Smell of Evil
Evil Inc issue #3
17 years in comics
Today also marks my 17th anniversary as a cartoonist. The first “Greystone Inn” comic appeared on a GeoCities site on Feb. 14, 2000. It would later move to KeenSpace, and, later wwwgreystoneinn.net (as part of the Keenspot lineup).
(Now you understand what I say on the first page of “The Webcomics Handbook ” — “It’s impossible to get worse at something you do every day.”)
Needless to say, it’s been a very long, strange trip. I knew from the age of about 6 or 7 that I wanted to be a cartoonist. And, all my life, that’s really all I’ve wanted.
Thank you for playing such a big part in making that happen.
By The Numbers
1,471 Greystone Inn comic strips
3,212* Evil Inc comic strips (and, after 2016, partial-page updates)
453* Courting Disaster comics (including 43 NSFW Courting Disasters for Patreon)
95 full-page Phables
78* full-page updates of Evil Inc After Dark (NSFW)
18* Arch Bros strips
53* NSFW Patreon commissions
That’s more than 5694 comics, panels, and pages. Woof.
I did “Greystone Inn” six-days-a-week until mid-2005, when I ended the series on a Saturday, launching “Evil Inc” the following Monday. “Evil Inc” moved to a five-day-a-week schedule after a few years. As you know, in 2016, I stopped updating the site with a new strip every day. Instead, I created a full page each week, updating the site twice a week with partial-page updates,
And, of course, as all of those changes were brewing, midway around 2015, I started working on Evil Inc After Dark — and all of the related NSFW projects — which many of you have been generously supporting.
Eisner Award and other honors…
Along the way, there’s been an Eisner Award nomination — that I lost to an advertisement for a video game. (I’m not bitter.) But Phables has to be the only comic to ever have been named the Best Newspaper Column in Philadelphia by the Society of Professional Journalists. And my Comic Creator of the Year award (right) from Geekadelphia sits in a place of honor in my studio.
Heck, I even self-syndicated my comics to newspapers — most notably the Philadelphia Daily News. The Daily News ran my comic strip every day since it ran its first Greystone Inn on April 15, 2001. It will published its last Evil Inc strip on March 19, 2016.
I teach Arts Entrepreneurship and Sequential Art (Comics) at Hussian College in Philadelphia, and my Web site, Webcomics.com, offers guidance and tutorials to other cartoonists publishing their work on the Web.
I’ve had the honor of co-hosting Webcomics Weekly with my friends Scott Kurtz, Dave Kellett and Kris Straub. And although Webcomics Weekly has come to its end, Scott, Cory Casoni, and I have launched a new podcast, Surviving Creativity, which discusses the challenges of making a living as a creative professional. And don’t forget the podcast I record with my sons Alex (14) and Max (11) during our drive to school. That podcast, “Hey Comics — Kids!”, discusses comics, movies and video games from the perspective of kids and their parents.
What a great 17 years!
All in all, these last 17 years have been chock-full of excitement for a guy who’s only real dream was to draw cartoons for a living.
As I do every year around this time, I want to extend my heartfelt thank-you for helping to support that dream. Whether it’s by buying a book, coming out to see me at a comic convention, supporting me on Patreon — or just by being here — you’ve been a crucial part of this whole thing. Thank you!
Speaking of Greystone Inn…
And, until the end of today, you can get this handsome hardcover collection for 50% off! It’s $30 (usually $60) for a limited time. So get yours right now.
Greystone Inn was my first webcomic. It ran six days a week from February 2000 to June 2005. And this beautifully printed 416-page hardcover book collects the first comic through the last. Greystone, of course, provided the jumping-off point for Evil Inc. In fact, the very first official Evil Inc comic was Lighting Lady (who first appeared in Greystone) interviewing for a job with the evil corporation. And, as the Evil Inc comic strip was coming to an end at the end of last year, the interdimensional flux brought the Greystone Inn gang back for one more curtain call,
In addition to the complete collection, there’s a thirty-page introduction that includes:
- A sampling of my high-school- and college-era editorial cartoons.
- Three weeks of a comic-strip prototype I created in college.
- Nine weeks of the unpublished strip that was the precursor to Greystone, called Single Guy.
- All of the details behind my introduction to cartooning, the failed syndicate submissions, and the path that brought me to webcomics.
Over the life of Greystone, there were four collections created — three book were published by Plan 9 Publishing, and I published a fourth. Plan 9 Publishing has long since disappeared and those books are nearly impossible to find.
This volume collects all of those plus a year-and-a-half of strips that have never been collected in book form.
I can’t tell you how proud I am to be able to offer this book to you. If you were a fan of Greystone Inn, this is a keeper. If you’re an Evil Inc fan, I think you’ll appreciate the writing — and the deep roots of some of your favorite characters, like Lightning Lady, who have their roots in the comic.
Let me put it this way. I’ve long since forgotten what I wrote in those strips, so the punchlines catch me totally by surprise. And I have to say. I wrote some pretty funny stuff in that strip.
Don’t believe me? Here’s a smattering of what you can expect: Greystone sampler (PDF).
Meanwhile, in Patreon…
Things are heating up at Evil Inc After Dark. Lightning Lady’s date with the new henchman is going well… but the party is being crashed by… well… Lightning Lady. Plus, NSFW sketches and commissions and a whole new slew of Uncensored Courting Disaster cartoons. Join us now, and you’ll have instant access to over 700 exclusive posts — including nearly 300 NSFW posts!