Wow, triple digits! I’m not sure where to start! Back before I made comics I made zines. There was this queer zine distro (whose name escapes me, or that might have been its name) run by Hank Thigpen out of Florida. It carried some of my early stuff and I tried to order everything he carried.
One day a huge bundle of stuff came in the mail. It was all incredible but one zine shook my world to its foundations. Because it wasn’t a zine- it was a comic. This probably sounds ridiculous today when anyone can wade Scrooge McDuck style through a vault of mini-comics but Carrie McNinch’s Assassin and the Whiner (#4?) broke the dam in the river of consciousness in my head.
Before that, I’d thought of comics as this heavily corporate, slick world produced by teams in faraway places. Even the indie stuff seemed like it had incubated in sleeper cells of stuffy editor, publishers and cover designers. Gatekeepers. Suddenly, this artist had stolen the fire from Olympus. Suddenly, a smoldering branch was placed in my hand. I’d never seen a queer character in a comic. I’d never seen a comic xeroxed on 8 1/2 by 11 paper. It was an epiphany. I set out to make comics.
Much later, in 2010 I went to APE with Liz Baillie and we talked about webcomics. I’d been more serious about making comics- grinding my gears trying to hone my skills and find my voice. I’d discovered tons of amazing queer cartoonists- going back to the 70s and underground artists like Diane DiMassa’s Hothead Paisan, Wimmin’s Comix, Gay Comix, trans webcomics, and on and on. It was time to take the plunge and breach the digital chasm. I won’t describe my initial idea but what you see here is the result. An exploration of fantasy and sci-fi. A story dealing with death and estrangement as a way to process it in my own life.
Thank you Carrie McNinch for making, still making work that inspires me. Janelle Hessig who was a huge inspiration as well. Liz Baillie; who is right now learning how to program robots and computers and take over the world, whose work is fantastic and was another huge inspiration. Mr. Phil and Charlito for giving me my first big break in their anthology. Emi Gennis and Hic & Hoc Books for publishing my stuff. Jude Killory for helping me figure stuff out and drawing all over New York with me. Josh Bayer for teaching me everything I know. L Nichols, Marlena Kennedy, Katie Fricas, Carlo Quispe, Jennifer Camper, Dre Grigoropol, Abby Denson… GB Jones for sending me a letter really early on that I still think of when I feel like giving up. Linda at Little Skips and Sam at Everyman Espresso for letting me hang out and draw for hours. And of course Reginald, for always believing in me and always being there.
Thank you all for reading! I am excited for the next 100!