of legendary cartoonists) and the shrinking marketplace. Webcomics are wonderful, but I always wanted to be in print. I grew up reading comics in print and so that was my goal.
Rather than mope about like a boozy novelist, I set about determining what people are reading in print nowadays. Many of my cartoonist friends have been self-publishing comic book series with great critical (and, once in a while, commercial) success. The comic book is the most vital format today. It has the serialized nature I love about comic strips, but allows for much more diversity in terms of storytelling.

The first issue costs $4 and will be available by the end of February. I’ll soon post a link on my Buy Books page and I’ll have it with me when I head to Emerald City in March, Stumptown in April, San Diego ComicCon in July, and Tucson ComicCon in November. (More dates TBD!) There will also be a subscription for Falling Rock National Park – $20 for four issues (includes postage). Subscribe if you want to have new issues mailed directly to you the instant they get back from the printer!

That’s all the news so far! I’ll let you know when the first issue is ready to be read.

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Blog comic book fiction

I love you, (Bat)man

My love for the Batman is deep and abiding. That is why, while rewatching the three Christopher Nolan Batmen, I came up with my own Batman storyline.

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autobiography Blog comic book

falling rock book 6 HAS ARRIVED

Like previous Falling Rock collections, Falling Rock National Park 2012 was printed with care by the fine folks at Pinball Press using only Lorax-approved materials.  Post-consumer recycled paper, chipboard covers made from recycled dreams, and soy-based ink.  It is important to me that the physical manifestation of Falling Rock hews closely to the ideology of the strip itself.

Don’t waste any more precious time reading about Falling Rock National Park 2012; you can purchase a copy and actually read it.  Right here!
Falling Rock National Park 2012 is the culmination of the 2011-2012 year, with 67 hand-picked comics plus one secret ingredient (hint: it’s love).  This is also the very last Falling Rock daily strip collection.  As I’ve said before, Falling Rock will continue as a periodical rather than the four panels a day you’ve grown accustomed to.  Falling Rock 2012 represents not only a milestone but an ending.

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Blog comic book

preorder: falling rock book 6!

In anticipation of the release of Falling Rock 2012,
I’ve updated my Buy Books page.
You can now click on over and purchase your very own copy of the last-ever collection of Falling Rock dailies.

Let’s take a look at the cover:

Ready to buy?  If you’d like to have it signed and personalized, just let me know!

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Blog comic book

falling rock book 6

Hello dear readers,
As you know Falling Rock has gone on permanent hiatus, at least as far as dailies go.  I’m going to begin working on the next iteration of Falling Rock, but in the meantime there is no need for despair!  For I’ve just sent Falling Rock Book 6 to Pinball Publishing.  Where would Falling Rock be, in print, if not for this great little press located in sunny Portland, Oregon?  Convention attendees across the country have remarked upon the cool chipboard covers all Falling Rock books, since book 3, with Carver sitting on a tree, sport.  There is no more fitting material for my drawings than the recycled paper and soy ink Pinball uses.

Falling Rock book 6 (or Falling Rock 2012, as it will be known henceforth) will arrive a few weeks before I jet off to my next convention in sunny Chicago, Illinois.  It will, of course, also be available for purchase from my website.  Check back for updates; I’ll have the form up soon for preorders.  I can’t wait for all of you to hold this last collection of Falling Rock dailies in your hot little hands.

As a bonus (“value added”), I re-drew a strip from last year that I hadn’t made in time for Scenic BywaysThis strip deserves to be in print; I re-drew it with a brush so it will look consistent with the rest of the strips in the collection.

Onward!

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autobiography Blog comic comic book

the end of daily Falling Rock

Hello friends.  This is the last week of daily Falling Rock.  Not just for the season, but forever.  As you can imagine, this is not a decision I came upon lightly.

Since I was a kid I’ve wanted to be a comic strip artist; I used to read and reread Calvin & Hobbes in the morning paper.  I drew a comic strip in my high school newspaper and my college newspaper, and when I ran out of school I found other papers willing to run my comics.  It has become a part of my identity: I draw a comic strip.  Lately, however, a number of things have changed.  Daily newspapers are slowly becoming anachronistic.  People don’t subscribe to a city’s daily like they used to.  Heck, even I don’t get the daily paper.  Because of this, the number of new comic strips being introduced each year has plummeted, and the strips that do get introduced often languish due to low readership.  Great strips have ended simply because the newspapers aren’t delivering the size audience a strip needs to (financially) survive.

I’ve changed too.  When I wrote Dancing with Jack Ketch, it was 2006.  This year I published Tomb of the Zombies.  Six long years stand between those books.  I’d like my next book to come out before 2018.  As you know, doing a daily strip 9 months a year takes up most of my time.  Not having that commitment will allow me the freedom to tell many different kinds of stories.  This idea makes me happy.

Fear not, dear readers, Falling Rock is not ending.  I’d like to turn it into a quarterly comic book.  I’ll sell subscriptions and bring individual issues to conventions.  I’ll be able to tell Falling Rock stories in a way a daily strip doesn’t permit.  It will also give me time to work on other comic projects, like Dancing with Jack Ketch and Tomb of the Zombies.  We’ll essentially have it all.

This does not completely allay my sadness at not drawing a daily comic strip.  This will be the first time since 2002 (when I graduated college and began The Family Monster) that I won’t have that daily commitment.  I guess what I’m saying is, I reserve the right to bring Falling Rock (or some other comic strip) back.  I’m going to try this out and see how it fits.  It is quite possibly the biggest change of my life, because it means not working on the profession I’ve been preparing for my entire life.  Sadly, daily comic strip artists are slowly disappearing, like snow leopards or some rainforest beetle nobody’s ever heard of.  I have nothing but admiration for those people who are able to make it their living; they are working at the greatest job ever created.

Keep reading this blog over the summer for updates and amusing (but factually inaccurate) anecdotes.  I’m not going anywhere.