The first comic work I ever had published came in early 2004. I had no idea what I was doing (that's not to imply that I do now, either), but I lucked into a great situation. Dark Horse Comics was sponsoring an online comic contest - creators would submit their stories and an editor would choose the ones he thought were the best to showcase online. Readers would then vote for their favorite comics of the month and each month's winner would be published in a collection titled Strip Search. The contest ran, I believe, for an entire year.
This contest absolutely spoiled me with how perfectly everything came together. I happened to read about the contest one day at a computer in my college's computer lab, and I said to myself, "heck, I'll give it a shot." I had written a short story for a creative writing class and decided to use that as my subject. The story was a fairly straightforward inversion of the classic Hansel and Gretal fairy tale, where it was told from the evil stepmother's perspective and took place in modern times. I went right to a comic book message board (Digital Webbing, I think?), posted a quick message, and met up almost immediately with the extremely talented Ruben Cordero.
And that was pretty much it. Really. Ruben drew and lettered the story, we submitted it to Dark Horse, the story was selected and put up for a vote during the final month that entries would be accepted. "Eye of the Beholder" was voted in and a few months later, Strip Search was published and I had something for sale all over the world (I had someone tell me he saw a copy on sale in Japan, which continues to blow my mind).
At this point I thought publishing comics would be easy, based on the only evidence I had at my disposal. More aptly, I think I ran into the perfect storm - Dark Horse just happened to have the perfect contest, I just happened to find the perfect artist, and things fell in to place.
I'm generally happy with the result, although hopefully my writing has gotten a little less melodramatic over time.
Dark Horse retained the publishing rights to this story for five years, which means they have since reverted back to Ruben and me. I thought it would be fun to revisit this story over the next few weeks in the format it was originally intended to be read - as a webcomic. I'll post the first page today and continue at least twice a week until all eight pages are posted. Just click on the tumbnail at the top of this entry to read the first page. I hope you enjoy!