Some backstory on Oneshi Press Comics Anthologies:
Howdy, friends! So, as some of you may know, I’ve been working on visual storytelling for quite some time. Writer/Illustrator Chris Covelli and I started working together on what would become Children of Gaia (COG) in the early 90s. That series has since found a home at Oneshi Press, the indie publishing company that writer/editor Lynsey G and I co-founded about 5 years ago. Lynsey and I had shared our projects with each other–I would illustrate Tracy Queen for her and she would write PACK for me. Those two projects, plus COG, started to feel like a collection, so we branched out and opened it to others and started to make comics anthologies. The idea for these anthologies developed into periodical collections of short stories as well as excerpts from longer stories submitted by comic creators from diverse backgrounds all around the world (no offense, flat earthers).
I really fell in love with the anthology format. I can get a little bit of everything and feel balanced and satisfied. In addition to the immense satisfaction anthologies give me from an entertainment- and style-hungry standpoint, it’s also great to see so many creators sharing work with each other’s audiences. Our anthologies are really a co-op model: all of our contributors can get a set amount of copies at cost, and however many they want at wholesale price afterwards, which they can then turn around and sell at full price. So we’re helping them get their work out there, while also giving them an opportunity to make a profit. It felt good, and the better we got at it, the better it felt every time. I knew that whatever else I was creating, I wanted to keep making anthologies. Each one is like trip to a wonderful buffet where you can stack your plate with a little bit of everything. Oh dang it, I made myself hungry just by typing that!
A little more detail about the half-goblin zombie hunter, Mr. Guy:
A couple years ago I dug up a decade-old attempt at drafting out another project I had started back in the early 90s, Mr. Guy: Zombie Hunter. Mr Guy is a comedy that takes place in a horror/fantasy setting. Fantasy because it’s a modern world with a Dungeons and Dragons-like setup: there are all sorts of elves, orcs, trolls, the occasional humans, and even goblins. In fact, our main reluctant hero, Mr. Guy, is half-goblin himself. The horror element comes in from this world being caught in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. Mr. Guy himself is infected, and may just need to save us all from the apocalypse to save himself. The comedy comes in as Mr. Guy realizes that to stop the zombie apocalypse he has to figure out its cause. Now, of course every zombie movie has its own take on what causes it, and Mr. Guy lampoons them all, satirically checking each one off his list. Not to mention he himself is a real wise guy. All of this adds up to a gripping action story that’s as funny as a kitten that doesn’t know it’s wearing yellow ducky slippers on all four of its adorable little kitten feet.
In light of the fact that Mr. Guy episodically lampoons a different zombie apocalypse scenario with each 8-page arc (chapter), coupled with how much I love the diversity of anthologies… the next logical development seemed to me to hire a different artist for each of the 12 arcs! That’s a lot up front both to pay for and also to manage, so we decided to do Act 1, which is the first 4 arcs. We start off with a beautiful cover illustrated by Sonne. Seeing as how I’m the writer, it made sense to me to kick the whole thing off by illustrating Arc 1 myself, then passing it off. Arc 2 was beautifully illustrated by Walter Ostlie. Picking up where Walter left off, Diana Camero did a fantastic job capturing the excitement and energy of Act 3. Finally, to finish off Act 1, Jacey Chase handsomely illustrated our half-goblin’s escape from this perilous collection in Arc 4. We have gorgeous guest art from Sophia Murphy as well as a few others, TBA. Acts 2 and 3 will follow the same model, which we’re calling an art-thology; it’s different artists for each 8 pages, like an anthology, except it’s following 1 continuous story throughout.
How we’re making it happen:
We decided to fund both Mr. Guy: Zombie Hunter – Act 1: To Save Us All and Oneshi Press Comics Anthology #10 – Origins together with pre-sales in one whopping kickstarter campaign. The idea is that when you order your copies of both of these wonderful collections along with the slew of extra perks, including art prints and even original art, you’re actually funding the creation of these projects. All of our pledge tiers give you rewards bundled together at wholesale prices, so this is definitely the best way you can get your arms full of our creations!
Some of you can’t pledge quite as much as you’d like to, but even just sharing this link with friends on social media or emails, etc, helps get more eyes on this campaign and increases our chances of success at getting these projects made and into your hands. All of the work has already been done on our end; we just need the funds to pay for printing and to back work for hire. Kickstarter is all-or-nothing, so if we don’t make or full goal by the 31st of July, we don’t get any of it. Nearly 3 dozen creators are counting on us to get this funded, so helping us spread the word helps everyone involved!
I’m super grateful that I’ve been invited to be featured on several podcasts to talk about Mr. Guy and the Origins Anthology. As you can expect from me, I keep it weird, silly, entertaining, but also insightful. The first podcast about Mr. Guy to come out was Lynsey and I talking with Joey Galvez on The House of Indie Podcast, where we dig into quite a few topics, including our works to date, the future of the industry, and our philosophy of collaboration over competition. You can listen to The House of Indie: Oneshi Press Interview on: Spotify Google Play, AND Apple Podcasts. The next one was a super-fun return to The Adrian Has Issues Podcast – Episode 157: The Reluctant Zombie (with Jayel Draco), where I teach Adrian what precious little I know about the gelatin-encased food-stuffs known as aspic…oh yeah, and we talk about Mr. Guy a lot. Then Lynsey and I had a great time as guests on Wayne’s Comics Podcast #441: Interview w/ Lynsey & Jayel, Wayne really dug into the early press copy of Mr. Guy we sent him and brought up some of his personal favorite moments from the book. We were on a few more podcasts after that about this campaign, which have yet to come out. Stay tuned, folks!
Please take a moment to check out our kickstarter campaign for Mr. Guy and the Origins Comics Anthology and help us spread the word about it.