October 12, 2011
NEW YORK COMIC CON! I can’t believe it’s been a year already…prepare to be rocked.
I’ll have one hundred advance copies of the Image version of OUR LOVE IS REAL available, three weeks before it hits store shelves! Come quick if you want one. Myself and my pals Mark Sable and Paul Azaceta will be camping out at booth S16.
I’ll also have them at the mega-signing at Jim Hanley’s Universe, across from the Empire State building, on Thursday night. Come say hi to myself and baller creators like Josh Fialkov, Sterling Gates, Kyle Higgins, and a ton more.
And of course I’ll be signing Fraggle Rock with the good folks at the Archaia booth.
New Yorkers, East Coasters, and erstwhile travelers, come get your butt melted off with 9000 pounds of comic book peace, love, and soul!
THURSDAY
5p-6p: OUR LOVE IS REAL signing at booth S16
6p-7p: FRAGGLE ROCK signing at Archaia booth #1546
8p-9p: OUR LOVE IS REAL signing at Jim Hanley’s Universe, 4 West 33rd Street
FRIDAY
I’ll be signing OUR LOVE IS REAL at booth S16 at random times during the day…
11:30a-1p: FRAGGLE ROCK signing at Archaia booth #1546
3p-5p: OUR LOVE IS REAL signing at booth S16
SATURDAY
I’ll be signing OUR LOVE IS REAL at booth S16 at random times during the day…

11a-12n: FRAGGLE ROCK signing at Archaia booth #1546

2p-4p: OUR LOVE IS REAL signing at booth S16

NEW YORK COMIC CON! I can’t believe it’s been a year already…prepare to be rocked.

I’ll have one hundred advance copies of the Image version of OUR LOVE IS REAL available, three weeks before it hits store shelves! Come quick if you want one. Myself and my pals Mark Sable and Paul Azaceta will be camping out at booth S16.

I’ll also have them at the mega-signing at Jim Hanley’s Universe, across from the Empire State building, on Thursday night. Come say hi to myself and baller creators like Josh Fialkov, Sterling Gates, Kyle Higgins, and a ton more.

And of course I’ll be signing Fraggle Rock with the good folks at the Archaia booth.

New Yorkers, East Coasters, and erstwhile travelers, come get your butt melted off with 9000 pounds of comic book peace, love, and soul!

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

I’ll be signing OUR LOVE IS REAL at booth S16 at random times during the day…

  • 11:30a-1p: FRAGGLE ROCK signing at Archaia booth #1546
  • 3p-5p: OUR LOVE IS REAL signing at booth S16

SATURDAY

I’ll be signing OUR LOVE IS REAL at booth S16 at random times during the day…

  • 11a-12n: FRAGGLE ROCK signing at Archaia booth #1546

  • 2p-4p: OUR LOVE IS REAL signing at booth S16

August 4, 2011
Me and Karen Prell AKA Red Fraggle signing Fraggle Rock at Comic Con 2011 (Taken with instagram)

Me and Karen Prell AKA Red Fraggle signing Fraggle Rock at Comic Con 2011 (Taken with instagram)

July 19, 2011
SHUMPHRIES SAN DIEGO COMIC CON 2011 SCHEDULE!
It’s that time of year again, the high holy days for myself and 165,000 of the faithful, it’s time for SAN DIEGO COMIC CON!
Please come find me and say hi! My schedule is below.
Remember, OUR LOVE IS REAL: The Mineralsexual Edition is available for sale ONLY during my signing times at the Geekscape booth!
Also note: on Saturday at the Archaia booth I will be signing with none other than KAREN PRELL, the OG puppeteer of Red Fraggle!
Stay tuned to my Twitter for updates live from SDCC!
WEDNESDAY
5:30-6:30p: SIGNING Fraggle Rock at Archaia (booth #2635)
THURSDAY
11a - 12n: SIGNING Our Love Is Real at Geekscape (booth #4016)
4:30p - 6p: SIGNING Fraggle Rock at Archaia (booth #2635)
6:30p - 7:30p: PANEL Indie Comics Marketing 101, Room: 8
FRIDAY
11a - 12n: SIGNING Our Love Is Real at Geekscape (booth #4016)
5p - 6p: SIGNING Fraggle Rock at Archaia (booth #2635)
SATURDAY
11a - 12n: SIGNING Our Love Is Real at Geekscape (booth #4016)
2p - 3p: SIGNING Fraggle Rock at Archaia (booth #2635) with KAREN PRELL, voice and puppeteer of RED FRAGGLE!!!
SUNDAY
11a - 12n: SIGNING Our Love Is Real at Geekscape (booth #4016)
12:30n - 1:30p: SIGNING Fraggle Rock at Archaia (booth #2635)

SHUMPHRIES SAN DIEGO COMIC CON 2011 SCHEDULE!

