On Wednesday, August 10, the first installment of my new web comic, Jonah, went live. In less than one week, more than 260 people have visited the site, a figure that (hopefully) will only grow in the future.
But how did I, an ink-stained wretch who can’t draw, develop a web comic in the first place?
I had the idea for Jonah as a teenager. I was watching some forgettable movie one summer afternoon when I began to wonder what it would be like to be the child of a super-villain. I’m not talking about a recognizable rogue either, like The Red Skull or Darkseid. I was thinking more along the lines of Rainbow Raider, a chump who perpetually gets his ass handed to him. What’s it like to be his kid?
I wrote the first two issues in high school but ultimately shelved the whole idea, along with all of my comic book premises, when I finished community college in 2001. I didn’t come back to it until my lengthy bout with unemployment in 2008-2009 when I cracked open my dusty note binders to see what I could salvage.
The two scripts, much like everything else I found, made me laugh at first. The writing was BAD. Yet for some reason, maybe sentimentality, the concept of a boy and his loser super-villain father appealed to me again. I spent the last few months of 2009 “living” with the idea, turning it over in my mind until I knew how the entire story would play out.
I started writing the first script around Thanksgiving and finished, thanks to the holidays and meeting my future wife, near Valentine’s Day 2010. In March I reached out to a half-dozen established comic book writers whose work and career arcs I respected and hoped to emulate, asking their advice on how to break into the industry.
I won’t say who didn’t get back to me but I can say that Jonathan Hickman and Rick Remender did respond and their advice was the same: find an artist and just $2#8^*! do it. They even provided me with addresses of web sites to find potential artists, including Penciljack and Digital Webbing.
One step closer to my goal, I posted on their forums seeking collaborators. To be honest, I was expecting a “Brotherhood of Man” mentality from my fellow, hopeful creators. Sadly, that was not the case.
I’d begun to lose hope when I was contacted by the talented Stephen Russo who shared my mentality: make a comic book, submit it to publishers, and see what happens. A few months later we found a lettering guru in Keith Perkins.
After more months of hard work, we submitted the book on March 7, 2011 (the same day I proposed to Jamie). While it didn’t work out with publishers, we knew the work was too good to sit in a drawer somewhere, as I had done ten years earlier. So, we decided to put it on the web.
I couldn’t be more excited to finally share the book with the world. I hope you’ll check out the site. If you like what you see, be sure to come back regularly and often.
You won’t believe what’s in store!