While the studio is out of order due to the ever evolving New Computer, let’s read a comic! (Now with commentary and artist’s notes.) These are phone camera photographs of an actual print copy of the very first Kekionga minicomic– it’s chapter one of a story I’m still working on 12 and a half years later.
I still think this is a pretty good cover. Mr. Spit and Nina of Those Kids! fame are already fairly well developed characters and are instantly recognizable, he with the dried grass hair, ski slope nose and T-shirt with a spiral on it, her with her round face, pigtails and fleece vest.
But this is the very first time I ever drew Bud in continuity and he really isn’t himself yet. I think you’ll discover that he is pretty much in character in the story itself, but it took some years for his character design to catch up with his spirit. The discovery that Bud is one half Happy Buddha and one half Retired Hero/ Pro Wrestler is still in the future at this point.
It’s autumn in Kekionga as our story begins. I am still very proud of the drawing of the stepladder, and I like the trees in the orchard as well. I have the oddest clear memory of inking them, with a little Osmiroid calligraphy pen that was a great favorite at the time. I think I still have it somewhere, although I draw similar foliage designs with a Lamy Joy stub pen these days.
Bud is much taller here than he is today, but that little four and a half or five head tall figure of Nina with the bushel basket could have been drawn yesterday.
And the plot crawls in, on the backs of the grossest, creepiest, most ugsome bugs I could draw. What happens next?