Primum non nocere

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Nuclear Chocolate Issue #1

Back in 1996 and 1997 my two Senior years of college I was hanging out with a group that called itself the Comic Art Society.  It was one of those student organizations and I'm sure when they set it up it was meant to promote comic art, artist and the medium in general.  It ended up turning into a Wednesday night meeting of a few us to draw, discuss comics and bitch.  Of the original group I know a few are still drawing and one actually has had some professional work published.  When I was younger I dreamed of being a comic book artist.  I thought that would be the greatest.  I came to realize that I really didn't want to put the effort into getting good enough to conform to the drawing styles used by the major comic book publishers and after taking some sage advice from my guidance counselor, not to make something I love to do something I have to do, I decided I'd go for my second love which is science.  Never the less.  In the summer of 1997 the group of us formed a loose confederation and publishing house known as Crushing Press and  four of us put out a few self-published comics and headed on down to Comic Con in Chicago.  1997 was the first year Wizard took over the comic con and it was a fun time.  I sold exactly 2 books, but got to meet a ton of professionals.  The best being Terry Moore of Strangers in Paradise and Echo fame. Super nice guy.  I also got Frank Miller to sign a first printing of The Dark Knight Returns #2 and Kurt Busiek to sign my Marvels comics.  And I also got to meet a ton of independent artists and writers.

I found one of my old comics sitting in a box not to long ago and I've wanted to put it up here for some time.  After rereading it and cringing I laugh at how bad I was and how far I've come.  I was still using drafting pens to ink with, which at the time I thought were awesome, now that I've mastered the pen and brush I laugh at that too.

So enough with the rambling here is my one and only published comic book.  And in 1997 the price tag was a little lofty too.

Click on a picture to get a little closer. I scanned them fairly large.

Ung the cover.  I included 3 tales in what I figured if I kept it up would be an anthology of what ever I was drawing. Maybe serialize some of it.

Yeah my college nickname was Barq, don't ask, I still have a few college buddies who call me that from time to time.  This was all put together by photocopying and cutting and pasting.

I drank a lot in college and of course like any late teen, early twenties male thought it was cool.  I've also done a few one page stories with these guys.  I still love'em even though I haven't drawn them in years.
Still hadn't mastered the background or the lettering.

Gotta have some cheese pick up lines, right?
I'll be honest I really like Evan Dorkin's Milk and Cheese. I think if you've ever read any you will see the influence here and in my last story.

Next we have the start of Radioactive Jellybeans, which became just Beans later.  I actually have over 24 pages of Beans which ran in the school news paper for awhile.  The biggest complaint was that no one knew what was going on. So if you go and read my Samurai Mushroom comics you'll notice I was writing those as a weekly serial.  Sadly the first 4 original pages you see here got ruined when I was being them up from Wisconsin years ago, along with a few bottles of Dr. McGillicuddy's Peppermint Schnapps when one of bottles broke in my checked bag.  I will say that the pages smelled nice though. At least they got published before they got ruined.
It's in this strip that I really tried to experiment with style, page design and format.  Not so much in these first 4 pages but later on as I got better at drawing the characters.



Lastly we have a take on a bad pun and I like drawing anthropomorphic food.






And the back page.  Of the titles listed only 4 were ever produced.  Becky the one who actually works in comics still puts out Aegis and Sam comics with her husband.  Sadly the Crushing Press imprint is no more, but I know that all of use still love to draw.