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A Birthday Memoir: Jack of All Blades Turns One

A little more than one year ago today, amazing artist/funny person Art Frederick approached me about a little pet project he had going on in his spare time. I knew little about web programming, and even less about making comics, but I happily agreed. One year and fifty-one comics later, Jack of All Blades is still missing deadlines and dropping punch lines, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Jack of All Blades started as little more than an experiment in collective comic and web publishing. When first told about the project, I was excited about the prospect of making a CMS (Comic Management System) first and excited about the prospect of making a C (Comic) second. I looked at some of Art’s initial sketches, and each of the characters looked solid; although his backgrounds left much to be desired. I tried my hand at the martial art of backgrounds, and soon thereafter, the first Zachground was created. Art stuck his characters on there, I threw some dialogue on top of that, and Jack of All Blades was born.


Throughout the year, we have tried many different things with the comic, like hand-drawn backgrounds, crazy-looking eyes, and even multicolored copyright tags. We stuck with the things that worked, nixed the things that didn’t, and were generally pleased with how the comic had finally turned out.


One of my favorite aspects of the comic isn’t actually part of the comic at all—it’s the comments below each comic. Since the birth of the comic, we knew that we wanted our readers to be able to tell us what they didn’t (and did) like about each comic we create. That’s why we don’t require anyone to join a forum (although we have one) or sign-up for anything: People can just read and comment. This has given us an added layer of connection between us as authors and artists and our fan base as horribly picky critics.


I have had a wonderful year working on Jack of All Blades, and I hope to have many more. If you have any questions or comments regarding my work at Jack of All Blades or on the CMS SomeryC, don’t hesitate to contact me, either on our site or via the comments.