(originally published on the Coilhouse blog, September 22, 2010)
A young girl in a scarlet hoodied romper stares gravely up into the heavily furred, ferociously fanged face of a black wolf. A lesser creature might be shamed by the child’s frank gaze – her features set earnestly, courageously, eyes alight with curiosity, and perhaps, even compassion.
Is the wolf to be deterred by this sweet faced thing, obviously unafraid? Will it stray from it’s monstrously predictable fairytale course? No, it is not. Will not. Cannot — after all, that is what it wolves do, isn’t it?
And before you can blink it has swallowed the girl whole.
See our little heroine, pale and grim. Watch her crawling through the gaping, bloodied hole she has snipped with her flashing silver scissors and her small, clever hands right through the thing’s engorged belly, its tough hide. See her gaze in the last panel; her no longer-quite-innocent, yet still entirely cherubic countenance is now impatient, determined, pissed off: “Wolf, I will fuck your shit up”, it declares.
Beatriz Martin Vidal’s modern interpretation of the oft-told tale of The Little Red Riding Hood –with it’s evocative art and unexpected outcome– is a marvelous example of the slightly magical, mythical places she creates for the young people who populate them. Never cutesy or twee, her subjects instead reveal the beauty and bravery and curiosity of children, and their effortless interaction with the world.
Originally from Valladolid, “a medium size town in the middle-north of Spain” Ms. Martin Vidal chose a career after high school “which didn’t fit her at all” – Law – and though she stuck with it for some time, she eventually continued on to the University of Salamanca to study art, which is what she maintains that she had wanted to do from the beginning. Of her time at the University and influences found therein and elsewhere, she says:
“I think the five years in University gave me a very valuable knowledge about art history, among other things. A lot of my influences come from 19th century painting, I think. I keep going back to old masters when I’m trying to find my own path, to Viennese secession, Renaissance drawings, Golden Age illustrators. It’s not I’m not interested in contemporary art of illustration as spectator, but, when it comes to making images, that’s the path I feel attracted to. Anyway, inspiration comes from everywhere. Sometimes things so unrelated to my work that I feel I’m the only one who can see the relationship.”
For an artist, the pairing of children and fairytale themes would seem to go hand in hand. When asked what it is that draws her to these subjects, she remarked:
“…Of course, there’s a practical reason for it, as picture books, and most of the illustrated books belong to the children/young readers field. But, the truth is that I find children a very interesting subject for my work. Children live halfway between reality and dreams which inspires me a lot. They’re funny. If you observe children in a park, they’re doing a lot of things more than the adults. They’re living little stories, running, jumping, talking to themselves. I find their relationship with myths and tales is very natural, very essential… I think almost all my work talks about a flexible reality. A place where you can mold the world …which doesn’t mean it’s going to be a wonderful world, as humans have fears as well as bravery and sadness as well as happiness. ”
Ms. Martin Vidal is currently preparing a picture book, a story by Gustavo Martin Garzo, about children and wolves for El Jinete Azul. As for what’s next:
“…. I’m going to work in another picture book of my own about fairy tales. I love to do my own books, but it’s hard to find the time for it. For the beginning of next year I’ll do a story about a girl and a pixie for Oxford University Press, and a novel for El Jinete Azul. I think my Little Red Riding Hood is going to be published in Australia, so in some months there’ll be an English edition. Lately I’m trying to focus on my own picture books. That’s the thing that makes happy the most and I think that it deserves the risk [of making them first with no pressure or external limits and then trying to find the right publisher for them.]”
See below for for more wonderful examples of Beatriz Martin Vidal’s work, including selections from her Carmilla, Tarot, and Russian Tales series. Visit Beatriz for updates and to view her complete portfolio.
I am admittedly late to the love of podcasts, and to date, I am only regularly listening to a grand total of one*…which makes The Witch Waveofficially, the second podcast I have become obsessed with and quite possibly cannot live without!
Over at Haute Macabre today you will find a media extravaganza! Take a peek at Stacked to grow your autumn reading list and afterward, head on over to Aural Fixation to learn more about our current earworms and sonic obsessions!
Today I am happy to share: a magical celebration of visionary female writers Taisia Kitaiskaia and Katy Horan‘s Literary Witches! I can’t believe that I’ve been excited about this book for over a year now, and it was finally released yesterday!