It’s that time of year again, the high holy days for myself and 165,000 of the faithful, it’s time for SAN DIEGO COMIC CON!

Please come find me and say hi! My schedule is below.

Remember, OUR LOVE IS REAL: The Mineralsexual Edition is available for sale ONLY during my signing times at the Geekscape booth!

Also note: on Saturday at the Archaia booth I will be signing with none other than KAREN PRELL, the OG puppeteer of Red Fraggle!

Stay tuned to my Twitter for updates live from SDCC!

WEDNESDAY

  • 5:30-6:30p: SIGNING Fraggle Rock at Archaia (booth #2635)

THURSDAY

  • 11a - 12n: SIGNING Our Love Is Real at Geekscape (booth #4016)
  • 4:30p - 6p: SIGNING Fraggle Rock at Archaia (booth #2635)
  • 6:30p - 7:30p: PANEL Indie Comics Marketing 101, Room: 8

FRIDAY

  • 11a - 12n: SIGNING Our Love Is Real at Geekscape (booth #4016)
  • 5p - 6p: SIGNING Fraggle Rock at Archaia (booth #2635)

SATURDAY

  • 11a - 12n: SIGNING Our Love Is Real at Geekscape (booth #4016)
  • 2p - 3p: SIGNING Fraggle Rock at Archaia (booth #2635) with KAREN PRELL, voice and puppeteer of RED FRAGGLE!!!

SUNDAY

  • 11a - 12n: SIGNING Our Love Is Real at Geekscape (booth #4016)
  • 12:30n - 1:30p: SIGNING Fraggle Rock at Archaia (booth #2635)

April 29, 2011
YES I! YES KING! YES BIGGEST BOOK FESTIVAL IN THE US!
I’ll be signing all manner of Fraggle Rock things at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books this weekend at USC. 
Saturday, April 30: 12n - 2p
Sunday, May 1: 1:30p - 3:30p
I will be at Archaia, booth number 834.
As always, I will be employing the “phrase that pays” this weekend. The first person to come up to me and say OUR LOVE IS REAL will get preview editions of my next two books — unreleased, not for sale, only thirty in existence. If any of my comics will help you put your kids through braces, it’s these two!
Come on down! If you don’t like Fraggle Rock, there’s only a billion more books and authors at the festival, and if you don’t like books or authors, just…unfollow me now.

YES I! YES KING! YES BIGGEST BOOK FESTIVAL IN THE US!

I’ll be signing all manner of Fraggle Rock things at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books this weekend at USC. 

  • Saturday, April 30: 12n - 2p
  • Sunday, May 1: 1:30p - 3:30p

I will be at Archaia, booth number 834.

    As always, I will be employing the “phrase that pays” this weekend. The first person to come up to me and say OUR LOVE IS REAL will get preview editions of my next two books — unreleased, not for sale, only thirty in existence. If any of my comics will help you put your kids through braces, it’s these two!

    Come on down! If you don’t like Fraggle Rock, there’s only a billion more books and authors at the festival, and if you don’t like books or authors, just…unfollow me now.

    March 31, 2011
    WEEKEND PLANS
This weekend I will be in San Francisco for the awesome Wondercon comic book convention. It’s my third (?) time at the show, but first time as a pro! 
Here’s my schedule of signings and panels —
FRIDAY
11:30a - 1p: Signing Fraggle Rock at Archaia, booth #521
2:00p-3:00p: Panel Spotlight on Jeremy Love, room 236
4:30p-5:30p: Panel Indie Comics Marketing 101, room 220
SATURDAY
1:00p - 3:00p: Signing Fraggle Rock at Archaia, booth #521
4:00p - 7:00p: Signing Fraggle Rock at Archaia, booth #521
SUNDAY
12:30p - 3:00p: Signing Fraggle Rock at Archaia, booth #521
Don’t be shy, come say hi! The first person to approach me at the show with”the phrase that pays will receive preview editions of my next two books. I basically printed a handful to show off at Wondercon, so these are hella limited editions…like there will only be 20 ever.
And the phrase that pays is…Our Love Is Real.
See you soon YAY AREAAAAAAAA

    WEEKEND PLANS

    This weekend I will be in San Francisco for the awesome Wondercon comic book convention. It’s my third (?) time at the show, but first time as a pro! 

