I try to always have free comics like the Zero series on hand, both for promotional purposes and just because I like giving comics away. I also like leaving them in public places sometimes. The other day a person who found a copy of Library of the Lost pinned to the bulletin board at a bank in Milford, NH emailed me to say they’d enjoyed the comic and its “message-in-a-bottle distribution, which was like opening a Cracker Jack prize”. That feeling is one of the reasons I like leaving comics around, but what made this extra delightful to me is that I didn’t put that comic there. I guess one of the many people I gave a copy to at Broke must have decided to share with Milford’s banking public. The person who found it said they left it at the Milford library for others to enjoy. This all pleases me. :D
“Headache, how’s it going?” it says.
“All right, Nausea,” responds a short, spiky being coming the opposite way, “What’s shakin’?”
“Not much, just – oh, hey, I haven’t seen that guy in a while – let’s go say hi!”
The two run up a set of front steps behind a man with a tote bag entering an apartment building.
“Buddy! How are ya!” exclaims Nausea.
The man turns in alarm to see Headache & Nausea standing in the doorway. “Uh…busy,” he says.
“Cool!” says Nausea
They follow as he walks away.
“We thought we’d just drop by, catch up, rock out, y’know?” Headache says.
“Eaten anything interesting lately?” Nausea asks as the man sits down at a TV tray, starting to look ill.
“Guys,” he says, looking stressed, “I’ve got a lot of stuff to do, and I can’t do it with you here.”
Headache & Nausea are totally unfazed. “Aw, you can take a break!” says Nausea. “How often do we see each other?”
2. CAPTION: Don’t be afraid! IMAGE: A scruffy exhibitor overcompensates by standing with arms crossed and staring aggressively with bloodshot eyes at a passerby, who looks puzzled and leans away.
3. CAPTION: Be confident. IMAGE: Smarmy exhibitor, referring to comic held by annoyed-looking woman: “If you think that thing is any good, prepare to be blown away by my comics!
4. CAPTION: Be approachable. IMAGE: Behind a comics table, a sign in the shape of a downward-pointing arrow reads, “I’m down here if you want to buy anything.”
5. CAPTION: Be friendly. IMAGE: Sleazy exhibitor to irritated woman putting comic back on his table: “Wanna come back to my room later?”
I’ve started making little 8-page 1/4-size minicomics to give out at conventions and around town. I just print a set batch (usually 50-100) and when they’re gone, that’s it – I’ll reformat & reprint them in my zine. Eventually I’ll post PDFs of some community- or holiday-related issues for people to download & print their own. The (not very prominent) series name is Zero; here are photos of #1: Super Friendly Garlic, #2: Winter in Headville, #3: Seven Aspects of the Landlord, and the newly-printed #4: Cupid’s Mission (yes, I’m saving some for February):
I return from the distraction of moving house with…an out-of-season Valentine’s Day strip? Well, maybe I’ll post a printable version when the season rolls around. In any case, though I think this page could be its own strip, in fact there is more. Apparently I just don’t know when to stop!
I’d resisted drawing a landlord strip because I don’t do much autobio, and crazy landlord stories are a dime a dozen, but I finally reached a point where I felt like I needed to do it to exorcise some of my frustration. It’s not in an autobio format, but the whole strip is inspired by my current (soon to be ex-)landlord, and though condensed is unfortunately pretty true to life (re: panel 4, he’s an optometrist, though I’ve no idea how). This strip has a lot more cussing than my others because he is a cussin’ cuss.
This comic was printed as Zero #3.