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Westley is the big brother–lost and frightened and trying to keep his little sister safe from the zombie horde. He has no idea why the moose is protecting them, but he’s grateful just the same.

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The Moose Riders, Coming Soon

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A Zombie Apocalypse separates two children from their parents while on a camping trip in Alaska. The kids befriend a moose who becomes their guardian against the shambling hordes.

I’ve been slowly putting this comic together for awhile now and have finally quit dragging my feet on it. Hoping to start making pages available to read beginning in Jan. or Feb.

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The Moose Riders, Chapter 1

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Ok, here we go!

This is the cover for chapter one of The Moose Riders. Yesterday was my daughter’s 5th birthday, and since I started this whole thing when she was, what… 2? 3? Well, it’s about time I get moving on it, don’t you think? For those of you who are fans of Grandpa Sex Machine, apologies for the lack of cleavage in this title.

Thanks to Sarah, Chris, and JT for the critiques/advice, and thanks to my son Truman and my daughter Wini for inspiring this whole thing from the beginning.

Check back next week for page 1!

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The Moose Riders, Page 1

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First off, let me wish Casimir Pulaski a heartfelt “Happy Birthday.”

The image on this page is where it all started. Well not quite. It all REALLY started with a Pottery Barn catalog one Christmas when my son was a tiny little boy. On the page of the catalog where Pottery Barn had its rocking horses, there was one rocking horse that was actually a moose. Truman’s Grandma Marsha decided this was so cute, her grandson just had to have it. So that Christmas morning, Truman rode on a moose for the first time, and had a good time with it until he eventually got old enough to not be interested in such things. We set the moose aside, and some years later, Truman’s little sister Wini had her first turn riding a moose.

She, like Truman, had a lot of fun. Truman played with her as she rode the moose, and I was just struck by this look of nostalgia on his face–not a look I expected to see on the face of a 9-year-old. I found myself wishing they could ride a moose together, so I drew it.

In the original sketch, for some reason I drew the hilt of a katana sticking out of Truman’s backpack. In my head, the fact that it was there to fight zombies was just sort of assumed, and rather obvious really.

“Katana? Is that for the zombies?”
“Of course. What else would it be for?”

As I looked at the sketch, I thought, “Wait a minute. Where would a 9-year-old get a samurai sword? Don’t be ridiculous.” That’s when I changed it to a crowbar… because that made perfect sense.

Anyhow, I’ve redone the antlers since that original concept, but other than that, it’s mostly the same. The old antlers are still available on a skateboard deck, btw.

Oh, and if you find yourself trying to turn the phrase “riding the moose” into some sort of filthy euphemism, then you are officially a sick bastard.

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The Moose Riders, Page 6

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Left Bank Books in St. Louis sponsored this book signing thing for Mike/Gabe and Jerry/Tycho of Penny Arcade at the Mad Art Gallery last week and I went and it was awesome.

First off, Mad Art is housed in this old Art Deco Police Station, complete with holding cells–very cool stuff. Also, it’s right across the street from Anheuser-Busch–not a brewer of my favorite beers, but the smell of beer-brewing is unmistakable. Not the best smell if you’re trapped with it in a basement, but pretty damn sweet out in the open from across the street.

Mike and Jerry were very entertaining, as expected, and the signing was a well-oiled machine. My daughter has some medical drama (which I’ve mentioned before) and is therefore kind of a regular at Children’s Hospital, so getting face-to-face with (some of) the guys responsible for Child’s Play was really nice. I stumbled my way through an awkward thank you while they were signing my copy of The Splendid Magic of Penny Arcade: The 11 1/2 Anniversary Edition, and Jerry just looked up and said, “Had to be done.”

Awesome.

Oh, the other thing I wanted to mention–the lady from Left Bank Books who was sort of running the show that night mentioned a site called STLWebcomics.org which is a growing network of webcomic folks here in the greater St. Louis area. I’ve read a couple of those comics before, but had no idea the creators lived so close to me–cool.

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The Moose Riders, Page 7

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Beginning of a long flashback sequence here. Not entirely thrilled with the transition–switching to black and white for a flashback seems a bit heavy-handed, but it serves the purpose (and makes coloring go much faster).

There’s an interview with me up over at stlwebcomics.org–not sure if there are any big revelations, but go ahead and read it anyway, won’t you?

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The Moose Riders, Page 8

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Took a frustratingly long time trying to find a way to spell the sound of wheezing and ended up just using the word “wheeze.”

I want to take a minute to plug a couple things that don’t really need my plugs. First, Yirmumah! is back in action. Once upon a time DJ Coffman was a machine with this comic–you could count on updates come hell or high water. Then there was the Platinum Comics…thing. Yirmumah was set on the back burner for awhile, with a few sporadic updates here and there, but DJ has recently re-committed himself to the title. Awesome.

The other plug is for another comic that already has a huge following–Lackadaisy. When I first followed a link over there awhile back, I didn’t stick around for long–the cutesy/furry thing just didn’t seem like my bag. After rediscovering Lackadaisy on stlwebcomics.org, though, I decided to give it a chance and read through the archives. It really is awesome, and I feel like an idiot for judging it based on my stupid first impression. Set in St. Louis during prohibition, the story is fun, the characters are fun, and Tracy Butler’s artwork is just flat out beautiful. Go read it now.