Earlier today I reached agreement with Abrams Books, publisher of My Friend Dahmer, for my next big graphic novel. I'll be revisiting my Trashed characters, and spinning their adventures into a projected 288-page graphic novel!
As regular readers here know, I first returned to my garbage truck franchise with the Trashed Webcomic, which ran in weekly installments in 2010 and 2011. I put it on the shelf at the end of the second long episode to concentrate on wrapping up My Friend Dahmer, but the plan was to go back to it with a new episodes when I was done promoting MFD and my schedule eased up. But MFD was an international hit and the book tour never seemed to stopped! My return to Trashed kept getting pushed back, much to the annoyance of many of you loyal readers.
This past summer, I took down most of the Trashed Webcomic, announced it was permanently retired and instead unveiled an entirely new webcomic, The Baron of Prospect Ave. What I couldn't reveal at the time was that Abrams had approached me about turning the Trashed Webcomic into a full-fledged graphic novel! I already had a couple new episodes written at that point, with the intention of starting the project up anew this past summer. So those became part of the new book. I spent the remainder of 2013 writing and drawing.
Now, sure, it may seem like an odd choice for a follow-up to MFD, but, let's face it, I'm never going to top that book. There's no point in even trying! I always knew that MFD would be my best-known work, if I could only convince someone to publish it (and if I could teach myself how to write and draw this graphic novel stuff, which admittedly took awhile). As much as anything, that's why I put out a couple entirely different books first, just so I'd have a body of work prior to MFD. And from my perspective, it's better to have a best-known work than to not have one, so it's not like I'm complaining! Trashed is right in my wheelhouse: another raucous, Rustbelt Epic chock full of smalltown weirdoes and stomach-churning comedy. Of all my work, I think Trashed is the most universally beloved. Obviously, I love it too, since I keep going back to it.
This, friends, is the dream scenario for any webcomic. Do good work, and interest a publisher in releasing it as a book. The idea is to make this, tentatively titled The Big Book of Trashed, both a compelling tale of young losers and a detailed examination of our nation of garbage, the vast, secret process of what happens to the shit we throw away every day. Did you know if you took the trash Americans produce in just a single year, we could form a bumper-to-bumper line of full garbage trucks that would stretch all the way to the moon! That's just one year!
It won't be memoir, like my first Trashed stories. It'll be fiction based on experience, like the webcomic. Not that it matters. Readers always think my stuff is real no matter how many times I tell them it's not. I've had people tell me they remember talking to Otto from Punk Rock & Trailer Parks at the Akron punk club! I'll also be moving this story to the late Nineties, too. Gotta get out of the Seventies, man.
It's a chance to get this franchise in front of a big audience. SLG did a nice job with the little 50-pager I put out way back in 2002, but the potential with this release is exciting, especially now that MFD has booted me up from total obscurity to the lofty status of a B-minus lister.
There's still a portion of the Trashed Webcomic, which won't be used in the book, if you want to whet your appetite.
And after Trashed, my plan is to go back to something dark.
Trashed will come out Fall 2015.