If you haven’t heard the definition of a successful compromise, let me share it here. That’s when two people decide on something and neither party is entirely happy. In this case, we jointly decided not to do a new blog post until we had something nice to announce.
And, so, the years passed.
I’m kidding, I’m kidding. We had many good things happen in our lives, but I’d gotten out of the habit of posting notes about them. I’m hoping this post will encourage me to do this again and more quickly.
Today, though, I’m announcing a nice thing: Harrell’s second professional comic book story is being published in volume 46 of Aces Weekly. For those in the know, Aces is a marvelous, digital-only comic art publication out of the UK. David Lloyd and his team of magicians have worked for years to provide an intelligent, interesting electronic comic book anthology worthy of admiration. They deserve all of the awards they’ve won.
Since Harrell’s first professional comic book story was published *ahem* a little bit ago, how did he elbow his way into a respected web publication that accepts submissions on an invitation-only basis? Pure talent, baby. Also, he got lucky. He’d developed a friendship with Alex Sheikman, a gifted comic book artist with a slew of published stories to his credit. Like Aces, Alex has won awards for his art and stories. Some of his work landed on the New York Times Best Sellers List (Hardcover Graphic Books), where it hung out for weeks. He has chops.
Somewhere along the line, Alex drew a 4-page horror story and he asked Harrell to give it a look. Since there wasn’t any writing on the pages, Harrell guessed at the storyline. He guessed wrong, but Alex enjoyed the tale that Harrell believed was being told, and asked him if he’d care to create a script for this new version of the story. When the two of them were done with their collaboration, the 4-pager had become a 7-page story. A 7-page story that was in need of lettering.
Since a professional letterer would have expected compensation, the pair turned to me, instead. That was my fault for having worked as a graphic designer. Alex offered me some tips along the way, Harrell was willing to alter a line here and there whenever I stomped my foot, and it came together rather sweetly. I found it to be quite the learning experience.
I don’t like learning experiences. Be forewarned, Harrell and Alex, I don’t ever plan to letter a comic book story again. Unless, of course, I’ve been properly bribed with a vintage Barbie. Just an FYI.
If you’re wondering how the story ended up at Aces Weekly, well, Harrell got lucky again. He knocked on the right door at the right time. David was amenable to an EC-inspired horror story at the very moment that “Forever” sailed over his electronic transom. Still, he wanted some changes, Harrell and Alex were amenable to making most of those changes, I was, well, no, willing to make those changes… and the original 4-page story, which had become a 7-page story, became a 9-page story. I think we all agree it became a better story, too. Plus, we all got to work with the David Lloyd. (In regards to DL, there's too much for me to write here. Wikipedia can do that for you, if you like.)
Wrapping up: Aces Weekly Volume 46, available for pennies a week, and out now. Look for “Forever” by Hal Turner and Alex Sheikman, with 1RatStudio – me – credited for the lettering. (This may be your one and only chance to see my lettering handiwork. I’m not kidding about the Barbie doll.) The story comes in two parts, will appear in two of the volume’s seven issues, and, as you’d expect, there are several other comic book tales to be found in each issue, too. You’ll need a tablet, desktop, laptop or smart TV to view Aces; a cell phone won’t cut it. Alex’s artwork deserves more respect than a cell phone screen can provide. So does Harrell’s story.
But it’s the lettering that really rocks.
See you next time.