Tuesday, April 6, 2010

MOCCA, Cyborg Horse, and Slime Mold Revolt

I will be at the MOCAA comics festival April 10 and 11, New York City, at the IKnowJoeKimpel table.

My RAVEN AND CRAYFISH will be for sale (and it is still selling online via IKnowJoeKimpel.)

This will be my first MOCCA appearance since 2005. Other duties have called me away every year between then and now. It will be interesting to see how the festival has evolved. SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED for small-press comics in the past five years; it will be interesting.

Now a preview of a current project, which certainly will not be ready in time for MOCCA....

The Futuristic Wood

Since I was very young, I have had a special fondness for science fiction. My first published comic book (small press) A HUMBLE JOY (2004) was an SF work about a research physicist and his guinea pig. SF themes dominated my comics work during my time at The Center for Cartoon Studies (2005-07): notable works there included MYTHS FROM THE FUTURE, “Paper Slave” (with Sean Morgan), and my thesis project ARRIDABA, an unfinished SF graphic novel featuring sea turtles. It would be wise for me to finish the work as a script, but so far I haven't mad much progress on that.

However, my CCS comrades might be glad to hear that I am currently working on two projects in the venerable genre of science fiction. One features a cyborg horse.

In 2008, I produced this drawing:

I took a bit of inspiration, or at least the idea of a priest riding on some sort of weird robot-donkey-like creature, from “The Quest for St. Aquin” by Anthony Boucher. Just about everybody who saw this drawing said the same thing: “I like the horse / donkey.” With that in mind, I wondered if I might compose a narrative starring a cybernetic horse. Evidently, the parts have been coming together in my imagination, because I am right now at work on just such a story.

A sneak preview:

His ally ia a cybernetic orang-utang:

And to you sports fans out there, this work also features a futuristic athlete (who also has musical ambitions):

And that is as much as I'll reveal, for the time being.

My other SF work in progress is a collaboration with fellow CCS pioneer Sean Morgan. (Warning: his site is 'for mature readers.') The “Paper Slave” team is back together. This time, we're creating an SF/ horror comic featuring zombies. I have composed the script, and we have made a bit of opening progress on the artwork. I hope that announcing the effort here will help to prompt greater progress.

And on a related subject...

I didn't know it, but science fiction could be in my genes(?!) Last week, my mother and her three siblings made their final clean of my late-grandparents house in Minnesota, before the new owners move in. My mom made a startling discovery. Or, should, I say an ASTOUNDING discovery.

She found a manuscript “Slime Mold Revolt” by Dunstan Firbolg, the pseudonym of my grandfather, the famed naturalist and conservationist John B. Moyle. It was accompanied by a rejection letter from the editor of ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION. I had no idea that anyone else in my lineage ever wrote in this genre, but evidently my grandfather had made this effort, unbeknownst to his eldest daughter, until now.

ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION lives on today, having been retitled ANALOG SCIENCE FICTION AND FACT. The editor during the era of the former title was John W. Campbell Jr. He was, among other things, mentor to the great Isaac Asimov. An honor to think that Campbell read my grandfather's story, presumably.

I haven't had a chance to read SLIME MOLD REVOLT yet, but I may have more to say once I do.

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