I’m expanding my comics efforts to include scripting as well as drawing. Today, Big Head Press is launching our latest feature, ESCAPE FROM TERRA. This is a 5-days-weekly, sci-fi adventure web-comic co-written by Sandy Sandfort and myself, with art by LEE OAKS! (That’s how he wants to have his name styled, all caps with an exclamation point.)
Our promotion keys off of two principal characters, Guy Caillard and Fiorella Stellina, two intrepid agents of the United World Revenue Service, in the late 21st Century. The promotional copy is a bit tongue-in-cheek, written from the perspective of the characters, who see their duty in bringing the wild miners of the Asteroid Belt to heel and collecting a “fair share” of their wealth for humanity.
Of course, anyone who knows me, or Sandy Sandfort, can guess what’s really going on here. EFT will describe a thriving and robust market anarchist culture developing on Ceres and elsewhere in the belt. The initial story arcs do indeed relate the struggle of this new culture to maintain its independence from the iron fist of Terra’s unified government, but later we’ll delve into some other happenings at the leading edge of human civilization in that time period.
This project has its roots in a prose short story, “World Ceres,” which Sandy wrote as an entry in a contest honoring Robert A. Heinlein’s fiction. He sent it to us and we thought the universe he described has great potential to be the backdrop for a continuing series. Sandy has no experience with the comics medium so we agreed to team up. He continues writing prose short stories, which I take and massage a bit, sometimes adding new elements and trimming away others (always in consultation with Sandy), and establishing frequent story beats suitable for a daily strip.
We then pass the script to LEE, a Fort Collins cartoonist to whom I was introduced by the legendary Mike Baron. LEE is also working with Mike on the fantasy web-comic BLACK ICE, which is running on the ComicMix site. It’s also worth a look. LEE took over that comic starting with Issue 8 from the original artist Nick Runge when Nick left that project for a better-paying gig elsewhere.