This is the cover of Multiverse Comics and Stories, the comic that’s squeezed me, into the margins at least, of the ranks of professional comic artists. It’s kind of a complicated picture, isn’t it? Graphic design orthodoxy would argue for something bold and simple. Smart, sensible graphic design and I are not always on the same wavelength. But then, this is about a multiplicity of universes called the Multiverse, so perhaps a bit of complication is appropriate.
The title of the comic is a homage of sorts, to Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories, which featured the work of artist/writer, Carl Barks, arguably the best “funny animal” comic book creator of all time. Rather than buy a copy from the local drug store rack, some people subscribed to their favorite comics, but postal regulations of the time required that to mail magazines at the discounted rate, the periodicals had to have some prose content. Was this a way to discriminate against “low brow” comics or did I just make this up? In any case, many of these comics had one story, usually only one or two pages, which was mostly words with just a couple of accompanying pictures.
Likewise, Multiverse Comics and Stories is a collection. The first story, after a brief prologue, “The Case of the Renegade Refrigerator,” features Virtual Man and his sidekick, Zeldoid the Cyberdog. The next two stories are slightly revised versions of material I’ve previously self-published: “Invasion of the Bozobots,” and “Conversation with a Chimera.” The latter is in prose with illustrations, and is an excerpt from an illustrated short novel called The Corpse on the Comet.
Above is an early sample from the archive, showing Virtual Man and Zeldoid. More about these two characters will be forthcoming in a later post.