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 www.chemsetcomics.com 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 we decided 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:
THE CHEMISTRY SET: FIVE DAYS OF FREE COMICS
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.”
TUESDAY: VULTURE GULCH and OTHER STORIES (Jim Dougan and others) 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 A FOREIGN LANGUAGE), Christine Norrie (CHEAT, HOPELESS SAVAGES), and 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 you.
“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 www.chemsetcomics.com on August 7 and join the experiment!
For more information on the creators:
TUESDAY: VULTURE GULCH and other stories
WEDNESDAY: 1 WAY TICKET
FRIDAY: TODT HILL