is known as Brew City, but it has enough talented comic book artists
that it could adopt the name Ink City. For years these creative
individuals have produced their own small press publications and
developed fans in Milwaukee and beyond. Here are five fresh local
projects worth finding.
(who signs his work simply, "Chic"), 31, has been drawing
his self-published venture — "Night Light Comics" —
since 2004. You can also frequently find his work as art on fliers for
local bands. Chic’s distinct style features some of his favorite
motifs — ninjas, dinosaurs, pizza and cute punk rock girls.
project is a 216-page graphic novel titled "Egyptian Shumba,"
a comedy adventure, starring an eccentric cast from his "Night
the idea of having all the room I wanted to get out the jokes and
storyline ideas I had in my head," Chic says. "It took a lot
of time and effort, but I’m totally happy with it. I’m already
working on the next book."
It sounds like a
science fiction title, but "Ross Wellington," by local
artists Brian Ellis and Mark Van Handel, is more rooted in crime noir
than outer space. Its title character — which sounds a lot like
alleged UFO crash site Roswell, N.M. — is part alien, part Sam Spade
and meets a rogue’s gallery of pulp fiction villains on the trail of
his mystery solving.
Ellis, 32, and
Van Handel,33, have uploaded their first four-part story, "The
Victor Romeo Tango," to Amazon, and are hoping to complete eight
more issues in the series if they can spark enough interest in the
Riverwest Currents Comics Page
Currents is a monthly newspaper that reports on news of the Riverwest
neighborhood and spotlights some of the creative talent that resides
there. They’ve featured a comics page of homegrown talent since
Laura Maker, 31,
has been contributing comic panels to the paper since 2007 and became
the Page’s first female editor earlier this year. She pens her own
strip featuring her offbeat humor and oversees comics from longtime
contributors Michael Cothroll, Dan Hernandez and David Beyer Jr. They
draw strips about gardening, autobiographical stories and cartoon
vegetables behaving badly, respectfully.
Lance Orr, 22,
developed his love for cartooning from his father, who drew a
superhero title called "Union Comics" in 1967.
poor inner city kid, he would draw on anything he could get his hands
on," Orr says. "He would even bind his notebook-drawn comics
with loose strands of carpet."
Lance picked up
the legacy in 2008, naming his own comic-zine "Union
Comics," a mix of action and comedy starring his superhero
N Draw Social Club
notoriously be a lonely hobby, with long hours spent at the drawing
board. One group, The Drink N Draw Social Club, has found away around
these solitary blues.
born out of a need to get out of the studios, away from the day jobs,
free of restraints and be surrounded by like-minded individuals of all
skill sets, talents and inclinations," says "Brother"
Terry Haller, 44, who founded the Milwaukee group in 2007 with his
friend "Friar" Tim Demeter, 33.
thirst," he adds.
monthly, and location rotates to different bars. Any artist is welcome
to join in for free as long as they bring their own drawing supplies,
and a safe way home.