I’ve never been one for book clubs (I’m not much of a joiner, I’m afraid), but if I were, Taisia Kitaiskaia and Katy Horan‘s witchy gem, Literary Witches, released into the world yesterday, October 10th, is certainly a title I’d want at the very top of the roster. Incidentally, the few book clubs I have attended focused on best-selling titles I had no interest in reading, and there was more gossipy chatter than book-related conversation, so perhaps book clubs just aren’t for me. (And don’t get me wrong, I do love the gossips, but if I’ve consented to leave the house for a reason, I want that reason to hold true to its intended promises! Especially where books are concerned.)
Literary Witches is a celebration of magical woman writers, a “mystic dossier” sprung from the heads of two women, magical in their own right, and accessing the spirits of the titular Literary Witches through their own respective mediums–Taisia Kitaiskaia, who channels the book’s fanciful, enigmatic prose, and Katy Horan, the conjurer of its enchanting and intimate illustrations. Together Katy and Taisia draw a connection between witches and visionary writers, and through their poetic portraits and imaginative vignettes, they honor the formidable creativity, empowerment, and general badassery of well-known and obscure authors alike, including Virginia Woolf, Mira Bai, Toni Morrison, Emily Dickinson, Octavia E. Butler, Sandra Cisneros, and many more.
I had the good fortune to chat with Katy, who Katy graciously indulged my questions about this curious compendium in our illuminating Q&A, (and I like to think that Taisia was there in spirit, too.) Thanks to them both for conjuring these connections, channeling these women, and creating this wonderfully special, utterly splendid book.
See below for our interview wherein we chat about what, exactly, is a “literary witch”; a potent handful of Katy and Taisia’s favorite authors from within this lettered coven, and how to best approach this dazzling tribute of a grimoire. We did not, however, discuss how the grand work that is Literary Witches might fit into the agenda of your next book club’s discussion …but no doubt you will have more than a few strange and splendid ideas after you’ve finished the last page of this singular creation. Come back and let us know, and in the meantime, read on!
S. Elizabeth: How did Literary Witches come about? What sparked the idea of connections between the ultimate mystical female archetype of the witch, and visionary writers, these conjurers of words and worlds?
Katy Horan: Literary Witches came directly from its genius writer, Taisia Kitaiskaia. At first, her idea was to make a sort of Tarot deck, with the writers as the various characters and figures of the Tarot. We let that idea go, though, as we further conceptualized the project. However, it still influenced the visual language I used in the illustrations.
As for the actual origin of Literary Witches, Taisia says she made the connection “…because witches and literature are two of my most treasured subjects, the idea came to me as an obvious connection. One day, I concluded that all of my favorite writers are witches.”
Your art, with its focus on feminine folkloric magic, seems perfectly suited to Taisia Kitaiskaia’s luminous language, and the mystic fragments of text that accompany each portrait. Can you share how you came to work together on this curious compendium?
Taisia contacted me late in 2014. She was looking for someone to illustrate her “Ask Baba Yaga” series. There was an agent interested, but as I was working on the sketches, they dropped out. We realized we both lived in Austin, and knew that we needed to get together and discuss other possible collaborations. When we met, she told me her idea for Literary Witches, and I took to it right away. I was in a career lull, having just had a baby and was in dire need of a project. We set out to work on the first 5 and pretty quickly got word that Electric Literature wanted to put those five online, so the project had direction and purpose pretty much from the start.
As we were working on the original five, we talked about how it would be an awesome book, and once Electric Literature published it and received the response it did, we started thinking it might have a shot. We were talking about putting together a proposal when our agent, Adriann Ranta of Foundry Media, found us. With her help, we got our deal with Seal Press. We owe so much to her.
AND! Ask Baba Yaga found a publisher too and is out now with lovely illustrations by Brenna Thummler, so It was all meant to be.
Can you define for us, in your own words, what is a Literary Witch, and identify the criteria you used to choose the Literary Witches you celebrate in the book? Do you have a favorite literary heroine amongst those featured?
To me, a Literary Witch writes with her own voice regardless of what is expected of her. Her work has originality and weight to it. She isn’t afraid to be dark, moody, challenging or funny. Her work is fearless and boldly her own. In the end, her writing feels like something channelled or conjured. For me personally, Shirley Jackson and Toni Morrison were favorites before the project, so I was incredibly honored to do their portraits.
