January 29, 2023
By Pickerington Online Intern Hope Schmidt
There is no question that a picture is worth a thousand words. However, when that picture is hand-crafted by a talented member of your community, it makes it worth so much more.
Alex M. Clark is a skilled Pickerington artist. Does that name ring a bell? Well, if you read Pickerington Online, you probably have seen his comic strip, Picktown Parables. Alex uses a mix of bright colors and awe-inspiring character design to bring his thoughts to life. He also illustrated Casey Bowers’ whimsical bedtime story, Cora and the Moon.
Those projects were only the beginning. On February 7, the first chapter of Alex’s graphic novel, Lost in the Shuffle, will be available for purchase on Kickstarter.
“Lost in the Shuffle is a planned twelve-chapter cross-country adventure that twists and turns towards a truly explosive ending that will redefine what ‘family’ really means.” Alex explained.
The dark, action adventure is intended for audiences teenage and older.
The story follows two friends. Quinn is neck-deep in a destructive gambling addiction and the one thing that keeps Quinn from drowning is his best friend Morgan. When Morgan suggests they seek help from Quinn’s estranged father, the pair find themselves on the road trip of a lifetime. As they collect the broken pieces of Quinn’s past, the mob and local law enforcement follow close on their tails.
Alex wrote the first chapter more than 10 years ago.
“I truly have no idea what inspired me to create it. I have a terrible memory. Some movie I saw? Probably,” Alex said. “I love Edgar Wright and Shane Black movies. Having an interesting and complicated relationship with my father? Probably. Having best friends in my life in my twenties that would die for me and vice versa? Yep! Feeling lost and trying to discover who you truly are as a young adult? Always.”
Three fantastic comic pros will be illustrating limited-edition covers for Lost in the Shuffle No. 1.
Bryan Christopher Moss of Columbus illustrated both Louise Robertson’s The Experience Known as Rose Marie Hernandez Williamson and the graphic novel, the Eightfold Path by Steven Barnes. He posts glimpses of his work on Instagram page, strangethingsmoss.
Mark Mullaney is an Emmy-nominated animator, designer and illustrator. His two comic strips Little Monsters and Ninja Bear are cute and a little dark. You can visit Mark’s website and/or watch his videos on his YouTube Channel.
Uko Smith is an art instructor at the Columbus College of Art and Design, who can also be found at events like San Diego Comic Con. His listed works on Amazon is long with titles including FX2 The Lost Land and Thinking on Paper. Much of his work can be purchased at his Etsy shop.
“The guest illustrators are only doing limited edition covers,” Alex said. “If we hit some stretch goals, we will make those covers into a pin-up gallery in the back of the comic so everyone can enjoy them.”
Kickstarter is a platform for creative minds to bring their ideas from paper to life.
“As this is my own comic creation and I have no publisher (at this time), I wanted to get this first chapter of my overall story out into the world,” Alex said. “I have self-published before and been part of other Kickstarter projects, and it is a great platform to not only get the word out about your work but also fund the costs to print the books themselves.”
To support the project, Kickstart visitors may choose from pledge tiers ranging from $10 for just the comic all the way up to $400 with actual artwork from the comic itself.
“The Kickstarter campaign lasts only 30 days and is the only place to get the comic. Follow me on Instagram @alexmclark78 for all the details and status,” Alex said.
Alex plans to release a new issue of Lost in the Shuffle each year, meaning it’s only onwards and upwards for this aspiring artist.
To learn more about Alex’s work, please visit his Instagram page. He was also the featured guest on the Dumb Comic Creators podcast hosted by Eric Schwartz and Keegan Shiner.
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