    Here’s my schedule of signings and panels —

    FRIDAY

    • 11:30a - 1p: Signing Fraggle Rock at Archaia, booth #521
    • 2:00p-3:00p: Panel Spotlight on Jeremy Love, room 236
    • 4:30p-5:30p: Panel Indie Comics Marketing 101, room 220

    SATURDAY

    • 1:00p - 3:00p: Signing Fraggle Rock at Archaia, booth #521
    • 4:00p - 7:00p: Signing Fraggle Rock at Archaia, booth #521

    SUNDAY

    • 12:30p - 3:00p: Signing Fraggle Rock at Archaia, booth #521

    Don’t be shy, come say hi! The first person to approach me at the show with”the phrase that pays will receive preview editions of my next two books. I basically printed a handful to show off at Wondercon, so these are hella limited editions…like there will only be 20 ever.

    And the phrase that pays is…Our Love Is Real.

    See you soon YAY AREAAAAAAAA

    October 18, 2010
    sowing-seasons:

I follow this guy Sam on tumblr. He is always talking about this book he helped write. Today in the bookstore I actually saw it ( just one btw) and I thought it was cool. I would have bought it if I had my purse… It was nicely done! 

Whaaaaaaaat! This is awesome. The Fraggle Rock hardcover spotted in the wild! (The wild = Northern Michigan.) Thanks, SS!

    sowing-seasons:

    I follow this guy Sam on tumblr. He is always talking about this book he helped write. Today in the bookstore I actually saw it ( just one btw) and I thought it was cool. I would have bought it if I had my purse… It was nicely done! 

    Whaaaaaaaat! This is awesome. The Fraggle Rock hardcover spotted in the wild! (The wild = Northern Michigan.) Thanks, SS!

    October 6, 2010
    NEW YORK COMIC CON IS HERE!
I love this show! It’s a well-run comic convention in the middle of Manhattan, big enough to have a blast (but not so big that it could swallow up a small moon), great fans and great friends.
Really excited to be making a return visit, and especially psyched to be signing beautiful Fraggle Rock hardcovers all weekend long. If you’re coming to the show, stop by and say hi!
Signing at the Archaia booth #2031:
FRIDAY, October 8th, 2:30p - 4:00p
SATURDAY, October 9th, 11:30a - 1:00p
SATURDAY, October 9th, 4:00p - 5:30p
SUNDAY, October 10th, 11:30a - 1:00p
If anyone following me here on Tumblr catches me and says “the phrase that pays” I’ll send you a FREE original Sam Humphries photo print of your choosing! I did this at the Chicago con, LA Times Book Fest, and Free Comic Book Day…this weekend will be no different!
The “phrase that pays” is…I AM A WETSHIRT! That’s all it takes!
SEE YOU AT NYCC!

    NEW YORK COMIC CON IS HERE!

    I love this show! It’s a well-run comic convention in the middle of Manhattan, big enough to have a blast (but not so big that it could swallow up a small moon), great fans and great friends.

    Really excited to be making a return visit, and especially psyched to be signing beautiful Fraggle Rock hardcovers all weekend long. If you’re coming to the show, stop by and say hi!

    Signing at the Archaia booth #2031:

    FRIDAY, October 8th, 2:30p - 4:00p

    SATURDAY, October 9th, 11:30a - 1:00p

    SATURDAY, October 9th, 4:00p - 5:30p

    SUNDAY, October 10th, 11:30a - 1:00p

    If anyone following me here on Tumblr catches me and says “the phrase that pays” I’ll send you a FREE original Sam Humphries photo print of your choosing! I did this at the Chicago con, LA Times Book Fest, and Free Comic Book Day…this weekend will be no different!

    The “phrase that pays” is…I AM A WETSHIRT! That’s all it takes!

    SEE YOU AT NYCC!

