Eat More Comics!

There’s still time to pledge to the Kickstarter for Eat More Comics, The Nib‘s collection of their best stuff since their launch in September 2013. For their second anniversary, they will be putting out a giant, 300-page hardcover edition of  political cartoons, comics journalism, non-fiction, and humor comics.

The book will feature comics by tons of fantastic artists (visit the Kickstarter page for the whole list), and stretch goals include brand new, exclusive comics from Zach Weinersmith, Rich Stevens, Gemma Correll, and Matt Bors. Some of my comics will be featured in the book, including “Urine: The Miracle Cure,” which you may remember as the comic where I drink my own urine in the name of science and art (and let’s be honest, clickbait). If you missed that one, you can check it out here, or pledge some $$$ to get the print edition next month.

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“From The Beyond” In Process

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!

Kickstarter Updates!

I’m very excited to say that Then It Was Dark, the anthology of paranormal stories edited by Sarah Benkin, was fully funded on Kickstarter as of last night! This means I’ll get to draw a spooky ghost story for all of you! Thanks to those of you who backed the project and helped spread the word.

I also wanted to mention that everyone’s favorite sex education comic, Erika Moen’s fabulous Oh Joy Sex Toy, is also running a Kickstarter to fund its first print edition! You may remember the recent guest strip I did for OJST about the history of vibrators (if you missed that, you can read it right here!). This project was fully funded the very first day it was up, but additional money raised will go towards paying guest artists (like me!) a higher page rate so check it out!

Only A Few Days Left: Support Then It Was Dark!

There’s only a week left to support Then It Was Dark, an anthology of true ghost stories and brushes with the paranormal! If you haven’t already, head over to the Kickstarter page, where you can see some preview images and read all about the awesome rewards our backers will receive.

My own contribution to this spooky anthology will tell the story of Thomas Lynn Bradford and Ruth Starkweather Doran. Bradford was a spiritualist in the 1920’s who solicited Doran’s help to prove to the world the existence an afterlife. Their unconventional experiment involved suicide, seances, and a mysterious message. Research for this story has been both creepy and entertaining, and I can’t wait to share it with you all – but the project needs to be funded first!

Right now, backers will not only receive tangible rewards for their contributions (including a copy of the book itself), but can also help in the process of creating the book by voting on a cover design! Below are six preliminary sketches. Back our project now to cast your vote! Contributions as low as just $1 will still get you the opportunity to vote, so you can give as much or as little as you’d like! The winning design will be developed into final art for the book’s cover.

Backers can get all types of other rewards as well. My personal favorite is the “Dumb Ways To Die” backer tier, which will get you a DRM-free pdf of the book as well as a high quality softcover copy, a pdf of the Kickstarter-exclusive process book of behind-the-scenes sketches, plus an original inked drawing by editor Sarah Benkin of your own death, by the means of your choosing (check out the examples below). Head over to the Kickstarter page to read about all the other rewards you can get for backing our project. 

Some creative ways to die, illustrated by Sarah Benkin.

Have I mentioned that there are a ton of super talented people working on stories for this anthology? Because there are. Check out this lineup:

This collection of ghost stories is going to kick some serious ass, but you don’t have to take it from me! You can read more about Then It Was Dark on some of the blogs where it’s been featured, including Bleeding CoolThe Comic Age, and The Two Page Spread. We’re over halfway to our goal with seven days to go, so now is the time to help us get funded! If you’ve already backed the project, help us out by telling a friend! We sure would appreciate it.

I’m Not Going To TCAF, But I’ll Be There In Spirit

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival is just around the corner, and sadly I will not be there this year! I will, however, have a new story debuting at the show in the fourth issue of the fabulous anthology series Irene.

Irene 4 cover by Andy Warner.

Irene 4 promises to be a great collection, including the work of Amy Lockhart, Ben Jeurs, Carlista Martin, dw, Georgia Webber, Jackie Roche, Jai Granofski, James Hindle, Jan Martijn Burger, Laura Terry, Luke Howard, Mazen Kerbaj, Dakota McFadzean, Andy Warner, Power Paola, and of course, myself. Check out this sweet GIF of the book that I stole from Irene’s tumblr page:

You may recall a recent post about the research I did for a comic about a natural disaster in Cameroon in 1986; now is your chance to read that story and a whole bunch of other great comics in Irene! Be sure to pick up a copy at the show this weekend if you’ll be in Toronto. If you’re not going to be at TCAF, you can pre-order Irene 4 online, or, for a limited time, you can pre-order Irene 3 and Irene 4 together and receive a discount! Orders will start shipping May 13th.

Then It Was Dark… Now on Kickstarter!

I’m excited to announce that I will be a part of Then It Was Dark, an upcoming anthology of comics about  paranormal experiences and true ghost stories, edited by the venerable Sarah Benkin, of Star Power fame. But! Here’s the deal: we need your help.

