The last story in Multiverse Comics and Stories (see below) is “Conversation with a Chimera,” which is an excerpt from an illustrated novelette I wrote over 30 years ago. In 2009, I edited it a bit and added more illustrations and self-published that version on Lulu.
Thirty some years ago, Cameron and I had moved to Washington, D.C. Cameron had graduated from the Yale School of Art. I’d gotten my own M.F.A. from the University of Notre Dame and had been hard pressed to find a job in New Haven. I finally found a spot as a circulation clerk in the Library of the University of New Haven.
When we decided to move too D.C. I was able to find a job as a library assistant for a nonprofit and Cameron got a job as an art teacher at a private school, then was able to get adjunct teaching positions at a variety of D.C.-based universities.
While I studied art in college, both as an undergraduate and for the master’s degree, I did very little cartooning and concentrated on notions I had of what constituted “fine art.” After several years in D.C., I started to try and get my “cartoon chops” back together.
I had started to do some cartoon illustration (for actual money) here and there, but I wanted to do something just for myself. I wanted to invent a brand-new cartoon character.
My mother had died several years earlier. She had been an avid mystery reader. Her particular favorite was the “Nero Wolfe” series by Rex Stout. I had never read much in the way of mysteries, but I’d inherited several boxes of her paperback mysteries and began to read them, and enjoy them. I branched out a bit as well, reading Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, Ross Macdonald, and other writers.
So when I came up with a new cartoon character, he turned out to be a private eye. Naturally, I had to add a silly and weird twist, so I had his base of operations located in the most unlikely setting I could imagine –the asteroid zone, a belt of protoplanetary debris that orbits a vast area between Mars and Jupiter.
The character was drawn more from fantasy than science fiction. He had an invisible sorceress girl friend, a talking cyberdog buddy, hobnobbed with aliens, mythological creatures, and of course there was a mad scientist.
Many of these folks end up in Multiverse Comics and Stories, but when I was just beginning with Stu I could not figure out how to draw him!
So I started with the prose story and gradually worked the visual elements in, including the Chimera for whom this blog is named (OK, his “spoor,” actually, but let’s not be gross). Here’s the link to the 109-page .pdf which includes a mishmash of pictures which gradually accumulated around the story:
I hope you enjoy it.
I may be posting to the blog even more irregularly than usual for some time while I concentrate on my work-in-progress, Pause & Reflect Comics.
I’ve got a lot of work done on it, but there’s still a galaxy-size bunch to do and I don’t want to start posting it until it’s trajectory is considerably more defined.
Until next time, whenever in the multiverse that may be, be well!
Multiverse Comics and Stories, 106 pages, full color, is available from Amazon in Kindle and hardcopy formats.
Asteroid Stu and the Mind-Duel, 54 pages, black and white interior, is also available in Kindle and hardcopy formats from Amazon. Both comics include Edzl, the Nebboid from the Vague Nebula, who will be the lead character in a running feature story, “Edzl’s Awakening: Or, Yes We Have Some Nibbanas.” This will be part of Pause & Reflect Comics, currently in progress.