It’s been a long and winding road to get here. Let’s start with the story behind the Queen.
Tracy Queen is returning, and I want to tell you what that means to me. It’s been a long and winding road to get here, so let’s start with the story behind her. About ten years ago, Lynsey G and I were scheduled to meet up for a creative collaboration to design a fae character. She was in the middle of working on her first big solo art show in Tribeca. On top of that, she had a full time job as an editor for Penguin; wrote for Timothy McSweeny’s Internet Tendency (as well as half a dozen other reputable places); was a member of the Poetry Brothel, a live poetry reading group; managed her own blog; and was the editor-in-chief of a magazine… She was busy. It took us a while to finally hammer down plans for our collaboration.
In the meantime I’d been reading her various works on the web to get to know a bit about her before working with her. Each piece I read was gripping, and each led me right to another. Her prolific op-ed journalism through a sex-positive feminist lens about the adult industry was so mind altering that ten years later, I’m still unpacking it… but what really kept me hooked was her narrative fiction. By the time we had finally gotten it together to meet up in person for the first time, I was already familiar with quite a bit of her work. We’d messaged back and forth a good deal in the weeks leading up and had a good sense of acquaintanceship.
The night we were to meet she was finishing up some editing for videos that were to be played at her art show. I was on a train on my way to meet her at Penn Station when I got the text that she might be a little late. I was already on my way so I told her I’d have a drink and wait at the bar. An hour or so later, a more distressed text came through about being very late, and that I didn’t have to wait for her. I asked if everything was okay. Her files for her video edits were corrupt and wouldn’t export correctly. Well, I was already at the bar so I didn’t mind waiting longer. Having had some video editing experience of my own, I told her she could meet me for a drink, and I’d take a look at them during the day tomorrow.
The Early Days
Living in Brooklyn, working in Manhattan, Lynsey and Jayel made the best of both, dedicating a fair amount of time to shenanigans wherever and whenever they could.
We had lots of time to get to talking… Turns out we had more than a few things in common.
Well, it was late. Lynsey had a tough day, so we just hung out and talked. We never got to our creative collaboration, but the next day we were able to brainstorm with her video editor and figure out just barely getting her corrupted files to burn to a DVD. Then we moved on to figuring out how to get those DVDs to play through the gallery’s system. It was pretty much an all-day affair, which ended in a rush hour traffic jam that routed us around the Lincoln Tunnel. We had lots of time to get to talking…
As it turned out, we had more than a few things in common. For example, Lynsey and I both had comic book projects we were working on. Lynsey had a synopsis, an outline, some rough design ideas, and a good start on scripting out a few issues of Tracy Queen. I had concept art, a synopsis, and the first 8 pages of PACK scripted out. Lynsey needed an illustrator and graphic designer, I needed a writer and editor. One could say it was kismet.
In the time since then, we’ve published over 2 dozen books and run 11 kickstarter campaigns. Among those were issues 1 & 2 of both Tracy Queen and PACK. Last fall (Aug 31 2021), we had a kickstarter campaign for PACK 1-3, our series about 1 stray man and his 6 stray dogs who roam the streets defending the innocent. We raised more than triple the funding that we had raised for PACK 1. The campaign was a total success.
Since the first inception of PACK, which started as something of a joke between my friend Daniel and I, PACK has become a deconstruction of masked vigilantes, a statement on animal cruelty, an exposé on the evils of political corruption banking on planned gentrification, and the fallout it has on people being pushed out. It is fun and entertaining, gritty and dark… but make no mistake, it has a heart of gold, and that’s something Lynsey and I spent countless hours over the last ten years hard at work developing with the help of sensitivity consultants, and friends willing to share their lived experiences.
A Brooklyn native in a time of upheaval and change, Keatus shares some insights about the developments in his neighborhood, including the rise of the PACK.
Our recent kickstarter for PACK 3: Temperance successfully funded! Click here to grab your copies of issues 1-3 now!
