Falling Rock National Park #6 is at the printer right now, being printed! Real ink is being laid down on real paper, and when the process has completed I will have in my hands 500 copies of the greatest detective story ever told! Want to know who is the culprit? You’ll have to read it yourself to find out.
Subscribers have already been emailed, and I will be taking preorders for this issue at my Buy Books page.
If you live in Los Angeles, I hope to see you at WonderCon! March 25-27. I’m exhibiting at Small Press table 93. I’ll have #6, as well as previous issues, Tomb of the Zombies and Jack Ketch, prints, and maybe even a special surprise (involving dinosaurs).
The brand new issue of Falling Rock has been assembled! The fixed covers arrived on Monday, and the rest of the week was dedicated to unstapling the bad covers and stapling the good ones. If you are a subscriber or have pre-ordered a copy, yours is in the mail.
This issue has a “season 2” feel to it. I’ve redesigned the cover and table of contents.
Inside you’ll find two stories about Pam, the park’s curmudgeonly javelina. As an added bonus, “The Destination” features an extended flashback drawn by the esteemed Tyrell Cannon. If you’re interested in a sneak peek, do check out his series Victus. After you’ve feasted upon his visually sumptuous masterpiece in the making, you’ll be ready for Pam’s tale.
As the year winds down, I’ve been working on Falling Rock National Park #5. I’m hoping to have it complete by the new year, which means you lucky subscribers will receive it by February!
One of the fun new things I’m trying is a new printer. This is the reason for the extended completion-to-print time. I get to pick what kind of paper I want to use, which is one of those unexpected perks of self-publishing. I never thought that an effect of turning Falling Rock into a comic book would be me getting excited about pouring over a huge book of paper samples. But there it is.
If you’re interested in keeping up with the process of making issue 5, I’ve been documenting it over at Instagram. Follow me there to get all the latest developments, plus pictures of my cat, Sophia.
I’ve been leaving the best news for last. The most exciting development for issue 5 is my collaboration with cartoonist Tyrell Cannon. Similarly to my team-up with Reid Psaltis way back in issue 1, I wrote the story and Tyrell is providing the drawings. I can’t wait to see the finished results.
My friend Matt Bogart has a very worthy Kickstarter going right now. I met him at APE a few years ago and picked up his book, The Chairs’ Hiatus. It is a story about friendship and identity and of course ROCK. You should go over to his Kickstarter page to read more about it, but suffice to say I found it a great read. Had Matt and I not appreciated each other’s books, we might never have spoken again. I’m glad that did not come to pass.
Matt wants to turn The Chairs’ Hiatus into a beautiful hardback book and, I have to say, this sounds like an excellent idea. He asked me to contribute a guest strip for his website during the Kickstarter (there’s that handy link again). He posted it while I was hustling my goods at San Diego ComicCon. You can read it now!
His characters were really fun to write and draw. I should do a story about rocker chicks. They rule.
The long national nightmare is finally over.
Falling Rock National Park, issue 4, has arrived.
All subscriber copies have been sent. SUBSCRIBERS! Look for your copy in the mail next week. NOT A SUBSCRIBER? You can remedy that right here.
This issue includes a story about Carver hunting the elusive Desert Yeti, Ernesto giving sage advice to an aspiring writer, and a press conference. The thrills never end!
If you’d like a copy signed by me as I’m sitting in front of you, come see me at San Diego ComicCon! I’ll be at Small Press, table K-05.
When I went to college, I knew I wanted to draw a comic strip for the school paper. My sophmore year, I figured out what that strip would be: Atticus and Glen, the story of a tentative freshman (Glen) and the wise old squirrel who lived on campus his whole life (Atticus).
Although the set-up owed a lot to Calvin and Hobbes, the topics I covered were very much Oberlin. Co-ops, bicycles, vegetarianism, the ubiquitous English major, and of course race, gender, and class politics. My senior year, knowing I would leave Atticus and Glen in Oberlin, I wanted to make one big story before I ended the strip. The result was a seventeen page comic book I wrote and drew during winter term called The Inevitable Atticus & Glen. In another nod to Calvin and Hobbes, I gave the title a totally misleading prefix. There was nothing inevitable about the book; I willed this into exitance just like the rest of the strip.
The Inevitable Atticus & Glen was my first foray into self-publishing. The other cartoonist on campus, Alec Longstreth, was a huge self-publishing fan and would go on to make the long-running Phase 7 comic series. I was a bit more reluctant. I would be more than happy to do all the creative work and let some big publisher take on the unenviable task of producing, marketing, and selling. In the small world of Oberlin, and in the slightly bigger but still small world of non-superhero comics, there aren’t many publishers willing to do this. Self-publishing for me, then, was inevitable.
I took my pages to the college print shop, knowing nothing about putting a book together. They took my original art, photocopied it, and produced 100 booklets. The cost was low enough that I didn’t bother charging for the books. With the help of my friend Charlotte, we distributed the books across campus. I included a note imploring people to share; I wanted everyone to at least have a chance to read my masterpiece.
Now, for the first time, I’m making The Inevitable Atticus & Glen available to the world. You can read it below, or for the price of one dollar, you can have a PDF. Purists take note: I cleaned up the art a bit to make it more legible and less embarrassing. I have not added Jar Jar Binks, nor have I made Han shoot second.
These past few weeks I’ve begun work on Falling Rock issue 4. I have three longer stories which are all in various stages of completion. I think I’ll use whichever I finish writing first. Right now the top contender is a story involving a couple new characters, including a very famous cryptid.
This part of the process is always exciting. I have a few ideas which may or may not turn out, but everything I’m doing is pure creation.
In addition to the longer stories, I have a few single page stories (or “gags”). Maybe I’ll do a future issue comprised exclusively of these.
It’s fun to think about what a new issue will look like. I haven’t done anything too high-concept yet, but these are still early days. What issue will be my Sgt. Pepper? 100?
In other news, Cryptozoology News reported a sighting of a giant lizard-man in the desert. I couldn’t help but think it was the world’s first Ernesto sighting. Keep your eyes peeled, dear readers! The next time you’re hiking in the desert you may have a close encounter with a very tall lizard wearing a baseball jersey.
When you pick up a copy of Falling Rock National Park #3, these are the stories you’ll find within. The Lizard Vanishes, its title taken from the Hitchcock classic The Lady Vanishes, involves Ernesto’s alleged abduction by extra terrestrials. Of the short pieces that finish the book, my favorite might be Performance Review, as it features Park Superintendent Globulus. Globulus has long been my favorite villain, and I view this story as the beginning of a longer story involving the nefarious slug.
Pick up a copy right here, or when you see me at a convention later this year.