Faithful Falling Rockers, the long wait is over. Falling Rock National Park #6 is back from the printer and it looks fantastic. I love the look and feel of the paper. It makes the experience of reading this story even more enjoyable, I believe. Paper and ink! The way comics were meant to be consumed.
How can you acquire this latest trip to the American Southwest? Right here on my website, or next week at WonderCon! I will be in the Small Press section, table 93. Beyond that, I hope to get this issue into the fine local comic shops in Portland.
I can’t wait for you to read this issue. I can honestly say I am very proud of it.
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.
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.
Today marks a special day, not just for Falling Rock but for my cartooning career. While drawing Atticus & Glen for my college paper, I created what has become one of my favorite characters of all time. His name was Professor Globulus.
Globulus looked like Jabba the Hutt. He was a combination of all the worst characteristics of college professors, including the (to my knowledge) totally fictitious trait of eating students.
I liked him so much, I brought him back frequently during Atticus & Glen’s four year run. He even became the villain of my 17-page Atticus & Glen comic book, published at the end of my senior year.
When I ended Atticus & Glen I figured I’d leave all those characters in Ohio. Dee followed me west, however, and became the starring character in The Family Monster. Since it was a comic strip about monsters, I couldn’t well leave Globulus out. He made two appearances, one as a bureaucrat…
And the second as a lowly ranger for an interestingly-named park.
When I began Falling Rock, I knew Globulus would show up eventually, but I couldn’t throw him in unceremoniously. No, a character of his sliminess needed a good reason to reappear in my work. It took almost six years, but I found the perfect place for Globulus: Park Superintendent.
Over the next week, you’ll see Globulus in his most recent incarnation. He’s still troubling Dee. I doubt he’ll ever really leave her alone.