3. And finally: Had occasion to revisit the punch-drunk Big-Ass Sandwiches mascot, which I first drew for their sticker a few years back. Turns out that I really enjoy drawing him/her/it engaged in various acts of rage, disapproval and exhaustion. See below. You may see some of these sketches turn up at their new brick-and-mortar location.
I've read a preview of the first issue and watched Joëlle draw pages at her Periscope desk for months, and I think this is going to be a really special book. Joëlle has found the perfect container for her obsessions with bloody mayhem, retro design, vintage advertising and, weirdly, "101 Dalmations"-era Disney animators. You'll see what I mean in January.
The crowd scene contains several comics characters (Shang-Chi, Doctor Strange, and Power Man and Iron Fist) specifically requested by Excalibur co-owner Debbie Fagnant. Bill also gave all the color an old-school newsprint dot-screen effect. It should really pop on the 11x17 poster. I hear the store is printing 100 or so.
Excalibur's press release on their month-long birthday celebration after the jump.
My favorite panel from the comic: Adrian capturing the major components of California's wine industry in a single drawing.
A couple of years ago, economist Joe Cortright sent me an email with the subject head "Almost Random Inquiry from an economist." In it, he threw down a comics-making challenge.
Joe's an expert in the study of "industry clusters" -- as he described it in the email:
[Cluster theory is] basically the notion that businesses flourish and ideas happen faster and better in places where there's a geographic concentration of people and businesses interested in and doing the same kind of things -- think Hollywood for movies, or Detroit (once upon a time) for cars, and Wall Street for inventing diabolical and opaque ways of defrauding people and destroying the economy.... We're exploring alternative ideas for trying to communicate clusters in a simplified, non-technical way.... One idea we want to explore is some kind of graphic treatment, not unlike the narratives you do in CulturePulp.
So yeah, flash forward, and I spent a good chunk of last year working on an educational comic about economic theory.
Clusters and Your Economy: An Illustrated Introduction provides a quick 28-page overview of why industries tend to group in specific places -- finance in London, winemaking in California, Portland's "Silicon Forest" and coffee-roasting scene, high-end sports cars in Italy's "Motor Valley," and so on.
Boiling these ideas down into simple comics panels was a serious ability-stretch. I scripted, thumbnailed and lettered, in collaboration with Joe and Lotte Langkilde. Adrian J. Wallace did some of the best work of his career on the art. Bill Mudron provided colors.
Way back in 2006, Bill Mudron and I founded "Serenity Tales," a site hosting “Firefly” fan-comics. For a couple of years, we updated it with stories set in the ‘Verse, written and drawn by friends and fans.