Chemistry Set Collective Launches Monday

I saw this press release over at Warren Ellis' The Engine, and it looks like yet another exciting webcomics collective is making its debut. This should be an interesting fall season, especially for readers!


THE CHEMISTRY SET is a collective of writers and artists, including several Xeric Award winners, pooling their talent to provide readers with free weekly comics at the website starting Monday, August 7. The stories will be in a variety of genres, including fantasy, thriller, Western, and straight-up adventure, and the collaborators aim to provide something for everybody.

Each of the collaborative teams will debut their comic on the August 7 launch date, following up quickly with additional pages throughout the first week, before moving to their regular page-per-week release schedule. "We want to get our hooks in you and not let go!" says CHEMISTRY SET member Chris Arrant (FOUR STORIES).

The idea for THE CHEMISTRY SET was born with Vito Delsante (BATMAN ADVENTURES, FALLOUT). "The Chemistry Set came from two separate conversations; one with Neil Kleid (BROWNSVILLE, NINETY CANDLES) and one with Chris Arrant," says Delsante. "We all seemed to want that grassroots kind of 'back to our roots' movement that Dean Haspiel and the ACT-I-VATE crew have, but the three of us are all writers. So wedecided to focus on the collaboration…the CHEMISTRY, so to speak, between an artist and a writer." Before long, Delsante had recruited the rest of the SET.

So why webcomics? Simple economics. As several SET members can attest, print self-publishing is expensive, and its reach is limited, as compared to the internet. "Webcomics are the future of the serial comic, and I believe they will eventually supplant the 'floppy'," says SET member Kevin Colden (HOUSE OF TWELVE, TRUE PORN 2). "Of course, it may be some time before computers become small enough to make for convenient bathroom reading."

No matter what you read or where you choose to read it, THE CHEMISTRY SET will provide something to your taste. For more information about each of the stories and their creators, look no further:


MONDAY: STUCK (Vito Delsante and Tom Williams)
A story of tragedy and the human condition, set on one car of New York
City's N Train. Each chapter focuses on an individual passenger and
his or her respective "Last Night." Told in a similar fashion to TV's
Lost, STUCK is a story that has resonance and relevance in today's
post 9/11 world.

"Vito threw two choices at me," says Williams, (NO DEAD TIME,
SPB:RISE!). "Both were really great concepts. It was hard to choose
but I knew I wanted to sign on. We've got a pretty strong group of
contributors and I can't wait to see what they all come up with."

New Mexico – 1875. Dr. Clem Cooper has the busy job of undertaker in
Vulture Gulch, a raucous Wild West town, and with a personality that's
part Lt. Columbo and part John Constantine, he's a burr in the saddle
of the bad guys who come looking for trouble. Throw in sexy outlaw
Molly Hill and her gang, and you've got a recipe for excitement!

"I'm an anomaly among the SET," says Dougan (CRAZY PAPERS). "The
others are hatching ongoing stories, while I'm presenting a series of
shorter stories with a variety of amazing collaborators. The primary
focus will be VULTURE GULCH, including stories from Eric Kim (LOVE AS
Michel Fiffe (ACT-I-VATE). But that's not all! In addition to VG,
you can also look forward to romance, comedy, noir – you name it –
including a spellbinding story drawn by recent SVA graduate Hyeondo
Park (DE-ACT-I-VATE). THE CHEMISTRY SET is an opportunity for me to
work with terrific collaborators and to tell shorter stories that
might not find a home elsewhere."

WEDNESDAY: 1 WAY TICKET (Chris Arrant and Dan Warner)
If you have ever carved a band logo into a desk, If you decided what
instrument to play based on what was needed to make a band with your
friends, if you know who would be in the 'Special Thanks' liner notes
of your debut album, if you have ever closed your eyes and imagined
yourself surrounded by thousands of screaming fans — this one's for

"Depicting music in comics is a huge challenge," says Warner, Xeric
Award Winner and Creator of Slave Labor Graphics series COCOPIAZO.
"You usually see some musical notes, or lyrics written in wavy
lines—it's all very flaccid. Chris and I decided we needed something
more visceral. What we came up with has sharp emotional claws. I'm
eager to see how readers will respond."

THURSDAY: SCHEHERAZADE (Elizabeth Genco and Adam Boorman)
A modern urban tapestry woven from old magic and old stories. It's a
sheltered young woman in a house without windows, peeling back the
blinders and throwing open the shutters. It's the tale of a dying man
and his last victim, whose stories just might help him find the
redemption he craves.

Says Genco: "The basic idea for SCHEHERAZADE hit me like the
proverbial ton of bricks from my subconscious, shortly after my
husband Leland [Purvis] began posting his stuff on ACT-I-VATE. The
next bricks had Boorman's name all over them. I knew I had to make it
happen somehow, if Adam was up for it. Then Vito teased me at an
ACT-I-VATE party about 'something' he wanted to get me in on, and,
well… that whole bricks thing? Not an accident."

FRIDAY: TODT HILL (Neil Kleid and Kevin Colden)
Todt Hill is a tale of ancient treasure, insular societies, immortal
greed and the infinite possibilities of youth. Yesterday, Mike and Gil
Tompkins, newly arrived on the isolated island of Todt Hill, found a
secret map and alongside a zombie mechanic, a Mafia princess and the
smallest pirate in the world. They are out to find a treasure that
will heal their community and reunite them with the rest of America.

Says Kleid: "Ever since the initial PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN flick
hit me on the back of the skull and made me yearn for a yarn of
adventure and high seas, I knew I would one day write TODT HILL. A
weekend visit to my wife's hometown of Staten Island only confirmed
set of place when we tooled through a patchwork community easily set
adrift in the waters near the New York/New Jersey mainland if only
someone removed the bridges. When Vito cornered me in a darkened pub
on a night dedicated to serialized webcomics and laid out a grand plan
to tell ongoing collaborative comics and asked if I had anything
brewing, I immediately flashed on the tale of Todt Hill, hidden
Peruvian treasure, Corporate Pirates, Mafia shakedowns and a child's
quest for adventure and excitement."

So check out on August 7 and join the experiment!

For more information on the creators:


Vito Delsante

Tom Williams

TUESDAY: VULTURE GULCH and other stories

Jim Dougan


Chris Arrant


Elizabeth Genco

Adam Boorman


Neil Kleid

Kevin Colden


Joey Manley

Joey Manley (b.1965–d.2013) was the author of the novel The Death of Donna-May Dean (1992), entrepreneur, and founder of Modern Tales and WebcomicsNation.