Sunday, August 11, 2013


 What an adventure for me! After the Cavalcade one-shot was so well rec'd at my early comic book convention appearances, I threw myself into the series, completing issues 2-9 (plus the prequel issue ½). I thought that was the end, but I was beckoned back into the guys' world when Bay Windows asked me to continue as a weekly half-page series, which ultimately became Love is the Reason; that and Trust/Truth were published as stand-alone graphic novels using the Cavalcade cast. From the first outline of the one-shot to the publication of Trust/Truth, the venture spanned a decade!

Sales of the original issues were encouraging, so I compiled them into a 3-trade paperback series. When V1 ran dry within a year, I reprinted into a jumbo complete book. When those sold out, I took the remaining V2 and V3 (as I'd underestimated how many solo V1s I would sell) and tri-packed it with a special run of V1 to keep it all in print a bit longer. My last copies just sold, and I don't have any immediate plans to reprint. 

But here's some fun vintage art related to the series!

The whole thing began when Kelly encouraged me to write and draw an OGN about our time in Saint Louis, while coincidentally Velour Matt was encouraging me to write an OGN about his life. Both factors pushed me to outline 3 64-page one-shot auto-bio comics...which, I suppose I thought I would compile into a single book. After I finished the drawing draft 1 of Strugglers (the first of the three stories), I jumped ahead to Cavalcade (the third of the three), as the gay content was fun to draw, and I wasn't happy with my outline of the middle story. Along the way, Strugglers was added to and edited from the 64 page version to the published 100 page OGN and Cavalcade ballooned out to the 550 page collection plus the two stand-alone OGNs.

But don't feel bad for the middle story! Both Strugglers and Cavalcade were pushed far, far beyond auto-bio...but I never found a way to do so with the middle story. And, as it was focused on my experience with a boss from Hell, it was all pretty negative. Sure, my general story telling vibe is "downer," but there's always rays of hope snuck in. I wasn't able to think of any to sneak in, so it was abandoned. EXCEPT!—a few key scenes and Stephanie Shane made it into Cavalcade as the basis for issue ½

So, enjoy the original character sketches from the middle story, the story that never was, the story that cannot be. And, resell your copies of Cavalcade on eBay.  

So, what's the future of Cavalcade? Not sure... I have drawn 2 one-pagers recently, which I had in mind to create as a free digital mini or convention mini. And, I suppose I could kickstarter to do a reprint of the jumbo. Or maybe kickstarter to hire a colorist to color the series and/or publish as a hardcover. My ambition will be directly linked to the reaction and response I get or don't get here! 
I have to admit, at this point, toiling to make a page of comic art is far less rewarding than it is to, say, toil to refinish a 24"x16"x18" 2-drawer McCobb cabinet. And, even when I do finish a shortie, the pre-press is laborious, then I'm in a jam with storage. But the refinished vintage maple furniture is a joy to look at and use. 

It does make me chuckle a loft allows me the space to have a drafting table after all these years, but since I got it, it's been nearly dormant. To the point that I'm thinking of selling it off so I can create a pleasant sitting area where it currently sits. 



SCARCEXL said...

"To the point that I'm thinking of selling it off so I can create a pleasant sitting area where it currently sits."
WhAAAAAAAAt? (how is that for a reaction?)

Tony said...

I'm a big fan of your work—I remember how happy I was when I discovered Cavalcade of Boys at the comic shop. Your art and your stories ar so engaging, and they spoke to me in a way that other gay comics did not. So the thought of you not making more saddens me.

At the same time, I understand if you don't feel like it anymore. That happens. I wouldn't want you to do it if you aren't enjoying it anymore.

But if you do make more, I'll buy them.

Anonymous said...

Having found these great works online,through iTunes, I ate them up in less than a month. I would love to have more just like it would be a treat for more Calvin n Hobbes, but the artist needs to find his vision.
Good luck in your future endeavors, Tim!

Javier said...

Well Mr. Fish,

You know how I feel about your work :)

But that aside, you don't want to sell the drafting table, as it is a conversation piece. A neglected drafting table is a wonderful conversation starter. Not as wonderful as one filled with drawings, but better than a comfy chair or a diorama of action figures.

Seriously though, as an artist you need to both feel the need to create something AND have something to say. You are lucky in that you know you have a distinct "voice" and style. Don't think that you need to be on a "schedule" It will come eventually.

That said, it has been a while since I have had a new original "Fish." Draw mw something :) A Hermes pin up perhaps. Or a Cavalcade guy


Bob Glasscock said...

I remember my old drafting table (sigh). It was a graduation present from my parents. I drew my first comics on that table. Today it sits, in pieces, in a storage unit in jersey.

You know I love your work. Cavalcade inspired me to return to drawing after a 20 year hiatus. Do I wish you drew more? Of course I do! (I know a wonderful comic just crying out for a Fish guest run.) ;-)

Anyway - from what I've seen of your refinished furniture, you're doing very well with that. Keep at it. I look forward to Fish 's Fun Furniture launching soon.

and btw: I love to color.