I came across this project rather unceremoniously. It was not by anything impressive I had done by any means, it was more a matter of timing and ultimately it came down to knowing the right person.
That is almost always the case.
I met Jo Brar of Smoke Films Ltd. through Tyler Jenkins, an ultra talented artist that I met at the Calgary Comic Expo in April of 2007. I had originally made the trip from Saskatoon to pitch a project I’d had in the wings for about three years called Wrench. Arcana Studios had a booth at the Expo and I had been in contact with them via email for about two months before I planned to meet them.
Expectations were high and so the abysmal meeting was rather crushing. It was all by happenstance that as I left, dejected, my wife pointed out to me a small little table across from Eric Powell, one that belonged to Blacksheep Studios. This, of course, belonged to Tyler and Hilary Jenkins, who’ve since that time become great friends and business partners.
We worked on a viking era tale called Wode and pitched to several publishers but, being our first comic project together (and Tyler’s first sequential work, period) it was rough and we were still learning each other’s creative strengths and weaknesses. It was a fantastic learning adventure though, and it wasn’t all bad either. We heard positive feedback from a specific publisher that only rejected it based on the content. (They were looking for Slice of Life stories. Whatever that means.)
Fast forward to November where Tyler meets up with aforementioned Jo Brar, the head honcho for Smoke Films. He starts putting together some classy noir-style promotion posters and Jo loves them so much he decides he wants to do a short comic based upon it.
Tyler drops my name to write it, and that’s how I end up becoming involved with this fantastic project.
(A sample page from our very first pitch, Wode)