    July 19, 2010
    MY SAN DIEGO COMIC CON SCHEDULE! Come by and say hi at the big show.
At the BOOM! booth I’ll be signing debut copies of CBGB: The Comic Book #1, as well as a bunch of the glorious limited  edition CBGB art prints.
At the Archaia booth I’ll be signing FREE Fraggle Rock posters as well as debut copies of the gorgeous Fraggle Rock hardcover edition! This book won’t be out in stores for a few more weeks, so this will be your only place to grab one!
At panels, I will try not to embarrass myself. Or you.
WEDNESDAY Preview Night
5:30p - 7:00p: Signing Fraggle Rock at the Archaia booth #2635
7:00p - 9:00p: Signing CBGB with the swanlike Kieron Gillen at the BOOM! Studios booth #2743
THURSDAY 
12:00n - 2:30p: Signing Fraggle Rock at the Archaia booth #2635
5:30p - 6:30p: Indie Comics Marketing 101 panel in room 4! I’ll be speaking on this panel along with marketing maven Chip Mosher, Comics Alliance czar Laura Hudson, and Mr. Cool himself Ben McCool. We’ll trade marketing tips for small press, indie, and webcomics, and take questions from the audience.
FRIDAY
10:30a - 12:00n: Signing Fraggle Rock at the Archaia booth #2635
4:30p - 5:30p: Signing Fraggle Rock at the  Archaia booth #2635
SATURDAY
2:30p - 4:00p: Signing Fraggle Rock at the Archaia booth #2635
SUNDAY
11:00a - 12:00n: Jim Henson panel in room 25ABC! I’ll be speaking on this panel along with Dark Crystal artist and co-creator Brian Froud, my fellow Fraggle Rock creators, plus great folks from Archaia and The Jim Henson Company.
1:00p - 2:00p: Signing Fraggle Rock at the Archaia booth #2635
3:00p - 4:00p: Signing Fraggle Rock at the Archaia booth  #2635
MONDAY (back in Los Angeles)
7:00p - 10:00p: Signing at Meltdown Comics’ annual and legendary LA Comic Con After Party! I’ll be signing both Fraggle Rock and CBGB. Elegant Ivan Brandon and supple Felipe Smith will be signing as well. More details to come.

    MY SAN DIEGO COMIC CON SCHEDULE! Come by and say hi at the big show.

    At the BOOM! booth I’ll be signing debut copies of CBGB: The Comic Book #1, as well as a bunch of the glorious limited edition CBGB art prints.

    At the Archaia booth I’ll be signing FREE Fraggle Rock posters as well as debut copies of the gorgeous Fraggle Rock hardcover edition! This book won’t be out in stores for a few more weeks, so this will be your only place to grab one!

    At panels, I will try not to embarrass myself. Or you.

    WEDNESDAY Preview Night

    5:30p - 7:00p: Signing Fraggle Rock at the Archaia booth #2635

    7:00p - 9:00p: Signing CBGB with the swanlike Kieron Gillen at the BOOM! Studios booth #2743

    THURSDAY 

    12:00n - 2:30p: Signing Fraggle Rock at the Archaia booth #2635

    5:30p - 6:30p: Indie Comics Marketing 101 panel in room 4! I’ll be speaking on this panel along with marketing maven Chip Mosher, Comics Alliance czar Laura Hudson, and Mr. Cool himself Ben McCool. We’ll trade marketing tips for small press, indie, and webcomics, and take questions from the audience.

    FRIDAY

    10:30a - 12:00n: Signing Fraggle Rock at the Archaia booth #2635

    4:30p - 5:30p: Signing Fraggle Rock at the Archaia booth #2635

    SATURDAY

    2:30p - 4:00p: Signing Fraggle Rock at the Archaia booth #2635

    SUNDAY

    11:00a - 12:00n: Jim Henson panel in room 25ABC! I’ll be speaking on this panel along with Dark Crystal artist and co-creator Brian Froud, my fellow Fraggle Rock creators, plus great folks from Archaia and The Jim Henson Company.

    1:00p - 2:00p: Signing Fraggle Rock at the Archaia booth #2635

    3:00p - 4:00p: Signing Fraggle Rock at the Archaia booth #2635

    MONDAY (back in Los Angeles)

    7:00p - 10:00p: Signing at Meltdown Comics’ annual and legendary LA Comic Con After Party! I’ll be signing both Fraggle Rock and CBGB. Elegant Ivan Brandon and supple Felipe Smith will be signing as well. More details to come.

