I haven’t been blogging much over the course of the pandemic, but despite challenging times it has been a productive year for my studio work. I made a conscious choice to step away from illustrating nonfiction graphic novels, the bread and butter of my freelance, in pursuit of fictional storytelling and worldbuilding, a desire I’ve had since I started out as a freelancer about 18 years ago.
One project in particular has taken on an unexpected life of its own. I met a writer online just before the summer of 2020 and we started having weekly zoom meetings. It started as a work-for-hire comic illustration gig, but the organic nature of the collaboration allowed me to invest more heavily into the way the story was being told mainly because I wasn’t working off a script, but rather ideas for scenes and story ideas.
A long story short, the project has evolved into a passion project for me. I’ve put hundreds of hours into bringing it to life and even flew out to Chicago to meet the writer in person. Seven White and I have completed a 40 page Part One of the story we’re telling and the time has come for us to start sharing it with readers. I ask that you consider helping us realize our dream to continue the journey of this project. It’s going to be self-published and creator-owned, so we need the support to make it happen. Pleasesign-up for the email listandfollow the instagram page to stay up to date with our progress. I can’t thank you enough for your support.
Here’s a piece of fan art celebrating the subject of Sonny Liew’s graphic novel The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye that is sending shockwaves through the very medium of comics itself! You gotta check this out, but don’t take my word for it, take it from NPR:
At once dizzyingly meta and deeply heartfelt, the book spans 80 years and in its complicated layering remind me of everything from “Maus” and “The Tin Drum” to, believe it or not, “Ulysses.”
I took some time off from blogging last month, did you notice? That wasn’t intentional, but I’m finishing the graphic novel that I’ve been working on this year and I guess that preoccupation was to blame for the neglect. Here’s a panel from a page I colored over the weekend. I’ll see if I can get aamcconnell.com back in motion this month. Maybe Tintin and Snowy can help…
Here’s a teaser image that was posted at The Atlantic from the graphic novel I’m currently drawing. You can read the article which includes some excellent quotes by my collaborator Jonathan Hennessey at this LINK. Coloring on this image is by cartoonist Matthew Bogart.
Today is the final countdown for backing Of Dust and Blood by Jim Berry and Val Mayerik. The original graphic novel is funded, so backers are guaranteed a book, but the Kickstarter has a stretchgoal for getting the book in full watercolor by Val! I did the drawing below to support the cause and the original is currently available as one of the pledge goals. India Ink on Bristol paper, 22″ x 13.5″. Please consider contributing to the project. Thank you!
…And at a more basic level, it’s just good comics, deftly constructed and maintaining an engaging balance between textual and visual information.
Quoted from an honest, thoughtfully considered review of The Gettysburg Address: A Graphic Adaptation at MultiversityComics.com. That quote is profoundly meaningful to me because it articulates my highest priority in illustrating non-fiction comics. To hear that it’s working as intended is absolutely satisfying.