November 14th, 2020
Even though I’m exhausted and anxious and just not having the best year, I am also excited and pleased to announce my next project, my first all-ages graphic novel — Brushfire.
This story has been a long, long time coming.
It started when I was a kid. I loved a lot of cartoons, but there was a block that was unlike any other: The Disney Afternoon. I was obsessed with the adventures of the Gummi Bears, Darkwing Duck, and — especially — Chip ‘N’ Dale’s Rescue Rangers. Their colorful worlds, the painted backgrounds overlaid with the sublimely animated cels, drew me in and inspired me to dream of my own tales.
I’ve always wanted to create my own universe in that style. But I also wanted it to be inspired by the things I love now; especially series like Fringe, The X-Files, Lost, Agents of SHIELD, Doctor Who (and so many more). I wanted it to be complex and deal with real-life stuff. I saw a lot of father-son and mother-daughter relationships explored, but I wanted to examine one of a mom and a son and all that entails. So I started Brushfire, in earnest, a few years ago while I was working on The Weirdos.
I couldn’t have known what this year would bring. Losing my mom while working on something that was very much about her has been devastating. But as I’ve found myself back in the burrow of Brushfire, it’s also been a form of healing. And it’s been a reminder that no day is guaranteed.
Brushfire is an organization of wildlife that live in a huge burrow under Central Park in Faribault, Minnesota. Their mission statement: “BRUSHFIRE exists to reveal and respect the truths of the universe, and to protect and provide for all of its inhabitants.” They have knowledge and technology and are always trying to do the right thing by them.
The characters on this poster are Elle (left) and Bay, just a pair of the over two dozen characters you’ll meet in Wave I (the first book) of Brushfire.
Now that it’s been announced, you’ll periodically see me posting related work and behind-the-scenes material. I’m putting forth a tremendous amount of effort into this one, both in the story and the art; you have never seen anything like this from me before.
I hope you’re all taking the time to appreciate whatever good you may have co-existing with the rest of this grief and madness. I know I have to remind myself frequently. This project is helping me feel a little less heavy.
All my love.