A year doesn't seem to go by without getting reminders of your past. In this case, I'm constantly reminded of all of the moves, trials and 'inspiring' photos I take with kids.
Most -if not all- of this is thanks to this guy:
Believe it or not, all throughout my process of tweaking the finishing touches on SolForce Vol. 1: Wave One, one thing was certain...
I started to miss Squishy. That lime- green sugar glider obsessed with sweets to the point where he had to shove a strawberry doughnut onto his wrist actually came in handy! I mentioned in this post from last year before Strawberry Dough's debut what the original intent for the book was. A simple 40- page illustration book to show as a portfolio piece of my art style and storytelling techniques through comic book form was supposed to be only that. Until, of course, word had spread among my social circles that I made a book for sale.
How in the world does something with the smallest intention lead some slim fit cartoonist from Brooklyn, NY to teaching elementary school kids on both coasts of America cartooning and engineering and forging a self- publishing career path is beyond me! Yet, it happened.
Thanks to that sudden burst of energy on New Year's Eve of 2013 while recreating him, Squishy the Sugar Glider and his outback friends Alaok, Hedgehog, Echidna, Bandicoot, and Wombat -with the occasional contest with Dingo- helped pave a new direction not just with my career choices, but my own life. It was also thanks to the modest reception of sales and LOTS of creative feedback from students, colleagues and family members that I was able to create small line of merchandise for my shopping site. And, let's be honest.
My main crew, SolForce, wouldn't have made it into their first graphic novel without Strawberry Dough paving the way. I have no regrets putting those watercolor pencils to work on 136 pages! With my hands fully recovered from Wave One, I had to go back to a particular question one third grader from San Francisco asked me while reading Strawberry Dough before his mom picked him up back in April:
'So, are you gonna make more of these? Everyone here liked it! Maybe you can make another one after the SolForce book is finished...'
That kid was right. Squishy and the gang will return!! This time, Strawberry Dough: Season's Sweetings will be a 4- part series loosely based on the four seasons of the year. I'm beginning with autumn, then winter, spring and summer in that order. Here's the unedited cover for autumn's issue:
Expect cool autumn nights, maple frosted doughnuts, pumpkin- spiked cookie competitions, and apple rolls to keep doctors away from small animals in the outback. Each book will be at least 24 to 28 pages long, making them much cheaper for purchase! Oh, I mention there will be a couple of new characters introduced for all four seasons.
Thanks for reading, folks!