WHO THE HELL AM I?

I'm James. I write comic books and I love puns.

I've always been a reader of comics, and spent a good deal of time making up characters and stories as a kid, but only in the last handful of years have I approached comics writing in earnest.

I'm the co-creator (with artist Jackie Crofts) of Nutmeg, a coming-of-age culinary crime comic published by Action Lab Entertainment, which debuted in April 2015. It's about a pair of junior high school girls, Poppy and Cassia, who get in way over their heads when they concoct batches of super addictive brownies. The series is currently planned for 15 total chapters, and is available in comic shops domestic and international, as well as digitally via Comixology. There are three trade paperback collections, Early Fall: Taste Buddies; Late Fall: Brownie Points; and Early Winter: Femme Brûlée compiling issues 1-3, 4-6, and 7-9, respectively. Issue 10 of the series, "350 Degrees of Separation," is complete and, along with issues 11 and 12, will be part of the fourth trade paperback collection, Late Winter: Coven Cleaner, later this year.

In 2011, artist Josh Eckert and I created the Geek Zodiac, a new way to enjoy zodiac signs based on pop-cultural touchstones. Instead of Leo and Aquarius in the Western zodiac, or Tiger or Rabbit in the Chinese zodiac, our 12 signs include Robot, Wizard, Alien, Superhero, Pirate, among others. Once this was established, we branched out to develop characters and stories in mini-comics from this initial idea. This we depicted in Geek Zodiac: Infinity Core, a comic about a pair of time travelers gathering heroes from the past to save an otherworldly threat in the future. The bulk of our work on the project is collected in the Geek Zodiac Compendium.

I am one of the participants (with artist Rashad Doucet) in the Elements Anthology series, edited by Taneka Stotts and Shing Yin Khor, which focuses on original comics work by POC. Our short, "Thrustfall," features a class of 6th grade students in the future. With jetpacks.

In addition to these, I'm also working with Liana Buszka on Lupina, a six-chapter story about an orphaned girl raised by a wolf, and who goes on a quest for answers and revenge. The first chapter, "Aphelion," debuted at last year's New York Comic-Con.

And this spring will see the release of Contact High, a one-shot sci-fi comic about fighting for meaningful connection in a world that would deny it. I'm reteaming with Josh Eckert for this one, our first full collaboration since our work on the Geek Zodiac. It will be in landscape, rather than portrait, format, and released digitally first, with a print edition planned for later.

It's hard for me to explain the kinds of stories I like to tell, but I do know that I want to see more heroes from among people who don't always get to play that role. If I can help contribute to that, and tell a good story at the same time, then that's what I want to do. What I also know is that, holy crap, I'm gonna get a lot of stuff wrong, but my goal in all this is to be less and less wrong as I go.

As ever, there's more stuff in the works that I can't fully talk about yet, but the train has officially left the station and I can't wait to see where it takes me. I hope you'll join me on the journey.

And, finally? I am always in the mood for Thai curry, ramen, pie, cookies, or Belgian beer.

#FIMC (Forget It, Make Comics.)

Kombucha.jpg