Tomorrow is 4//20 and fittingly, the onsale date for Cheech & Chong’s Chronicles: A Temporary Historical past of Weed, revealed by Z2. I’m right here to say that I used to be the editor of this ebook, a job I took on as a contract challenge. Whereas I didn’t disclose this beforehand, (as a result of my involvement with the ebook wasn’t formally introduced) I did focus on it internally with the editorial group right here and haven’t lined any Z2 tales for the Beat since I took on the job. Comics is a reasonably small subject and conflicts of curiosity are all over the place – hopefully, I’ve earned the belief of the neighborhood to separate my varied jobs. We’ll proceed to cowl Z2 right here, each with their many initiatives and on the enterprise aspect of issues, however I’ll you’ll want to be sure that my enterprise relationship is obvious and can recuse myself from something that may be compromised by my involvement.
That mentioned, I hadn’t edited any comics shortly, and taking over this job was…an absolute blast and the completed product is one thing I’m very happy with! To be trustworthy, I used to be by no means an enormous Cheech & Chong fan (I don’t assume many ladies are/have been?) and I don’t use THC*, however I obtained to study rather a lot about Tommy Chong and Cheech Marin whereas making the ebook and they’re legends. It’s so simple as that. I obtained to satisfy them at Wondercon and it was a visit.
I took on the challenge as a result of within the countless groundhog day of pandemic residing, taking over a brand new endeavor was one thing I desperately wanted as a change of tempo. For these of you who don’t know my historical past, I edited comics for a residing for a decade or so for Disney and later DC, and briefly Fox Atomic, and I’ve helped with initiatives right here and there over time. However taking over a full size anthology (the toughest kind of comedian to edit) was loads of work – happily it turned out to be (largely) enjoyable! And what a pleasure to work with outdated associates once more – Bob Fingerman and Rick Veitch – and with individuals who I do know however by no means had an opportunity to work with – Noah van Sciver, Jim Mahfood, Ryan Dunlavey and Ellen Lindner – after which a complete bunch of recent of us I didn’t know in any respect who have been simply great to collaborate with: the author Eliot Rahal, and artists Soo Lee, Chris Visions, Butch Mapa, Gideon Kendall, Patricio Delpeche and J. Gonzo, colorists Mark Rodrigues and Matt Harding and letterer AndWorld Design. And eventually cowl artists Erik Rodriguez & Steve Chanks.
Additionally working with the oldsters at Z2 was a pleasure as effectively. Z2’s sr vp and artwork director Josh Bernstein is one other outdated pal from the great outdated days of Royal Flush journal, and challenge supervisor/assistant editor Jasminne Saravia saved monitor of all of the manufacturing particulars in addition to bringing her personal sensibilities to the challenge. She’s a rising star! And naturally Z2’s co-owner Josh Frankel is somebody I’ve watched develop up within the enterprise. So principally it was sort of like a household picnic, solely over Zoom.
I really like writing in regards to the world of comics and conventions, and searching beneath the hood of what makes the business work, however returning to creating comics was one thing I missed rather a lot. There’s nothing like digging in to the nitty gritty of fixing storytelling issues, or web page layouts or shade palettes with individuals who love what they do. I preserve utilizing the phrase pleasure as a result of that’s what it’s. The explanation I’m a lifer for comics is due to the huge and countless provide of creativity that’s held of their pages, and the superb individuals who get it performed. Attending to be part of that once more jogged my memory why I’ve caught with this medium via thick and skinny.
After all modifying comics isn’t all beer and skittles. Deadlines, COVID, private points, new infants, paper shortages, delivery woes…these are all a actuality of creating the magic and all of us have horror tales. I’m relieved that Cheech & Chong’s Chronicles had only a few from my finish…so the ensuing recollections are a cheerful haze for me – and never the type you assume!
So plug: Cheech & Chong’s Chronicles: A Temporary Historical past of Weed goes on sale tomorrow and it’s a wild journey via a psychedelic blur with a couple of stops for the political historical past of weed. It seems that Cheech and Chong are good comics characters in their very own proper.
Oh another plug: what a pleasure (sorry there it’s once more) to work with Noah van Sciver. I’ve at all times cherished his work, however attending to collaborate simply bolstered my perception that he’s a completely sensible cartoonist. His magnum opus
*However ask me about CBD.
[One more disclosure: affiliate links may earn this site a small commission.]