Tyrell Cannon brought them together, but science fiction made them fall in love.
“Them,” in this case, refers to the cluster of likeminded cartoonists (and one illustrator, Michael Manomivibul, taking a first whack at this whole comics shindig) that dreamt up Speculative Relationships, a brand new, Kickstarter-certified anthology of science fiction/romance hybrid comics. “Dreamt up,” in this case, actually means “put in a shitton of hard, painstaking, deadline-missing, detail-inundating work,” as the authors explained last night at Quimby’s.
In a mirthful discussion panel—on average, every fourth sentence made the room LOL—authors Tyrell Cannon, Daniel Warren Johnson, Scott Kroll, and Isabella Rotman (Manomivibul and Rinko Endo couldn’t make it, because of distances) talked about why, and how, these stories of romantic science fiction came to be. The origin story is mundane—basically, Cannon emailed everyone and they said “yes”—but the product is artistically diverse, beautifully-rendered, and unified by a pervading sense of clever warmth. I’ll get into Speculative Fiction in-depth later, possibly via Fox Hunting, so until then here’s the quick skinny on each contributing artist, what I learned about them at Quimby’s, and what else they offer to the world:
- Tyrell Cannon knows how to use a computer. He likes to spend a lot of time on the details. He has started using smaller pens to put details on his details, and will eventually get even smaller pens and smaller pens until he becomes a detail. He’s got a book about the Green River Killer that sounds right up my alley.
- Scott Kroll knows how to make a book and wear a suit. He has a kind of adorable thing for tentacles maybe. Related to Nick Kroll? Not impossible. Owlbear.
- Daniel Warren Johnson is a veteran of romance comics, if you can count hacked limbs and bloodstrewn carcasses as romance (you very well can! love is strange!). He admits that his style tilts towards the mainstream, but he is trying to switch it up. Dark Horse is the daddy of Ghost Fleet, which he illustrates but doesn’t write. He adamantly refuses, REFUSES to hand letter, so his fiancee lettered for him. This confession led Tyrell and Scott to also come clean that their fiancees/wives also helped them in the publishing/drawing process.
- Isabella Rotman was the only artist I knew about going in, from her line of educational sex comics. She looked visibly uncomfortable when everyone else talked about fiancees and wives. She’s got a knack for turning comics into musically-accompanied slideshows, a talent she showed earlier this year at Brain Frame, and would probably be a kickass animator. More than anything, though, she really just wants to draw lesbians… IN SPACE!
- Because the Kickstarter couldn’t reach the $3.5 million dollar stretch bonus for a private jet, Michael Manomivibul and Rinko Endo couldn’t attend the donut-fueled presentation. Luckily, lots can be learned about them from their websites!