The journey between what we’ve been and what we will be
Since then, we kickstarted our 11th comics anthology: BECOMING (Nov 18 2021). Despite being our 11th comics anthology, this was our first time having a kickstarter solely dedicated to one. With the guidance of Russel Nohelty, one of our contributors, and the tutelage of our teacher Tyler James at ComicxLaunch Pro combined with the full efforts of our community it was another huge success. This was our first time exceeding our expenses out of the gate and being able to offer our contributors royalty-based bonuses on the day of publication. It’s a beautiful compendium, and we’re super proud of it.
This 128-page celebration of indie comics brought together 16 short comics from 37 creators of diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and geographies. BECOMING explores the space between start and finish, the breaths between beginning and end, the journey between what we’ve been and what we will be. From the diversity in our creative teams and the representation in our stories, to the nuanced and varied takes on our theme, this anthology is everything we hoped for and then some.
From reflections on gratitude to horse fights to the kindness of cryptids and beyond, BECOMING brings together magic and science, comedy and darkness, joy and discomfort, pleasure and pain.
Our recent kickstarter for the BECOMING Anthology successfully funded! Click here to grab your copy now!
It’s now been 10 years of working together toward our mutual goals
With a couple dozen publications under our belt, our first act of this year was a big first for us. This spring, we funded our very first prose book on kickstarter: DWAYNE: A Tale From Existentia (Feb 22 2022). “When her life is upended when a 15-ton boulder appears in her home, she forms an uneasy alliance with ‘Dwayne.’ Until he starts to move…” Up until now, everything we published was either a comic, graphic novel, or illustrated novel. This was a prose novella, narrative fiction, text on paper. We were in uncharted territory.
Dwayne was very much like the stories I was reading when first getting to know Lynsey. In fact, a plan we’d been dreaming up for some time now has been to redraft all of her old novellas and some new ones, and release them one a time as a growing series of works called Tales From Existentia. After a decade of working together toward our mutual goals, and this was the first step toward that part of our vast plans. At 413% funded, I’d say we stuck the landing. We’re looking forward to releasing the next tale from Existentia sometime next year.
Dwayne promises to tickle your imagination and set your teeth on edge, all while taking you for a strangely enjoyable ride. It’s the first story from the Tales of Existentia series by IPPY-award-winning author Lynsey G.
Our recent kickstarter for DWAYNE successfully funded! Click here to grab your copy now!
She is THE QUEEN, and she RULES!
Which brings us to now. It’s been ten years since Lynsey and I first embarked on this epic quest to bring our creations, and those of the creators in our community, to the world. We’ve learned through trials and tribulations, consultations, the kindness of mentors and some pretty swell books. Our beards are billowing, and we’re overflowing with more learning than we can possibly convey. Next up is the eponymous Tracy Queen #1-3, and we’re gonna knock it out of the park.
Tracy is a love warrior who broke away from a life of crime, pain, and brutality, to pursue a path of freedom and pleasure… but everyone wants a piece, and her past wont let her go. Harkening back to Lynsey’s experience as an adult entertainment industry journalist, Tracy Queen is decidedly NSFW. Tracy funds her newfound liberation from a multinational organized crime syndicate by ferociously pursuing a startlingly effervescent career as an adult cam performer.
Working on this bizarre, out-of-the-box, at times avant-garde story has not only enhanced me as a creator, but as a person, too. It’s far from preachy, and never soap-boxy… Tracy is a messy ne’er-do-well. She’s almost always impulsive, and sometimes problematic, but she learns and grows as a character, and she takes no shit from anyone. She is THE QUEEN, and she rules. Our very next kickstarter is going to be Tracy Queen #3: I Want More, during the month of April.
We know those who already have issues 1 & 2 are eagerly awaiting 3… But for those who haven’t met Tracy Queen yet, now’s a chance to grab all 3 issues! By clicking “Notify me on launch” on the pre-launch page for “Tracy Queen V3: I Want More” on Kickstarter, you’re making sure we have the biggest launch day possible, which means we’ll be able to add more to this already awesome project, making it even better! We can’t wait to get this one into your hands!