Can I tell you a story?
Click here for a 33-panel JPG preview (750kb).
No One Is Safe is now in the permanent collection of the Museum of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. It will be on view in the newly opened Works on Paper Gallery from 9/28/2013 to 1/5/2014.
Poster prints are now available in my store ($29.95 plus shipping).
No One Is Safe can be seen in PAFA's official video about the 110th Annual Student Exhibition. It's also featured in John Thornton's short film about the ASE.
There are two versions of No One Is Safe. I created it as a 50x52" sheet on which 165 3x4" panels were mounted; it was designed for a gallery wall. But, over the course of the year it took me to complete the project, it became important to me that No One Is Safe be reproducible. Books can live longer than people; the more there are, the longer they live.
So, using 36" wide inkjet prints which I folded map-style, I created a limited first edition of 15 books, which are now sold out. I've made a second edition of 60 prints; these are also 36" square, but will not be folded into books. They will be available from my store and at small press conventions around the United States in 2012. Check back here or see my tumblr for more details.
If you represent a publisher and are interested in the project, please contact me.
He died in July 2012.
Why is it all on one big page?
As a student in the MFA program at PAFA, I was assigned a gallery wall and expected to mount a thesis show in order to earn my degree. I wanted to do comics, but making books didn't seem like an effective use of the space. So I asked myself if I could tell a complete story in words and pictures on a wall, and I couldn't think of a reason why not.
Is No One Is Safe a comic book?
No and yes. It's not really an accurate descriptor, because No One Is Safe in its original form wasn't a book; but the words and images are meant to be read together, in the same way as you would read a comic book. My background is in comics, and Lynda Barry and Art Spiegelman were major influences on the project.
What media did you use?
Most of the panels are ink wash on watercolor paper. The others are charcoal on Rives BFK. I pasted all the panels down with photo corners, except for the six I drew directly onto the support paper in pencil.
How long did it take?
I started thinking about the project in April of 2010. I spent roughly a month on the script, and the drawing took about 120 days.
The students and faculty at PAFA, especially Renee P. Foulks, Rosae Reeder, and Dr. Kevin Richards. Their support made this possible and I am permanently in their debt.
Kent State's student photojournalists, including Howard Ruffner, John Filo, Chuck Ayers and Paul Tople.
Julien Robson and Anne McCollum.
The Farnsworth family.
Brian M. Kane.
All the people who made me smile, whether they knew it or not, over the last year, including Leigh Barkley and Vivian Wiener, Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy, and most of all Gavin.