WHO THE HELL AM I?

I'm James.

Writer. Reader. Ramen Eater.

As of April 2018 I'm a first-time Eisner Award-nominee for Best Digital Comic for Contact High, a queer, sci-fi action love story I did with my artist friend, Josh Eckert. It's a 26-page story about a future where human touch is outlawed, and one man's search for his partner and for meaningful connection in that future. (It's currently available digitally via Gumroad, and there's a print edition as well.) All digital sales are donated to Lambda Legal and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

I'm also 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 15 total chapters, and is available in comic shops domestic and international, as well as digitally via Comixology. There are four trade paperback collections at the moment: Taste Buddies, Brownie Points, Femme Brûlée, and Coven Cleaner. The fifth and final collection, The Good Dine Young, will be completed by the end of 2018.

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 and Rabbit in the Chinese zodiac, our 12 signs include Robot, Wizard, Alien, Superhero, and Pirate, among others. We then 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 contributors (with artist Rashad Doucet) to the Elements: Fire anthology, 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. Elements: Fire is an Ignatz Award-winning book, and is also nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Anthology.

My friend, Little Corvus, and I recently contributed to the FTL, Y'all: Tales from the Age of the $200 Warp Drive anthology published by Iron Circus Comics. The project features stories in a future where an affordable warp drive democratizes space, and is now in the midst of a very successful Kickstarter campaign. Our short, "Prodigal Sunset," is about a group of half-human, half-alien terminally-ill teenagers on a journey to find their absentee, space-faring human fathers and, hopefully, a cure.

I worked on a one-shot comic with Valentine Barker called The Utmost, a dieselpunk tale about faith and aviatrices, which should drop before year's end.

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. Phase One, "Aphelion" is now in print, and Phase Two, "A Most Uncommon Shepherd," is in the works.

My current focus in storytelling is to provide stories of those and for those whom are rarely the heroes of their own narratives, and to build stories of love, joy, or excellence among marginalized people existing in spaces antithetical to those desires.

As ever, there's more stuff in the works--Josh and I are working on a pair of pitches about vampires and crime, and basketball and magic, respectively; Little Corvus and I are shopping an OGN pitch about acting and espionage--and others 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.

FIMC (Forget It, Make Comics.)

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