Welcome to a new feature on Alt World, every week (with luck) I will allowing an Indie Creator to blog on my website and tell us all about their work, what motivates them, what plans they are developing for the year and what work they are most proud of so far.
The honor of the first spotlight goes to Scott Markley – Creator of Time for Hugs and Unconscious: The Grim Sleeper. I first met Scott at the Baltimore Book Festival and we’ve attended conventions and swapped work on a couple of occasions. But enough from me, let me give Scott to introduce himself in his own words… Take it away Old Chap…
Hi I’m Scott Markley, but of course you knew that. I’m a history major at George Mason University and live with my beautiful girlfriend and three-year old son. I’m the lead writer, artist, editor, contributor and the creator of timeforhugs.com, whose most notable content is the webcomic Unconscious: The Grim Sleeper.
Unconscious is my baby. Being a parent to a live human I know what a baby is and what a parent puts into a child, and this effort is no less with my comic. I care for my characters, I want to seem them grow, I want to see their experiences, I want them to begin to have lives of their own and take off in ways I can only dream of. But what is it?
Unconscious is at once an homage to the 90’s cartoons I grew up with and an attempt to bring more sophisticated story telling to a genre more associated with cheap laughs. It is, as I often describe it, Pinky and the Brain mixed with the Sandman, but personally I hope people find it a cross of the best features of Dexter’s Lab and Samurai Jack.
But what is it? Unconscious, or Uncy as his friends call him, is a grumpy, cynical, sarcastic, power-hungry jerk who just so happens to be the Grim Reaper’s little brother. The stories on the website focus primarily on him doing his job of making sure people sleep while trying to become something more powerful than his brother Death. All the while the comic relief, Itchy, follows him around and causes havoc wherever he goes. It’s kid friendly, but I don’t make it for kids. I hope all ages can read it and get something different from it.
2014 is a big year for me. Every book I’ve read by the experts say that year three is the big year – the year you can judge a comic based upon. 2014 is my fourth year, and thus it is the year I try to sell people on my third year. Although I have a lot of things planned, my focus remains primarily on telling the best story I can. Last year Uncy lost someone very near and dear to him and year four focuses on how he deals with grief. He’s angry, seeks isolation, and is even more set at beating his brother by tipping the scales of power. 2014 also marks the halfway point of a seven-year story, and it should bring with it an intensity to keep people interested with one of my characters gone.
The fourth year focuses largely on me learning how to write a better story without leaning on the aforementioned character, as well as focusing on making the most of the beautiful medium of comics. If want to start from the beginning Time for Hugs has a story button should anything they read tickle their fancy.
What is new is my third book, Of Mice and Itchy, which is my proudest achievement to date. I believe the story is stronger than it has ever been. The structure of the book is superior to that of my last two. The art no longer fluctuates from beginning to end but stays the same quality throughout.
But if I had to list one reason, it’s because I’m proud of my character. I’m proud of what he’s done in this book. I’m proud of the choices he made and what he has done. I know that seems ridiculous, because I am the one who wrote it, but Uncy has grown so much that he writes himself. I simply give him the means to tell the story I think he deserves.
Thank you Scott. Any Creators looking to get the word out about their comics, art, books, webcomic etc are welcome to contact me if you want your own Creator Spotlight here on Altworld.