We’ve got until May 25th to raise the funds necessary to make this book a reality. Money will go to paying artists (like me!) for their work, and printing costs. By donating, you can reserve yourself a copy of the book, receive original art, and get a bunch of other fun stuff. There are a ton of really talented creators on board with this project, including a handful of my SCAD homies (you can check out the full list here). It’s going to be a really terrific book- but you don’t have to take it from me! Check out Alex Lupp’s short write-up about us on his blog, The Comic Age.

I’ll be contributing a story about Thomas Lynn Bradford, a 1920s spiritualist who conducted a strange experiment in an effort to prove the existence of a world beyond our own. I’ll start work on the story as soon as the project is funded, so throw us a buck if you can, or tell a friend!

The Cartoon Picayune on ComiXology!

The fifth issue of the The Cartoon Picayune, “Hard Work,” is now available to download on ComiXiology!

Here’s a description of the issue from the website:

“Issue #5 has four stories on a theme of “Hard Work.” Andy Warner, a cartoonist published in many venues including Slate, has a story about the sex workers in San Francisco fighting to change to their legal status. Emi Gennis takes us back with her historical comic about the Radium Girls of the 1930s. Erik Thurman and Editor Josh Kramer round out the issue with two shorter stories about the hard work of South Korean coffee shops and a cookies food truck, respectively.”

You can download all that for the low, low price of only 1.99!

Lake Nyos Disaster Reference Photos

I’ve been pretty quiet around here lately. Much of my time this semester has been spent focusing on teaching; I’ve found that I have significantly less time to work on comics than I would like, and even less time to spend writing apologetic blog updates for my lack of progress. Never fear, however! I have been making comics, albeit slowly. In a few weeks, my summer will begin, and I will be making comics with a vengeance and updating my blog like crazy (well, maybe not too crazy). So stay tuned.

For now, I thought I’d share with you some reference photos I used while working on a recent piece about the Lake Nyos disaster. The story will appear in issue #4 of the comic anthology Irene, which will be published this spring. If you’re not familiar with Irene I suggest you purchase issue #3 and check it out. It’s a fabulous series and I am thrilled to be able to contribute.

Nyos is a crater lake in northwestern Cameroon. If you’ve ever heard of it, it was almost certainly in reference to a tragic natural disaster in 1986, in which CO2 that had built up in the lake over time was suddenly released in a giant gas cloud, known as a limnic eruption.

The gas cloud spilled into the adjacent valleys, killing over 1,700 people and countless animals. In a few cases, the populations of nearby villages were almost entirely wiped out, with only a handful of survivors.

I think one of the more horrific aspects of this tragedy not adequately captured in these photos would be the disorienting silence that must have filled the valleys. Surviving residents of these villages would have been accustomed to the constant hum of thousand of insects, birds, and other animals inhabiting the area. Most of these creatures would have been killed by the gas cloud, making the aftermath of the eruption all the more unsettling.

Survivors of this event were evacuated to nearby hospitals and resettlement camps. Some of the hardest-hit villages still haven’t been repopulated.

I find this story to be both depressing and horrific; the fact that a person can wake up to find their families, livelihoods, and entire communities gone is panic-inducing. Limnic eruptions are very uncommon, and I would imagine that for many survivors, at least at first, it would have been unclear as to exactly what had happened. I think if I saw every living thing around me asphyxiating for no discernible reason, I might be inclined to think the world was ending.

This story is pretty dark, even by my standards, but hopefully not so dark that you’re unable to enjoy it. Here’s a sample page from the piece:

Look for my story about the Lake Nyos disaster in the upcoming issue of Irene, set to debut at TCAF this year.

“The End, Oh Well” Anthology

The Small Press Expo is nigh! I am currently sitting at my gate at the airport in Kansas City, awaiting my delayed flight to DC. Before I finish my trek across the country, I wanted to make one final SPX-related announcement:

Many moons ago, I contributed to an anthology project that has finally come to fruition! My short, fictional story is featured in THE END, OH WELL, an end-of-the-world themed collection boasting an outrageously talented lineup of artists. The book was edited by the venerable Luis Echavarría Uribe, and it is set to debut tomorrow at SPX!

If you’re going to be at the show this weekend, swing by Luis’ table to grab a copy. He’ll be at W42. I’ll be at F4A selling my minicomics, unsolved mystery anthologies, and other ephemera. See you there!

Unsolved Mysteries Preview: Mike Roy

This week I’ve got yet another preview of the Hic & Hoc anthology, Unknown Origins & Untimely Endswhich is being released tomorrow at Floating World Comics! Mike Roy‘s story begins right here in Portland, where the infamous D.B. Cooper boarded a plane before hijacking it, demanding a ransom, and then parachuting away with the money, never to be seen again.

You can read Mike’s story, and many other nonfiction mysteries in our book, which will be available for purchase at Floating World Comics tomorrow night from 5-7. Be there or be square, Portland!