Lately I’ve been hard at work on a short story for Then It Was Dark, an upcoming anthology of ghost story comics. My piece focuses on the tale of Thomas Lynn Bradford, a Spiritualist who committed suicide in 1921 in an attempt prove the existence of an afterlife by contacting the living from beyond the grave. A woman named Ruth Doran claimed to have received his message.
Pencil drawing from “From The Beyond.”
This has been a really fun story to work on. Anyone who has read previous posts about my process will know that one of my favorite parts of research is finding amusing titles of old newspaper articles, and research for this piece has been no exception. Below is my favorite of the articles I discovered for many reasons but especially for the “GIVES OUT A STORY ON IT” subtitle, which seems pretty self-evident and hilariously unnecessary.
I also now have a pretty extensive library of reference photos of 1920s fashion, and older buildings in Detroit, where the story takes place.
I have exciting plans for these pages, which I will post more about in the coming weeks. For now, they are slowly coming together:
At this point I was cursing myself for drawing so many windows.
Needs some whiteout, but otherwise finished title panel.
Photo reference (Detroit, circa 1920).
Stay tuned for more updates on this and other stories. To see process photos posted in real time, follow me on Twitter!
In case you missed it, I was interviewed a couple of times earlier this summer at the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE), and now both interviews are online for your viewing/listening/reading pleasure. Below you can watch the video interview between myself and Big Gay Horror Fan about Unknown Origins & Untimely Ends, the Hic & Hoc unsolved mysteries anthology I edited last year.
You can also listen to a brief interview with me from The Two Page Spread. The sound quality isn’t great because it was recorded amidst the bustling convention, so click the link if you’d rather read a transcript!
As some of you may remember, last year for Symbolia‘s “True Crime” issue, I investigated fans of the rap duo Insane Clown Posse (known as Juggalos). In 2011, the FBI included Juggalos in their National Gang Threat Assessment, classifying them as a “loosely organized hybrid gang.” ICP members Joseph “Violent J” Bruce and Joseph “Shaggy 2 Dope” Utsler, along with the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, filed a lawsuit against the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department earlier this year. Their suit, which called the gang classification “unwarranted and unlawful,” included among the plaintiffs four Juggalos who claimed to have been unfairly targeted due to the 2011 report. As of July 2014, Detroit federal Judge Robert Cleland has dismissed the case, saying that the government isn’t responsible for the actions of local law enforcement. Because of this recent ruling, Symbolia has posted my comic in full on their website for free! You can read other stories in Symbolia by subscribing.
If you’ve been following me on social media over the past few months, you know I’ve developed something of an obsession with trepanation. I’ve been researching and interviewing members of the International Trepanation Advocacy Group, as well as others, to put together a 15-page comic all about this small but enthusiastic faction of people who believe drilling a hole in your skull is the path to enlightenment.
You can now read the finished piece, “Trepanation: Elective Surgery You Need Like A Hole In The Head,” on The Nib!
Go on, read the comic now!
CAKE banner by Carrie Vinarsky
CAKE is upon us! Come find me at table 46B this Saturday and Sunday (May 31st and June 1st) from 11am-6pm at The Center on Halsted (3656 N. Halsted Ave.) in Chicago. I’m looking forward to meeting all of you!