    June 17, 2010
    BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE FRAGGLE ROCK COMIC,    PART 4: LET’S GET DIGITAL
At this stage, it’s common practice for an artist to “tighten up” the pencils to improve clarity for the printing process. Back in the day, this was achieved by inking onto the artwork itself with a pen or brush.
But Jeremy scans the pencils and does everything digitally, because he is secretly Tron like that. (Or he’s been drawing a webcomic for the past two years.) You can see above how the digital inking process gave him a wide range of line fidelity. The pencils are darker, heavier, and fit for reproduction, but there’s still a nice detailed, delicate look to the artwork.
It’s possible to get the same effect with a brush, but it takes hella time and experience. Thanks, computers! Please don’t forget me when you make all writers and artists redundant.
Jeremy also added some preliminary colors at this stage, to see how it affected the artwork. Even a quick pass of color added striking depth and complexity to the page. Red looks like she is actually walking through a cave instead of down a white piece of paper.
Tomorrow: Words + more pretty colors

    BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE FRAGGLE ROCK COMIC, PART 4: LET’S GET DIGITAL

    At this stage, it’s common practice for an artist to “tighten up” the pencils to improve clarity for the printing process. Back in the day, this was achieved by inking onto the artwork itself with a pen or brush.

    But Jeremy scans the pencils and does everything digitally, because he is secretly Tron like that. (Or he’s been drawing a webcomic for the past two years.) You can see above how the digital inking process gave him a wide range of line fidelity. The pencils are darker, heavier, and fit for reproduction, but there’s still a nice detailed, delicate look to the artwork.

    It’s possible to get the same effect with a brush, but it takes hella time and experience. Thanks, computers! Please don’t forget me when you make all writers and artists redundant.

    Jeremy also added some preliminary colors at this stage, to see how it affected the artwork. Even a quick pass of color added striking depth and complexity to the page. Red looks like she is actually walking through a cave instead of down a white piece of paper.

    Tomorrow: Words + more pretty colors

    June 16, 2010
    BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE FRAGGLE ROCK COMIC,   PART 3: PENCILED ARTWORK
Once the script is finished and approved, the creative process moves to a new person on the team: the artist.
In the case of the Fraggle Rock story, I was lucky enough to have my good friend and awesome artist Jeremy Love on the job. If you don’t know, Jeremy is the Eisner-nominated creator of Bayou, a fantastic comic which happens to be available online for free. It’s like Alice In Wonderland in the American South. If you’ve never seen it before, I highly reccomend you check it out.
Jeremy wanted to illustrate the Fraggles as if they were real creatures you could study and draw, with things like legs, expressions, and butts. So he adopted an art style he developed from Bayou, a sketchy pencil look with lots of soft shadings and naturalistic details. (Click on the image above to see all the lush detail in the work.)
FACT: Boober, the Fraggle in the hat, was Jeremy’s favorite character to draw. Too bad he figured that out after I made Red the star of the story…
Tomorrow: Digital inks and colors

    BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE FRAGGLE ROCK COMIC, PART 3: PENCILED ARTWORK

    Once the script is finished and approved, the creative process moves to a new person on the team: the artist.

    In the case of the Fraggle Rock story, I was lucky enough to have my good friend and awesome artist Jeremy Love on the job. If you don’t know, Jeremy is the Eisner-nominated creator of Bayou, a fantastic comic which happens to be available online for free. It’s like Alice In Wonderland in the American South. If you’ve never seen it before, I highly reccomend you check it out.

    Jeremy wanted to illustrate the Fraggles as if they were real creatures you could study and draw, with things like legs, expressions, and butts. So he adopted an art style he developed from Bayou, a sketchy pencil look with lots of soft shadings and naturalistic details. (Click on the image above to see all the lush detail in the work.)

    FACT: Boober, the Fraggle in the hat, was Jeremy’s favorite character to draw. Too bad he figured that out after I made Red the star of the story…

    Tomorrow: Digital inks and colors

    June 15, 2010

    BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE FRAGGLE ROCK COMIC, PART 2: THE SCRIPT

    So I cleared the pitch stage with my inspired tale of one Fraggle and her struggle against an art world establishment that doesn’t understand her genius. (Hey Banksy, I’m available!)

    The next step is to write out the script, the page-by-page, panel-by-panel blueprint the artist will use to draw the comic book. Not too dissimilar from a screenplay, but with more nerd references.

