Saturday, July 09, 2005

Omaha Lives!

Okay, many of you have already seen the NBM fall catalog, so you know that Omaha the Cat Dancer™ has been signed with NBM Publications, and will be reprinted in its entirety starting with Volume 1 in October, and a new volume released quarterly after that.

Jim Vance and I have agreed to produce 120 pages of new material finishing the story from Kate's outline. This new material will first be published in 15-page installments in NBM's Sizzle, a Euro-centered adults-only comics magazine, starting with issue #28 this November. Omaha will be on the cover.

Once the story is wrapped up in Sizzle, NBM will collect the new episodes into a final volume, and the entire series will be available in a uniform edition.

I want to thank all the members of the "Cat-Dancing-With-OMAHA™" Yahoo group, for their unwavering support during the 2+ years of painful negotiations, the tragedy of Kate's death, my slow attempts to regain my drawing skills after 10 years of retirement, and Jim's and my determination to keep the story alive. Thank you, one and all.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Okay, Let's Try This Again

In December, after waiting for nearly two years, I finally gave agent Denis Kitchen the word to tell Les Humanoides to either come through or not. They didn't. There will be no publication deal with them. After backpedaling considerably in Deceember, they finally simply failed to come up with acceptable terms, and we had to cancel the negotiations.

Jim and I asked Denis to hunt for an alternative publisher for the Omaha project, since we were now committed to finish the work out of loyalty to Kate. Denis promptly found us another prospect, less lucrative but at least geniune, and negotiations began with them. This process was delayed by, among other things, the passing of comics great Will Eisner, whom Denis represented.

A proposal is currently being worked on that would provide a full reprint series of the Omaha material and, of course, the new material to be created by Jim and me. The good news is, we are probably going to be allotted more pages than LesH was going to give us, so it will be possible to finish off the story the way Kate wanted to, without having to cut secondary characters from the denouement. (It is likely that, if the original deal had gone through, CeeCee, the band, and others may have simply faded from the story due to length.)

On April 24, I was a guest at the MCBA spring comicon at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, the same people who put on the fall show I went to last year. My former assistant Diana Green (now a graphic arts/media instructor in the Twin Cities) escorted me there and we made the appearance with mixed feelings. Last fall, appearing at the con was enjoyable, because I had friends I hadn't seen for years, and news for them, good (about the Omaha deal) and sad (about Kate). However, six months later, with really no progress and no change, it was kind of a hollow feeling to make an appearance among working artists and writers for a long-dead title that *may* soon reappear. Some fans were there despite the lack of advance warning, and were supportive as always, but I don't think I'm going to make another convention appearance until I have something to report, or better yet, until I am actually drawing a live comic again. I hope that will be soon.