So, ten years ago, more or less, Noel Tuazon, Scott Keating, Datsun Tran, Jason Hanley, Jason Rodriguez, Chris Arundel, and I began to release ELK'S RUN. My first serious comic work. Not counting the funny animals making dick jokes, or the Zombie Western, that is. The very fine folk at Oni Press are going to release a deluxe hardcover collection (that will roughly match the Hardcover releases for TUMOR and ECHOES for those keeping track at home.) In the meantime, they're letting me fulfill a little bit of a dream by releasing the original series in it's serialized format via my pals at ComiXology.
Elk's Run was not an easy book. Originally published by my own small press company with Chris Arundel, HOARSE AND BUGGY, we made it three issues on our own when an upstart company named SPEAKEASY acquired it. They had big hopes, even bigger dreams, and we started over. We did a beautiful bumper edition (with a brand new cover by the brilliant Darwyn Cooke, mind you), and continued the series. An issue later, and Speakeasy disappeared off the face of the earth. Halfway done, and cobbled, it took the incredibly kind people of Random House's Villard Imprint to get the book over the finish line. Specifically the wonderful Dallas Middaugh and Tricia Narwani.
And then the book came out. It got some Harvey nominations, it was in bookstores world wide, we sold the film rights a few times, and, each of my amazing collaborators moved on (almost all of them to some damn impressive successes), but, to some degree, I never really moved on.
This book defined me for a lot of reasons. First, it was around the release of the TPB that I met my future (then, current now) wife, Christina. Secondly, it was probably the first time I felt like I maybe knew what I was doing as an artist.
I went to film school, I wrote and directed plays, I worked on films and tv shows, but, none of them ever felt... 'real.' Elk's Run was real. It was a physical remnant of the work my friends and I did that will remain long after each of us are gone. It's a book that says something about people and family and love and disappointment. It's an object that I will remain forever proud of (even if I do cringe a bit at the dialogue here and there).
But more than that, it's a symbol. When ever life seems overwhelming or, frequently, impossible, I remember the way that we fought. Together. A team united against a storm, and, while at times it didn't feel like it, I can say, with complete certainty now ten years later, we fucking did it.