    The notorious Alan Moore was the first writer I saw who wrote out a script like a letter to the artist. Tim Beedle and Paul Morrisey (my awesome editors at Archaia), and relevant people at Henson will all read the script as well, for the purposes of notes and approvals. But it’s the artist who will spend hours and hours with this jam, possibly hating me for incredibly complicated panel compositions. So I might as well butter them up from the get go.

    Here’s one section of the script, covering page 3 of the comic book:

    PAGE 3

    Break this page up into three panels, two panels on the left, stacked on top of each other. The third panel on the right is 1/3rd the width of the page, but as tall as the height of the page.

    PANEL 1: We are back outside Gobo and Wembley’s dwelling. On the left side is the front door. In the middle is Red, backing away, shouting her dialog back into the door. A hasty retreat. On the right is Red’s painting leaning against the wall.

    This is the first time we see Red’s painting and thus understand her dilemma. It’s not…childlike per se, but it is certainly rudimentary, especially considering the accomplished paintings we’ve just seen inside. It wouldn’t hurt if it was attractive, but it needs to be somewhat sloppy and almost primitive.

    1. RED: I…uh, left mine at home!
    2. RED: I’ll just run back and grab it!

    PANEL 2: A scene from Red’s imagination. This panel should be somewhat visually different to indicate that it is imaginary — sepia tone or fuzzy borders or something like that. She is thinking of the criticism she will get for her painting. The scene is Boober Fraggle holding Red’s painting while Red looks on.

    1. BOOBER: It looks like something a Gorg made.
    2. RED: …

    PANEL 3: This is the tall panel taking up the whole right hand side of the page. We’re looking down on the winding path that leads out of Fraggle Rock and into the world of the Gorgs. (The Trash Heap is on the other side of the Gorg’s garden.) Slight angle, looking down, like 45 degrees-ish. We see three Reds in this panel, at the top, in the middle, and at the bottom, as she progresses down the path. Time passing in a single panel.

    1. RED: I gotta take this to the Trash Heap before someone sees it!
    2. RED: How will I win the art contest now?
    3. RED: If only I was as good at painting as I am at swimming…

    (If you don’t know what a Gorg is…I don’t know what to tell you.)

    Two things about this script that are different from most others:

    One, Red Fraggle and pals already have a predefined look thanks to hours of television. I’m not inventing the wheel here, so in this script I didn’t have to write out a lot of descriptions for the artist. "Red is a female Fraggle of undetermined age…her wardrobe consists mostly of…" Etc. Phew.

    Two, Archaia printed the Fraggle Rock in the shape of a square, as opposed to the common vertical rectangle format. Therefore, each Fraggle page is about 2/3rds the size of a normal comic book page. Pro: I only had to write 2/3rds as much! Con: Less page space to play with. l had to compress the story and conserve real estate as much as possible. Hence the time shifting in the third panel, a technique I stole directly from is an homage to an obscure Japanese manga.

    Tomorrow: Finally, some art.

    June 14, 2010
    BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE FRAGGLE ROCK COMIC!
If you haven’t been paying attention, my first gig as a comic book writer was a Fraggle Rock story in Archaia’s Mouse Guard/Fraggle Rock Special Edition for Free Comic Book Day.
This week, I’ll be posting some material showing a bit of how the Fraggle Rock comic got done…the awesome team of creatives, the step-by-step evolution, the gruesome behind the scenes, the ugly truths you didn’t want to know about the chicken nugget factory.
Above, is an early version of the Fraggle Rock gang drawn in pencil by Jeremy Love. This was later cleaned up, colored, and used as a variant cover and on the flyer for our FCBD event.
Part 1: The Pitch
Part 2: The Script
Part 3: Penciled Artwork

    BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE FRAGGLE ROCK COMIC!

    If you haven’t been paying attention, my first gig as a comic book writer was a Fraggle Rock story in Archaia’s Mouse Guard/Fraggle Rock Special Edition for Free Comic Book Day.

    This week, I’ll be posting some material showing a bit of how the Fraggle Rock comic got done…the awesome team of creatives, the step-by-step evolution, the gruesome behind the scenes, the ugly truths you didn’t want to know about the chicken nugget factory.

    Above, is an early version of the Fraggle Rock gang drawn in pencil by Jeremy Love. This was later cleaned up, colored, and used as a variant cover and on the flyer for our FCBD event.

