I’m a staff writer here at The Beat, and of the nearly 500 posts I’ve written for this site, they’ve all been about other people’s comics, characters, projects, and occasionally famous assets (ahem). Not today! Today, I have a project of my own to announce. And our magnanimous leader Heidi MacDonald was kind enough to let me use this platform for a bit of self promotion.
So, disclaimer: the main reason I get to tell you about my comic right now is because I have for several years written for this very website.
With that out of the way, my project is called Next Door, and it’s a 40-page neo-noir one-shot, live on Kickstarter now. It’s written by myself, illustrated by Pat Skott, colored by Ellie Wright, and lettered by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou (I’ve never been so proud to be the weak link, btw).
I have an official publicity summary at the bottom (super weird to be on the other side of one of those!), but I also have a quick story about what inspired the comic. I saw a Tweet recently that said the best reason to write is to call yourself out, and that’s certainly what this comic is striving to do.
See, I’ve moved a lot. As an adult, I’ve lived in Chicago; Austin, Texas; Sacramento, Calif.; and Washington, D.C. To be totally honest, at times I’ve blundered into new neighborhoods, consumed by petty problems and microdramas. And that’s what this book is about: what can happen when oblivious, privileged people blunder into neighborhoods, concerned with their own #*@&, or, in the case of our characters, actively distrustful of the people around them.
In this comic, we’ve exaggerated that idea to the point of violence and chaos. The goal is that like the best comics in this thematic space — The Dregs and BTTM FDRS, specifically — we’re able to engage readers with a story that also raises questions about housing and equity, without letting those with privilege off the hook for our shared housing challenges.
Thanks so much for your time, dear Beat audience, and I promise my next post will be about what Batman’s up to (probably fighting The Joker). You can find the solicit info for our comic Next Door below, along with the first preview pages from the book. If you dig what you see, you can also buy it on Kickstarter…enjoy!
Next Door One-Shot
Writer: Zack Quaintance
Artist: Pat Skott
Colorist: Ellie Wright
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Chris and Liz are a married couple who just bought a new house in an “up and coming neighborhood.” When their dog starts to get loose and roam, the couple finds themselves interacting with the long-time residents they’re pushing out…and what starts as a series of misunderstandings between neighbors culminates in a night of suspicion, fear, and sudden violence.