As a further, among the thirty Literary Witches in the book, you reference “a matter of seniority”, that “long-practicing Witches must be noted before newly initiated Witches”; I’m curious–if time and space had allowed for the inclusion of authors one might consider novices and initiates, who would you like to have included, and why?
I would add Maya Angelou, Louisa May Alcott, Margaret Atwood, Joyce Carol Oates and Alice Walker. All of these were on the table at one point but were removed to make space for older (even ancient) writers, foreign writers and some much lesser known writers that we wanted to shine a light on, like Yumiko Kurahashi. Even though I love those writers I mentioned, I am completely happy with the 30 we chose.
Taisia has a great list of who she would add. She says, “There are lots of daring, magical writers out there who have Literary Witch written all over them. Here are a few who come to mind: Helen Oyeyemi, Carmen Maria Machado, Lesley Nneka Arimah, Valeria Luiselli, Rivers Solomon, Han Kang”
In the book’s forward, Pam Grossman has a fabulous approach to tackling this tome; as an act of bibliomancy, flipping pages at random and following where the wit, wonder, and wisdom of the selected Literary Witch leads. Early reviewers laud it as an enjoyable illustrated almanac of fun facts to bone up on your favorite literary heroine’s superpowers, and suggests that not only will it inspire readers to dig further into transportive works of fiction and poetry, but allow access to their inner creatix. As one half of the creative team responsible for Literary Witches, how would you advise of the book’s purpose, and the best way to read it?
All of that sounds good to me. I think it depends on the reader. If you are methodical and enjoy order, then start from the beginning and move through it page by page. If you want a more organic experience, find a random place and consider what the witch you land on is trying to tell you. No matter how you approach it, though, I hope you get lost in Taisia’s bewitching and beautiful words and enjoy deciphering all the symbols and hidden meanings I put in my illustrations. Most of all though, I hope you discover a new writer, put down our book and go get lost in their magick.
So as you may know (because I complain a lot) I have tried many, many subscription boxes over the past few years. And canceled all of them. None of them have measured up to the consistent excellence that is The Nocturnal Readers Box, a monthly subscription service for fans of Horror, Sci-Fi, Fantasy Books and Psychological Thrillers. Today at Haute Macabre you can my recent interview with founders Vincent and Jessica Guerrero, as well as a chance to win their sold out October box!
Amongst my acquaintances it would seem that we all appear to have a similar predicament with regard to the printed word: that is to say, an intense, almost obsessive acquisition of books. Whether for pleasure, research, or keeping up our nerdy/witchy Instagram appearances, we acquire stacks and piles of bound, printed matter much faster than we actually read through them.
No doubt if I were to quiz one of these friends at random they will admit, with a strange sort of embarrassed pride, that they have shelves upon shelves of unread novels–and yet there is an Amazon Prime parcel on their doorstep, a small press delivery on the way, and their virtual cart is brimming with another order ready to be placed. Oh, and they’ve just come back from a stroll through the musty, dim-lit shelves of a local used bookstore, and hey look, what a surprise–here’s a few more books.
What if I told you that you could use these mountains of books as more than doorstops and spider-squashers? What if I revealed to you a use for that collection of charming, old-timey ghost stories that has been gathering dust and cobwebs on your nightstand? Yes, yes, I know–you are going to read it eventually, and I do appreciate that sentiment: I’ve got the same book next to my bed that I’ve been too sleepy or too busy looking at my Twitter feed to actually pick up and peruse.
You are no doubt familiar with the practice of divination, or, the seeking knowledge of the future or the unknown by supernatural means. One can foretell the future through cards, clouds, drops of mercury, even a pile of steaming entrails. Today, however, we are hitting the books for our divinatory purposes! Divination from books or verse is an ancient process known as bibliomancy and is sometimes used synonymously with the terms stichomancy (divination from lines) or rhapsodomancy (divination through a random passage of a poem).
There are, of course, different schools of thought as to how bibliomancy works. Originally, it was a means of seeking divine answers, and the most popular book used for this practice was American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis (just kidding! It’s the Bible)–though this is not the only text that’s been used for this purpose. Other popular texts included the Aeneid of Virgil, the Iliad and the Odyssey of Homer, and The I Ching has also been used in a similar manner. Seekers of illumination would meditate upon their questions and blindly select a passage in the book, which supposedly would impart to them the divine wisdom they needed for the solution to their problem. In this theory, it is believed that one is led deliberately to their answers by some sort of higher power, or perhaps an angel, spirit guide, or aliens.
