Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Quantum Probability is a short sci-fi horror comic I drew some time ago. Written by Phil McClorey, the eight page story can be viewed at Furious Comics. It's a lot of fun and I encourage one and all to check it out along with all the other great horror tales available on the site.

I recall first meeting Phil and how I got to be lucky enough to work on one of his scripts. Allow me to tell you all about it...

The year was 2009 and it was bangin'. Life had grown contemptuous of my "takin'er easy" and decided to kick things up a notch: my lady love and I learned we were having a baby. Meanwhile, I was hard at work on The Vampire Conspiracy and attending comic conventions to seek advice from established artists. It felt vital to be told not just what I was doing right, but what I was doing wrong and how to do those things better.

On my quest I met some swarthy gents, but none so swarthy as Phil McClorey, writer of the horror anthology The Book of Methuselah and founder of the Canadian comic imprint, Furious Comics. I was strolling through Artist Alley when I came upon Phil's table. He very cordially reeled me into his stories and I was impressed by what he had to share. Reading Phil's brand of comics, you are reminded of a time when boys read scary stories under their bed covers; when ordinary shadows seemingly reached for your ankles from the edges of your bed. I had no choice but to purchase his comics.

I asked Phil if he would look at my portfolio and share his opinions. That's when I realized my portfolio wasn't in my hands. It wasn't anywhere--I had left it somewhere in the convention. I don't remember what I said to excuse myself before speed-walking through aisles packed with fanboys slouched under the weight of their satchels. Now, perhaps Phil doubted my return--I can only assume his world grew significantly darker and a might bit smaller after my abrupt departure--but before long I was back at his table, huffing and panting, my portfolio square in his face. When it was all said and done, I thanked him and took his card, and ran to a quiet corner to hug my portfolio like a parent after finding their lost child in a supermarket (only more so).

Meeting my deadline for The Vampire Conspiracy was a lot like a jockey being dragged half-dead by his horse across the finish line. To reach it I had stayed up 36 hours straight and drank copious amounts of coffee while, foolishly, a myriad of Alex Jones "documentaries" played on YouTube just so I could learn what the fuss was about. In other words: I was fried. When I had crossed the finish line I was only happy to be alive. Yet somehow, after a few days crept by, I wanted more. That's when I dug up Phil's card and solicited my services.

Initially, the first project I started with Phil was his take on the Cthulhu mythos. I rather liked his script. It was fun and exciting and gruesome. I immersed myself in designing my own Cthulhu and took the Cloverfield route by studying the features of numerous animals. I felt like such a smart cookie. The project stalled on my end however, as making room for my unborn daughter eclipsed all else. When I finally got back on the horse and sent Phil some rough pages, he had moved on with another artist to create The Mask of Cthulhu. Together they turned out quite a good story.

Still, I had great admiration for Phil's writing and wanted to shake a stick at anything he'd be willing to give me. What he gave me was a script then titled QUORK. Our ill-fated plan was to get it up on Zuda to become superstars and the envy of all message boards. All of them, I say. Unfortunately, Zuda folded* due to an overwhelming number of creators who also wanted to be the envy of all the message boards.

[ * Let that be a lesson to you, kiddies: when things get tough, give up entirely and close your website! ]

Nevertheless, I forged ahead and very gradually worked away on QUORK while juggling the first issue of Teuton, a newborn, and classes at the Toronto Cartoonists Workshop. The fun never stopped! All the while, Phil sat at home with his brandy, stroking his roguish facial hair, patiently waiting the completion of his eight page materpiece:

Truthfully, Phil was hard at work on some more interesting and original material with other fantastic artists, this time focusing on web comics. It looked unsure whether Phil would continue printing single issues in the long run, but I convinced him with some smooth talk and thinly veiled threats that not only should he print at least one more issue of Methuselah, but that he should include QUORK in its publication. He politely agreed, and in that moment of weakness I demanded he let me draw the cover for said issue and asked for a huge sum of money. He had no choice but to pay, what with my threatening demeanor and all. Plus, I had taken the precaution of growing a mustache of my own, in case things got out of hand. When it was all said and done, QUORK was renamed Quantum Probability, Phil had himself one handsome cover, a fun read of a comic, and a bank account so empty it rivaled the vacuum of space after paying my ridiculous fees.

While some of that may be exaggerated just a touch, I did really enjoy working with Phil and expected to carry on with QP, but my commitment to Teuton and generally hectic life made that nigh impossible to do at a reasonable rate. In the meantime, Phil's writing just keeps getting better, as you can plainly see by checking out his Meta-Human Affairs or his thrilling contribution to the WWII zombie anthology, FUBAR.

That's all for now. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more updates all month long!

No comments:

Post a Comment