A full-page panel from my story, “Constant Dynamo,” which will appear in the Dayton Comic Creators’ anthology, Mad Science.
I feel that every job I’ve done, every piece of work I’ve done – the one that’s on the table, is my favorite. Because I’m focusing all my attention and all my efforts on that particular job. Regardless of what the subject matter is or anything else. That’s the piece that I’m onto. And I’m hoping when I finish, it looks pretty good. — But once I’m finished, I start going over all the stuff, seeing perhaps all the places that I could have made it just a little bit better. And that’s why I’m always looking to the next job I’m gonna be doing. Because hopefully that next job will be better.
— Joe Kubert, May 2010
from iFanboy’s Talksplode #23
I love this sentiment, & re-listening to this interview, it really struck me & gave me hope for “the next project,” having just completed my own longest solo work to date, & immediately beginning to see the flaws in it.
I’m looking for illustrations/anything that pleases eyes for a zine (tentatively) called “We Are Not Who We Are: An X-Files fan zine”
I’ve made the deadline for June 20, 2K13, just in the small, rare case that you haven’t seen X-Files and need to getcha self more acquainted. Also because everyone is busy all the time, except in June.
As far as content goes, you can draw hearts around Mulder’s face and X’s through Scully’s, but please no fan fiction! I’d like this to be ‘art’ orientated, or whatever that means. Let’s do cool stuff! Please feel free to draw the monsters and aliens too, a zine full of Mulders and Scullys would probably be boring to look at (haha, yeah right).
(Netflix has X-Files.)
So, in a bout of frustration over having nothing published & being at the mercy of asking others to do sequential art for me, I spent a large part of this past year doing short comic stories for anthologies, a gallery event, a nonprofit, a newspaper-format zine… Some of these panned out; some got very sweet rejection emails.
But it was a major step forward for me as a creator. While I still love writing more than anything, the possibilities opened up a little bit more with which projects I can now pursue. (Did you see below? I’m working on a webcomic!)
So, in the spirit of being a storyteller foremost & wanting to share those stories, I’ve added a bunch of stuff for your reading pleasure. Just go here, or click the image above, or visit the Comics link in the top nav. Most are the full stories; a few that are being published & will cost money only have a preview. But it’s a good catalog of my personal work this year.
As you read through them though, please just note that these are maybe not always my signature style, but are as much dictated by the set themes of their prospective anthologies or by visual &/or storytelling experiments I wanted to try out. Anyways, enjoy.
Last week, I participated in the American Advertising Federation Dayton’s first ever Pinewood Derby races. Entries were judged on creativity and craftsmanship, and bracket races were held in the traditional Boy Scouts fashion. I wrote a company blog about it over here — but thought I’d elaborate on my own car design, the concept & process a little more.
My car, Never Odd Or Even, revolves around the idea of “racecar” being a palindrome,
1. a word, line, verse, number, sentence, etc., reading the same backward as forward, as “Madam, I’m Adam” or “Poor Dan is in a droop”.
and expands the idea a little further, to mirror-images/words/graphics/etc. Check out the details below & see if you can spot the various palindromes & mirrored elements.
Overall, I had a great time & did decently well in the races (placed in the upper-middle ranking). My company sponsored my entry, along with a few of the other designers. Give them some love over here if you’re ever in the market for some advertising/branding/media work. I’ll design you something nice.
Already working on ideas for next year…
A birthday present for my wife a few weeks ago. Her two favorite people: a young Elvis Presley & very young Joyce Carol Oates. Done in chalk pastel, which I haven’t worked in since high school. Like, early high school…
Printed & delivered to our doorstep. Contains my 4-page story, “From Out That Darkness”. You can find more info at the Cartoonists Against Bullying Facebook page. They are currently accepting short story comic submissions for a second volume. Deadline is February 1, 2013.
I’ve reached the end of my work for hire rope. I’m enjoying The Punisher, but that’s not mine, it’s Marvel’s, and l knew that going in. I have spent a lot of my comics career in service of other masters, – and I’ve had enough of that for now. I’m sick to death of the way the Big Two treat people. I gave seven very good years to DC and they took gross advantage of me. That’s partially my fault, but not entirely. At this point, I see no reason why I should have to put up with that, I can sink or swim on my own. […] Despite what the publishers say, their interest in the talent is minimal now, the interest is only in promoting the financial worth of their properties. That was not the case as of two or three years ago, when there was an ‘exclusives war,’ but that’s all gone by the wayside now. Ultimately, they are saying, “We don’t need you,’ because they can get a million more just like you.
— Greg Rucka
I got it here:
…but it’s pulled from the latest issue of Mark Millar’s CLiNT magazine. This is kinda scary stuff, coming from someone like Rucka, who seems to have a pretty good head on his shoulders — and coupled with some of the other (more reasonable) rumblings from creators lately. Also, the picture they use in that link looks like Ice-T in SVU, so maybe that adds to the danger a bit…
Last week, I participated in a small gallery showing at the Dayton Art Institute, allowing local comic artists to display works inspired by pieces in the museum’s permanent art galleries. This was part of a month-long exhibit, “You Are My Superhero.”
Artists were given a few weeks (every Thursday, 4pm–8pm) prior to the showing to peruse the artwork in the museum and work on their entry/entries — the only guidelines being that each piece be superhero-themed in some way, inspired by one of the museum’s artworks, and use only “dry” media (pencil, conté crayon, etc.), on a surface no larger than 18” x 24”.
I chose a war club from the Oceanic Art gallery as my centerpiece, and crafted a story, titled “Superhero Summer,” around it. Below are some process and gallery shots. But first, the 2-page story itself:
Some of the artists involved and I also discussed getting together for a comic creators gathering. There’s basically no comics community in Dayton currently, & I’d love to see that change. If you’re interested in details, just shoot me an email: jasonp.hart[at]gmail.com.