Other folks see it as more of a psychological enterprise—a means of communicating with your own damn higher self. Meaning, we most likely already contain the answers to our problems, we just can’t always easily tap into them due to all of the “mental filters” that we have built up through our lives and experiences, clouding our ability to see the issues clearly. By this ideology, it’s not really the book that contains any special or wondrous answers; you already know the solutions you seek, and the chosen passage just acts as a tool to help you access them.
But back to the books– you mustn’t feel compelled to use one of those “sacred” texts to practice bibliomancy. All that’s required is a book that speaks to you at that moment. This could be from the library, a new book you’ve purchased for this inaugural divinatory occasion, or something from your own bogged-down shelves. It could be a spiritual book, fiction, nonfiction, that smutty romance novel that sits on the back of your toilet, or even your beloved, dog-eared, 30-year-old stolen library copy of Harriet The Spy. The books you adore will have had an enormous influence on who you are and your beliefs. These beloved writings will have caused you to examine your own depths, encourage you to think in new ways, and eventually become part of who you are, which is why they are great vehicles for shedding light on the questions to which you are seeking answers.
Let’s get started, shall we? In preparation for a bibliomantic ritual, give some thought as to the kind of question you want to ask: are you seeking romantic resolution or perhaps repairing a relationship? Or maybe you’re all like,”Love? Fuck that horseshit! Where did my great-great-grandpa bury that hidden treasure?” Perhaps you just want guidance on what to make for dinner tonight, but somehow opening an actual cookbook seems too mundane. Words taken out of their larger context could trigger something deeper than you imagine is possible. This could be the most amazing Monday night supper you’ve ever made!
Focus your question and find your book. Trail your fingertips along the spines of those lonely, mostly unread books (again, no judgment) and see what calls to you. The titles themselves can often reflect how you are feeling, or coincide with a situation you have been dealing with. Maybe the embossed detailing tickles your fancy. Maybe the cracked, faded lettering on your dear copy of The Complete Grimoire of Pope Honorius makes your innards go all cozy and it just feels right. Go with it!
Sit with your chosen book in a quiet space and close your eyes. Clear your mind and try to not focus overly much on the emotions attached to the question you need help in answering. What you are aiming for is a state of “calm expectation.” When you feel comfortable, relaxed, and emotionally and spiritually in a good place, ask your question– out loud if you don’t feel too weird about it, or quietly in your mind, if you prefer. Take a few seconds to allow your question to be heard and absorbed. Then pick up the book.
Close your eyes and let your fingers meander through the book’s pages, lingering over the paper wherever you may feel compelled. At some point while doing so, you will intuitively feel the “right” place to stop (or your finger will get tired, that’s a good place to stop, too.) Place your finger on the spot you are drawn to.
Read from where you finger is resting, be it for a few words, a sentence, a paragraph, or an entire passage if you’re into it. At first glance, the words may have no bearing on your question. “What the fuck is this nonsense?” you may wonder, “I asked if my girlfriend is cheating on me and this asshole is talking about cherry blossoms. Thanks a lot, Basho!” Give it some time. Look at the words you are reading: what do they have to tell you about your situation? Do they offer any guidance or inspiration? Do you connect emotionally with what you have just read–did it leave you gleeful, frightened, peevish? Repeat the passage aloud or write it down by hand–your higher mind has deliberately selected these words to help you in some way and eventually you will understand their importance and meaning.
Some mystics suggest for this exercise that if you’re left even more confused than when you started and you require more clarity, try it again from the start. Pick a book that seems to fit your question, and then merge your chosen answer with the last passage. It is said that sooner or later you will be able to see what the words are trying to get through to you. Or you’ll go crazy. Because I’ll be honest, at this point I am thinking of a freaky Jorge Luis Borges’ Library of Babel scenario involving infinite permutations of all these passages mashed together and it’s sort of creeping me out.
There you have it, bookworms! Since you’re clearly not ever going to read anything from those dangerously teetering, towering book stacks, why not harness the power and the magic of those beautiful, potent words contained within to get some questions answered and get your shit together?
Okay, okay, I poke fun, but I get it. I am one of you, truly! I just checked out eight books from the library but I’m still plowing through a pile of books I bought two years ago. And yet, somehow I just purchased four more books for Summer Reading 2019? How does this even happen? It’s a sickness.
