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Catching Up With Jon Morris

How's the reaction to the Jeremy book been this year? Any future plans for the little guy?

Thanks for asking, the book did totally swell - it managed to hit something like #84 or thereabouts among Lulu's Top #100 Comics and Graphic Novels (for whatever that's worth, I suppose. I'm mostly impressed that I was able to move as many copies as I did strictly through a POD-publisher), although it's getting outpaced as the novelty wears off. I heard a lot of good reviews about the strips, in any case, most of which have been offline for years and seem new to a lot of readers.

I am trying to get a new collection of Jeremy stories - well, half-new, I guess, I'm reprinting the four stories from the Jeremy mini-comic (The Thing With Four Heads) along with six new stories - out by March of 2008. It sort of depends if I can get my current project (Zayde Todt, an old European fairy tale told in pidgin Yiddish) done near its deadline, as it's already a month behind schedule.

Whatever else happens, I'd love to get out a new Jeremy book every year. I just have to get a better grip on my time management...

 

It's gotten to be a Halloween tradition for me to check out what you are up to for Halloween comic-wise... Do you have anything planned for this year?

As a matter of fact, I'm very glad you've asked! I am indeed running another Halloween-themed comic project, as part of an ongoing collaborative comics project Blog - It's at http://ape-law.com/oucopo/, this month's theme is already under way, and I'm anticipating more than a few artists to participate.

I've got eleven artists lined up to draw scripts I've written for this year's project, even though I don't think I'll have time to draw anything for it myself. I feel kind of cheap about that. Still, I'm working with some of my favorite artists and good friends, and with some artists with whom I've never worked before (and I feel very lucky about working with now), and also Manning Krull, of cuss, because it wouldn't be a BOO! Halloween otherwise ...

 

I take it you gave up the http://wheoum.com/ domain name - what's the best way to find your various comics now (things like Open Book, etc.)?

Ape-Law is currently undergoing a pretty big change, so it'll be non compos internetus for another couple of months. My OWN stuff, however, is online at http://CalamityJonSave.Us, which is hosted on Ape-Law, and what I'll be using for my portfolio site for the next little while. I also use my LiveJournal for my sketchblog, so that's the best way to keep up on my doodles and what have you ...

 

Where are you located these days and what are you up to during the daytime hours?

I'm still in Tucson, although I've recently left my full-time job and turned to freelancing instead, meaning my wife and I could pull up tent-posts and go just about anywhere (we're looking at Northeren California, Portland, Seattle, and thereabouts. Good places for cartoonists and drunks, as I understand it).

It's neat having more free time to draw and design, although it sure is awkward having to hustle for jobs instead of drawing the steady paycheck ...

I've been doing a lot of RPG illustration, specifically for Jared Sorenson's and Jason Roberts' Darkpages from Memento-Mori, which has a TON of illustrative work in a variety of styles. Outside of that, there's been a lot of graphic design, spot illustrations, the usual sort of work. It's not as fun as drawing comics, but it's still rewarding to have a paid opportunity to develop drawing and software tool skills.

 

What are you planning on working on in 2008?

Well, I'm loathe to announce anything, because I read these old interviews and notice that I'm YEARS behind schedule on a lot of projects I've announced. Still, I honestly have no excuse any longer, and I'm expecting to have the first 96-page Doc Homonculus story out by November, 2008 - I have the script done, the designs done, and my test sketches all look good, so I have no further reasons to procrastinate at this point.

There's also the aforementioned Jeremy collection for March, and I'm hoping to start another long-simmering project on the myth of Hercules, sometime around July.

I'm also working with Steve Harrison on a new webcomic, set to debut in January 2008: Doc Frost, The Mystic - it's a two-fisted post-modern retro pulp adventure, and I wrote some naked ladies into the script, because Steve's good at drawing 'em.

Outside of that, I'm trying to keep it a little open. I'd love to produce two or three complete books each year, but that's a pace I've never maintained before, so it may take me some time to ramp up properly. I'm also getting into scripting for other artists, which may turn into some other long-term collaborations (I won't jinx 'em here), and then I may be working with other artists on their own scripts (same jinx-avoiding deal).

So, 2008 seems full, all it comes down to is whether I fumble or not.