In the late 90s I began doing some promotional marketing work for local Chicago musicians. I also ran a popular fansite for (the recently disbanded) Smoking Popes. The site tracked the projects the various members were involved in, and kept track of the efforts to release the last of their recordings.
Around that time, I became friends with Mike Felumlee, who was previously the drummer for Smoking Popes and at the time was drumming for Alkaline Trio. More importantly, Mike was owner of Double Zero Records and put out many record releases and promoted some really great bands.
When Mike, and a couple other members of Smoking Popes reunited in 2001 as a Christian band called “Duvall,” I became their webmaster, and as I was sometimes referred to, their “Fifth Beatle.” Over the next few years I attended at least a couple concerts a weekend, many times for Duvall. So I was given the opportunity to meet and hear stories from many musicians.
One fellow was very interesting to me. He came from Knoxville, Tennessee, to play in a Christian band, and he was 100% atheist. I hadn’t done any cartooning in quite a while, but the idea of an atheist in a Christian band seemed ripe for some strips. So, I tucked that away in my file of future ideas.
When I brought that idea back out a few years later, sometime after 2005, it became Blister. Blister was developed to be the story of a couple kids trying to make it as a band. About 50 comic strips were written up, and rough character sketches were doodled, but ultimately it was shelved in favor of returning to an Adhesive Man comic series.
Sometime later, a handful of strips were produced for what was intended to be a web comic series, but I was never fully comfortable with settling on a style, so it never moved forward.
In 2012 I felt the need to address some selective outrage with a comic and used Blister and Harv to do that. This scene is actually played out in the Blister novel, toward the end, but set in the 90s so the issues he addresses are different. Also in the novel it’s Harvey, not Blister, who has the rant.
In 2014 I had had enough of letting these characters linger, so I started working on ideas again with some plans to bring them to comics. Once again, they got sidelined by our newest Adhesive Man series, “Defective Comics.” But this time I kept developing Blister on the side.
With three issues of Defective Comics done, I devoted much of 2015 to Blister, this time as a novel. There was no way I had time to work on a comic and I was having a lot of fun writing the script, so I just converted it to a prose format and went to town. This time the story also incorporated elements of my life, and some of my more interesting stories, as well as stories I’d been told over time.
The book released in May of 2016, and I immediately knew it had to be adapted to comics at some point. Luckily it only took me a year to get started on that, and here we are.
Blister is Kickstarting right now at www.blisterpunk.com. A 32-page comic by myself. The Kickstarter ends in mid-July and the book ships in August. So if you want to help make this happen, or want more information, go there, and be sure to check out the six-page preview!
We want to send out a huge shout out to Eric Cockrell for sending us his behind the scenes of Blister! If you loved what you read here, you have to get in on the Kickstarter! Don’t wait until the last minute, we don’t want you to accidentally miss out on the awesomeness that is Blister!