So let’s do this for a start. Read through the above thoroughly, and as your first foray into the arcane art of bibliomancy, I want you to think long and hard on this question. Meditate, roll it around in your mind, choose your title from your shelf and ask aloud of the angels, aliens, your intuitive brain-meats, and who/whatever else…
Do you want to smell of an ice cream sundae enjoyed in the murky seaside town of Innsmouth? Or perhaps strange desert visions? Or nostalgic Spring Break make-outs with your high school boyfriend? Leave a comment over at Haute Macabre and tell us which scent you’d most like to try!
Devoted and cultish readers extol John Allison as “a rare gem in the often hard-to-navigate web comic underbelly.” Though you may not presently be reading John Allison’s current endeavor, Bad Machinery, chances are that you are perhaps already familiar with him through his older works,Scary Go Round (2002-2009) or Bobbins (1998-2002), or as an artist/chum linked to through one or more of his contemporaries.
Marked by clever, peculiar dialogue, absurdist humor, dotty characters (and delightful ladies fashion!), mysterious happenings and hi-jinks, and a dense mythology (though compelling and completely addictive, to which anyone who has begun to peek through his archives can attest) – John Allison’s story-telling genius is unmistakable. And in a medium where visuals are the reason most viewers show up in the first place, the exquisitely charming, highly stylized art is “as big a draw as the comedy”.
Described as “postmodern Brit horror”, Allison’s previous comic, Scary Go Round followed the hapless denizens of Tackleford, a fictional British town beset by all manner of supernatural activity including, but not limited to: zombies, space owls, the devil, and portals to other dimensions. Though Scary Go Round ended in 2009 [EDIT: though it periodically picks back up again!] a few of his beloved characters have moved on to Bad Machinery, which picks up in Tackleford 3 years later. The focus is on an entirely new cast of sleuthing schoolchildren attending Griswald’s Grammar School, whose well-intentioned energies may be causing more problems than the mysteries they solve – but they throw themselves into it all with much vigor and aplomb.
I recently caught up with John Allison about his new endeavor; see below the cut for our Q&A in which John talks about the transition between old stories and new, the state of web comics today, and the meaning behind the monsters.
UNQUIET THINGS: Right now the “Big Push”, as it were, is your current series, Bad Machinery. When you made the change to become a full time comic-ing man in 2003-ish, was Bad Machinery even a twinkle in your eye at that time, or was it something that evolved over the years from the characters that you developed in Scary Go Round? Has it been almost a year now since Scary Go Round ended? How has the jump from Scary Go Round to Bad Machinery gone? What were your expectations regarding your fans reactions? Were they met, or exceeded? (or neither?)
JOHN ALLISON:I certainly had no notion of creating Bad Machinery when I went full-time back in 2003. That was 7 years ago! It seems like a lifetime. At that point, Scary Go Round was just starting to get on its feet, audience-wise. It had only been running for about 12 months. Last summer I was frustrated with how sprawling Scary Go Round had become, and (not for the first time) I tried to work out what would make a good spin-off. I wanted something with a tight concept, so I couldn’t drift too far off my initial idea. And I wanted something that I could sell to a publisher in good conscience – something that wasn’t a mess!
I had some vague thoughts in my mind, a kind of Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys setup in the Tintin format (having read almost none of the former and admiring rather than loving the latter). I was probably very tired at the time!
The reaction wasn’t great, people loved the Scary Go Round characters. My last year of work on the series had been really spotty and I thought that readers would breathe a huge sigh of relief. And they did – as they stopped reading. Over the first month, half of the old SGR audience went south. It was a very frightening time. It wasn’t helped by what may have been the slowest introduction to a comic ever. Some readers were angry about “having to read about children”. They strongly identified with the old cast and were horrified by the new.
In that first month, while I was trying to find the mood and the tone of the piece, some long and pretty scathing reviews appeared on prominent blogs, the general theme being “by the end Scary Go Round had lost its way, and this is more of the same – but WORSE!” They tended to cite Berke Breathed’s Outland, his follow-up to Bloom County, where all the old characters slowly re-appeared. But for me, bringing back all the fan favourites that, to be honest, I never wanted to see again, made me feel ill. It was a miserable time, I went from believing in this new thing, to quickly doubting everything I did. I was fortunate that many of my friends in comics really supported what I was doing.
After a year, the comic has started to find new readers alongside the ones who stuck around, and it’s extremely gratifying when people write and say that they never read Scary Go Round, but they love Bad Machinery.
