My advice to young cartoonists is that the biggest and most important challenge
is simply seeing a project to completion. I’d draw ten pages of a story, get bored
or distracted, then dump ’em in the drainage ditch, leaving a wake of unfinished
books — until finally sticking with CHUNKY RICE. Below is one of my little
rejected children – Elliot Chicken – and two projects left in purgatory.
The first is from a pitch I proposed to Dark Horse Comics in Fall 1998. Not long after ending my graphic designer employment there (but long enough to recover from tendonitis), I rounded together a book proposal which included character sheets like this one for Elliot, sample comics pages, and a plot synopsis. The project was turned down by the higher-ups, but if it hadn’t, it would have been my firstborn book, claiming eldest rights over Chunky.
This second preview is a few panels from a jam comic my dear cartoonist buddy and Wisconsinite Aaron Renier had begun. It’s drawn “CONVERSATIONS”-style where we’d render half a panel and email it to the other to complete. I revived lil’ troubled Elliot, and Aaron created this bizarre lunk named Waterbear, and we intended to make-it-up-as-we-went-along until we had a 200 page graphic novel!!!
About three pages in, we lost steam.
It was probably the pressure of our bigger projects (HABIBI for me, WALKER BEAN ~coming soonish from First Second~ for him) or a blend of laziness and insecurity. It would have been a lot more fun to draw if we still lived in the same town. These sloppy colors were just slathered on to brighten the blog — Below is an untarnished black&white panel.
In other news, I love reading your comments. Yoplem asked about the ROBOX story. It appeared in a Dark Horse anthology called REVEAL with “Lone Wolf 2000” on the cover and published in November 2002. Hope your weekend’s been good, everybody!