Monday, December 21, 2009

New Quarantine Preview Page

Here's a holiday treat: a new preview page of Quarantine, courtesy of the Insomnia blog.

Over at The Red Eye, every Insomnia book currently in production has a preview page up--I highly recommend checking it out. Personally, it gave me two 'holy crap' moments. The first was over the amazement on how many books Insomnia has in production (I counted 23). The second was over how terrific they all look (no kidding here--I'm not just jockeying for my publisher). There's Babble, which has the very cool high-concept foundation which I very much enjoy; Cy Dethan has Ragged Man, and I'm up for whatever ideas he puts to paper. There's Kronos City, featuring the work of none other than Quarantine colorist Lauren Anne Sharp and art from 'Wolf Like Me' collaborator Alex Willmore. Butterflies and Moths looks beautiful...I can go on. It's best to check it out for yourself.

Happy holidays everyone! Health and happiness and all that. More in the New Year!

Monday, December 14, 2009

More Butch Stone Thumbnails!

Why? Well, why not? Andy and I have a lot of plans simmering for Butch--so stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Something Different: Machado de Assis

Different in a few ways. For starters, this is the first academic piece I've had published in some time (and, off the top of my head, the longest). The article in question is on 19th century Brazilian author Machado de Assis, one of my very favorite novelists. I won't go into details as to why, or get into what Machado's writing was all about because, well, read the article. It's certainly a piece of work that I'm really proud of, and when I say it took me years to write, I mean it. So let me say it: This piece took me years to write.

I began putting my thoughts regarding Machado to paper without much of a goal in mind. I wasn't writing for a specific journal and, honestly, I didn't know where I was going with it. Over time, of course, all this became clearer, most importantly why, exactly, Machado resonated with me so profoundly. Then came the research, tracking down journals and other academic resources. Then rewrites. Then revisiting Machado's fiction (and racking up charges at the Northwestern library for a short story collection I initially wasn't going to return). Then more research. The end result, after countless drafts, is what you'll find in The Quarterly Conversation, a truly great place for lit enthusiasts.

The other reason I say this is different is because Machado is such a different writer. His prose bursts with more originality, wit, and intelligence than just about any writer I can think of. He's truly one of the greats, and it's an honor to give him a fraction of the examination his work deserves.

Friday, December 4, 2009


I really dig seeing thumbnails sketches, especially with short comics. Seeing the rough art and the page layout really gets my mind thinking. This was especially the case with Butch Stone. After Andy sent me these thumbnails I went in and made a lot of changes--mainly to the dialogue. Seeing the fun Andy was having with the art made me loosen up the story and add a touch of zaniness. A few non-sequiturs later, the script--and the characters--became all the more lively.

Anyway, here's the thumbnails for the first two pages (the story is eight pages in total). I've since written another Butch adventure that Andy and I are working on, and we have a pitch in for yet another story with what is for now an undisclosed anthology. So basically, these sketches from Andy--and our continuous email conversations on Silver Age comics and the life of working in a restaurant--has potentially spawned a short series. We'll have to wait to see what happens.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Dose of Quarantine

It's been awhile since I've posted any Quarantine art or news--it seems that days have been flying off the calender like a bad film montage lately. In that time, Team Quarantine has been hard at work in all stages of the book's production. With the new year just around the corner, I think we'll have an e-Book preview of chapter 1 to share fairly soon. After that, it'll be a sprint to our (tentative) spring release (something I'm looking forward to even more now that winter has begun to slowly creep into Chicago).

In the meantime, since my contribution is complete, I'll be working on other projects. But that doesn't mean Quarantine will be off my mind--far from it. In fact, I've recently completed the script for the first issue of the second volume.

Anyway, the illustration above is page 3 of the book. Jim was kind of enough to make a promotional banner with the completed page, so this has now become our (un)official marketing art (you'll recognize the face of the infected as the art used in this site's banner). As usual, Monty's vision and his art are terrific, and Lauren's colors heighten the dreadful mood.

That's about it for now--I plan on having a new batch of promotional postcards printed soon. So if you're in Chicago, keep your eyes out at your local shop; Quarantine will soon be appearing in more places across the city.