    Part 1: The Pitch

    Part 2: The Script

    Part 3: Penciled Artwork

    June 14, 2010

    BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE FRAGGLE ROCK COMIC, PART 1: THE PITCH

    LA-based Archaia published the Fraggle Rock comic, an anthology featuring short stories by a variety of creative teams. Stephen Christy, editor-in-chief of Archaia, told me about the book at a party, and asked if I wanted to pitch some ideas. That’s how these things happen: with booze.

    Thankfully, after the hangovers wore off the offer was still open. Armed with a bowl of hallucinogenic Lucky Charms a charming antique fountain pen and bamboo papyrus, I sat down to absorb several hours of the Fraggle Rock television show, which holds up surprisingly well. When I emerged from my vision quest research, this is one of the ideas I had:

    The Birthday Present
    It’s the World’s Oldest Fraggle’s birthday, one of the biggest holidays in Fraggle Rock! In celebration, Fraggles create artistic portraits of the beloved geezer, and the World’s Oldest Fraggle picks his favorite as his birthday present. Mokey, Gobo, and Wembley are all hard at work on their paintings, depicting the birthday boy in a variety of expressive styles. Red, however, rejects her own attempt as too ugly. While her friends create art with ease and joy, Red stomps off to Marjorie the Trash Heap for a dose of wisdom. Surrounded by garbage, Marjorie helps the frustrated Fraggle realize that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Back at the birthday festival, Red reveals her entry, an abstract sculpture assembled from found pieces of the Trash Heap. The other Fraggles are confused by a piece of “junk” in an art contest. But the Oldest Fraggle sees the beautiful essence of Red’s creation, and chooses it as his birthday portrait for the year.

    I knew I wanted to write a story with Red Fraggle. She wears her heart on her sleeve and is very competitive; enthusiastic characters like that are a blast because they almost writes themselves. The minor, obscure characters like the World’s Oldest Fraggle are some of my favorites, because they tend to be more eccentric than the five principle Fraggles…and I like weirdos. The TV show has hella singing in it, but a comic book is silent. I wanted something that would be fun for the artist to draw, something to work with the visual strengths of the comic medium instead of against it. Like an art contest! Of course, there needs to be a message, a lesson, and I wanted a message I believe in. I ain’t no poser!

    Me me me. I want this, I want that. This is how you come up with a story, by putting your own selfish desires first. What do you want to write about? If you don’t have fun writing it, no one will have fun reading it.

    The Birthday Present was one of three pitches I sent to Tim Beedle, my editor at Archaia. I’d like to say that everyone who read the pitch immediately recognized it as a pristine lotus flower of brilliance that simply demanded to see print. But in reality, the first pitch was similar to another story in the Fraggle comic, and the second pitch was too complex to tell in six comic pages.

    The Henson Company, god bless ‘em, they have several million reasons per year to get picky about what their Fraggles do and say in public. But they had no notes or changes on my pitch. You can swing a dead cat on the floor of Comic Con and hit a thousand nightmare stories about working with picky licensors and their precious intellectual property, but Henson was a pleasant exception.

    So The Birthday Present won, and the other two bit the dust. It’s hardly ideal to have 66% of your ideas go into the trash bin. But, it’s better to pitch several ideas at a time to hedge your bets against rejection. "You think that pitch sucks? Psyche, what about THIS one!"

    What counts is getting the job, and with the thumbs up from both Archaia and Henson I was IN.

    Tomorrow: Writing a comic book script

    May 7, 2010
    I  talked to Robot 6 about six Fraggle Rock episodes that will blow your  mind:

The Uncle Matt adventure in this episode is on some next level  business. The Fraggle pioneer rides on a roller coaster! But they don’t  just strap some Uncle Traveling Matt dummy to the seat and film him from  the ground.
 No way. This is JIM HENSON’S FRAGGLE ROCK, not Lamb Chop.

    I talked to Robot 6 about six Fraggle Rock episodes that will blow your mind:

    The Uncle Matt adventure in this episode is on some next level business. The Fraggle pioneer rides on a roller coaster! But they don’t just strap some Uncle Traveling Matt dummy to the seat and film him from the ground.

    No way. This is JIM HENSON’S FRAGGLE ROCK, not Lamb Chop.

    May 6, 2010
    My youngest fan!

    My youngest fan!