Tuesday, September 16, 2014


I have a plastic storage bin next to my office bookshelf that is crammed with piles of sketches and finished comics that were all projects I meant to get off the ground, with mixed success. I will be posting these artifacts over the next several days with an explanation of how each project was created and what if any plans I have to continue each one. I hope you find my creative attic-clearing interesting.

COMIC: "Sally Rose"

Sally Rose started life in 1992 as a fairly serious shot at creating an independent-alternative comic book. Sally was a feminist writer living in Washington, DC (long before I even had plans to live there myself) whose best friend was a scruffy, insecure rock singer (ahem) who lived in the apartment above. I was 28 at the time, and this was intended to be a (very) romanticized depiction of  life as a 1990s twentysomething, sort of a feminist Archie for the times. Eventually I had an entire story penciled on 10x15 bristol that I was almost happy with, but I never dared ink it because I felt my inking skills were so atrocious. So Sally went into a keep bin until the late 90s, by which time I had moved to Washington, DC, and by which time the earliest webcomics were being published online. I decided to try again and get in on some of that action, to the point in 1999 of self-publishing an entire Sally comic book, for which I rented a table at SPX (the Small Press Expo) and actually tried to sell. The book failed utterly, for the most part because it was very hastily drawn and inked (and not helped by my choice to not employ even the slightest photo reference for any of the art), and after that embarrassing adventure I abandoned the idea of drawing comics forever.

That is until last year, when I began sketching what will become a full-length graphic novel for children, tentatively titled THE GREAT ROCKVIEW CLUBHOUSE WAR. This was followed by a start-from-scratch style of comics that became the Spiral Notebook Comics blog, which will result in another upcoming graphic novel called AROUND THE WORLD IN A DAZE, starring of course everyone's favorite angry gal Lucy, star of this very blog. I guess I'm either too stubborn or too in love with comics to give up doing them completely.

In any case, here are some pages from Sally Rose, pages that aren't really very good but do capture a certain time and place in my life and art where I was having a lot of fun. Which in the end is all that matters.

(Trivia note: Sally's name came about from the title of one of my favorite weird songs of all time, "Sally Go Round the Roses" by the Jaynettes)

(click on each image to enlarge)


  1. I really like the story telling and the way you handle facial expressions. I think she's worth sallying forth with. Rose must Rise! So what if it's been 22 years? I know a guy who's working on his graphic novel and the damn thing was originally conceived as part of an assignment at a cartoonist college in 1984. Have Faith. Join the rest of us unwashed masses with delusions of Roy Hobbs comebacks and inevitable glory (at least in the movies, don't read the book. Do it, do it!

    I'm adding this comment to facebook too.

  2. Thanks Thunder!

    Steven, that is enormously supportive and encouraging, so thank you for that! As far as Sally goes, I think the concept is limited and not very interesting to me now. I also think her character is all wrong and was the result of a not-entirely enlightened young man's attitudes. I may still not be entirely enlightened, but I think Lucy is a far more funny and interesting character than Sally ever was.

    There are other projects I will feature over the next few days that still do have potential and that I am planning on going ahead with, and I think you'll find them much more interesting than SALLY ROSE.