May 21, 2012

The King of Cartoons

My friend Jason Young has been making comics for as far back as I can remember. So, since 1999, the year of my traumatic head injury. Okay, that didn't really happen, and I can remember lots of stuff from before '99 (most of it involves toys or comics). True story, though: when I was in high school I fell off the side of a flatbed truck. It wasn't in motion or anything, but as soon as I hit the ground I was certain I had broken my neck and was paralyzed forever. That turned out to not be the case, but man, that was the most terrifying four seconds of my life.

Where was I?  Oh, yes, Jason Young.  I've been friends with Jason for a long time - we both work/have worked together at Mavericks Cards & Comics in beautiful Dayton, OH, and we both friggin' love comics. I've read all of Jason's comics since Panic Attack oh those years ago, and I've been a fan ever since. And not just because he's my friend. If I thought his comics sucked, I wouldn't be writing about them.  He's an excellent storyteller, and I've really enjoyed watching his writing and art evolve and improve over the past decade-plus.

Jason does a mini-comic called Veggie Dog Saturn, filled with autobiographical tales of the past and present. Last year he told me he was going to be doing a special issue with all of the artists that he knows. He would write stories and have them draw them, and it would be really fun and cool. I told him I thought that was a great idea. Then he asked me to draw a story for the special, and I asked if he was feeling alright. He assured me that he was, and after I made sure he really wanted me to do it, I agreed happily.

He sent me the script for the three-page story in May of 2011.  By March of 2012, I had completed one page. When he gave me a deadline for it, I managed to crank out the remaining two pages within two weeks.  Lesson learned: Joe needs deadlines.

The story I drew is called "The King of Cartoons". The Veggie Dog Saturn Special is available for purchase here. While you're on his site, check out Jason's other work, including his regular diary comics, "Day-Off Diaries".  A preview of "The King of Cartoons" is here:


I have to admit, I'm really proud of this story. The rest of the special is excellent as well and features some really funny and really touching stories. Everyone who worked on this book is amazing. Plus me. You should all order a copy from Jason right away.

Between working on this book and going to a small-press comic convention up in Toronto a couple of weeks ago, I'm seriously itching to make more comics. Post-Script was a good warmup (copies still available, kids!), but drawing this story for Jason instilled some real confidence in me. Writing scripts and doing concept work at the moment.  More to come sooner rather than later.