While Scary Go Round focused a on group of young adults in their early to mid twenties…and then later in the series you added several high school characters, this new batch for Bad Machinery are little folks, rather young – in grammar school, I believe. What prompted you to go in this direction?
I wanted to write all-ages books, kids’ literature that stands up when you read it today. I loved the Just William books, and I can still read them now, the writing is sophisticated and hilarious. It may be that this is not what the market wants, but as an exercise it was what I wanted to do. It also stops you leaning on lazy attention-getting devices – sudden death, sudden sexy times. You have to be a lot more resourceful as you write.
Both your comics are /were quite character driven, but the plots usually revolve around the general strange goings-on in town or the odd beastie du jour. .. previously we’ve seen zombies, vampires, dimensional portals etc., but I imagine writing about children presents the opportunity to introduce all kind of imaginative monsters and new bits of wonderful weirdness into the story. Your thoughts?
The idea of Bad Machinery is that the supernatural mysteries are a distraction from the real dangers, which are personal. All through “The Case Of The Good Boy”, the actual manifest danger is how Jack is being victimised through no fault of his own, and he can’t really ask for help. He’s the good boy! No one has spotted this. I’m probably not doing my job very well, am I? I like drawing monsters and beasts, but they’re not real so they lack a certain weight for me.
With regard to “ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged beasties, and things that go bump in the night” – I am keenly interested in hearing about your influences as such things go. From some of the references culled from within the Scary Go Round archive, one might be inclined to think that you’ve had some personal dealings with the Old Deceiver himself, ha! Or perhaps some passing familiarity with esoteric studies of some sort. Or at the very least a subscription to the Fortean Times. Can you tell us from where you draw your inspiration?
I’m an arriviste in this field, a dilletante. I don’t like horror movies and I’m scared of books about ghosts. There was a Dennis Wheatley book in the house when I was a child, with a picture of Satan on the back, I was scared of that too. All my work is a metaphor for actual real life problems. I did a story where a character’s girlfriend is blown up in a caravan and thereafter exists, and is seen sporadically, in the afterlife. That was about long distance relationships. When I tried to do actual mystical stuff, and I say this with no fear of contradiction, it wasn’t all that good. The problem is, when you’re generating a lot of material, it’s easy to lose sight of what you’re doing.
You’ve been doing this for quite a while now, practically when there were dinosaurs on the internet (as opposed to in space) – what are some changes – for the better or the worse – that you’ve seen in that time? Can you tell us briefly about your progression from when you got started to where you are now?
People’s attention spans are knackered. The internet has become a Las Vegas casino, a comfortable, noisy area designed to keep you disorientated and keep you spending money. Good luck trying to find attention with longform work. But I think there’s a sense now that we have to push back in the opposite direction, that people don’t want to read articles surrounded by video ads and animation.
I started in webcomics when almost no one was doing them and occupied a privileged position at the forefront of almost every movement – Keenspot, merchandising, bigger web presence at conventions, when there was less competition. Based on that, I have probably underperformed to an extent! But when people who went on to huge success cite me as an influence, I am enormously proud. I just wish they would put a huge link to my work on their website, next to a giant animated arrow.
Now that we have caught up to present day…can we expect to stick with these characters for awhile, to see them grow and mature as they continue to battle monsters and solve mysteries? Can you give us a peek into what might be in store for our young friends? Or…do you already have something else – something entirely new – brewing?
I’m going to take a month off Bad Machinery to do a mini-series about one of the Scary Go Round characters. It’s kind of a pilot for a series, though if it became a full series I doubt I would have time to draw it myself. I’ve spent months working on the character designs and getting the look and feel of the thing. It gives me a chance to draw adults again, something i do miss. I love drawing fashion and of late have started to feel out of it – there’s only so much of that kind of design work that you can do with 12 year old characters. But I have a thirdBad Machinery story worked out, it’s kind of ludicrous and sad at the same time. Even though it’s been an uphill struggle, post Scary Go Round, I love writing the new comic. If people get that from it, then the difficulties are by and large worth it.
The idea is to do a “case” for each of the three terms of seven years of grammar school. If I get that far, we’ll have been places together. I hope that I get the chance.
*For extra art not seen in the main comic, be sure to check John’s blog, as well as his Flickrstream for doodles and magnificent sketch fiestas, such as this Beardsley-esque Gaga.