Before my books were published by big publishers, I self-published many books for years and years. I am extremely enthusiastic about the interaction between a reader and the physical structure of the book, and the new storytelling options that bookmaking opens up. Being able to communicate something through book design about the narrative, genre, themes, and emotional landscape of your book before your reader even hits page one is true magic to me. As such many of my early books played around with untraditional structure/materials.
I was commissioned by BOOM! Studios to make minicomics for several of their comic lines over a number of years. As they progressed, the books got more ambitious in their materials and structure. The third one I did was for The Wonderful World of Gumball. The book was the shape of a SNES chip and was nested inside of a SNES cartridge. A QR code inside the book took you to a fake game into that I made that was from a game featured in the comic. (2014, 800 Copies)
The second minicomic I did with BOOM! was for their Regular Show comics. This book was an accordion that when folded out reached a length of 6 feet. I printed it 7-up at a local blueprint printer, and had to create a bonkers jig to cut it. I chose an accordion format because it related to the idea of a connect Rube Goldberg machine. (2013, 5-Color Screen-Printed Cover, 500 copies)
The first minicomic that I worked with BOOM! on was one for Adventure Time. This book had a screen-printed cover, belly band, and a fold-out insert. The story involved Jake trying to defeat Choose Goose in a rhyming competition. My favorite drawings in this are the ones of Choose Goose looking sweaty and gross. (2012, 5-Color Screen Printed Cover, Belly Band, 700 Copies)
In Bikeman, a masked man raised by bears in the forest is raising bikes like animals, and imbuing them with magic and love to move on their own. Most of the people in the valley respect the Bikeman, while others, like the wolves who served the Monster from the Great Beyond, seek to kill him. I started writing Bikeman in college originally as a world-building exercise (make a bike-centric agrarian society), but it ended up also being about family, responsibility, and trauma.
I made this book in my senior year of college as another experiment in a character moving through an environment, and panel-less comics. I was really inspired by Julie Chen's You are Here in the meandering map-like structure to the book. The envelope is printed (2008/2012, Sewn Envelope, ~200 Copies to Date)
MEZMER is, at its core, a story about battle and friendship, but it is also my love letter to anime. An evil bio-augmented AI named Maxer is determined to fulfill the directives in his Articles of Being, but must contend with the meddling of Mumfot, the shirtless champion of the Moon Elders. The strange denizens of the world of MEZMER clash in battle, exchange epic speeches, and slowly move towards an endgame of Maxer's design.
This book takes place in the MEZMER universe and features the daydreams/aspirations of Bud Sinclare, who makes a brief appearance as the inspiration for Hoperock's change of heart in MEZMER #1. This book was originally made for the second collection of Dog City books. It features a fold-out in the middle. (2013, 1-Color White Screen Print on BW Cover, ~150 copies to date)
This is another book that takes place in the MEZMER universe. This one features the sentient flying saucer, Bluebell, before she is teamed up with her partner-in-crime, Ferls. Ultimately, it's about loving yourself and knowing how awesome you are! The cover was printed on silver paper, and each book came in a clear sleeve with an original drawing by Bluebell (me using my left hand). (2013, Color Cover, ~100 Copies to Date)
Naughty::Nice is a Jacob's Ladder structure book that tells a dual story of two brothers falling in love with the same girl, and each bumbling it up in different ways. Watch the video to see how a Jacob's Ladder structure works. Each signature was sewn and adhered into the central band. I only printed 30 copies before my nose started to bleed because of all the rubber cement fumes. (2008, 10 2-Color Screen Prints, 30 Copies)
I tried my hand at making something that was part merch, part comic, and part world-building artifact for my two Leo Geo books. The note book had a 4-page intro comic, and then the rest was a blank notebook. I really liked the screen print, and this was the first time that I used the 12"x12" scrapbook paper sheets from Joann's, really like some of the textures you can get. (2012, 3-Color Screen Print Cover, ~60 copies)
I wrote The Ruby because I wanted to try my hand at making a horror comic. A young man is accompanying his Grandma to scatter his Grandfather's ashes, but he has an encounter with a haunted ruby that tries to seduce him with vision beyond vision. (2009, 1-Color Screen Print Belly Band and Insert, ~150 Copies)