The last publication we have seen from Ink and Feathers Comics was back in mid 2014. Anthony is currently working on finally publishing his long awaited prequel to the Terry Freedom saga, Tears of the Prophets. We got a chance to speak briefly with this allusive cartoonist and ask him why it has taken him so long to release this story and will he be working on anything new in the future?
IF Comics: How’s it going?
Anthony: Ugh. I still exist.
IF Comics: (laughs) So, tell us why now? What made you decide to finally release a print/ebook version of this story?
Anthony: Well, back in 2008, I decided to try to go back to school to finish my degree. Unfortunately, plans changed and I was only able to study for a year. Just this year (2016) I looked into returning to my studies. I applied to a school that had a awesome program that really appealed to me. I got accepted and was offered a scholarship but only if I returned as a full time student. Unfortunately, where I am financially, it would not work. So that was nixed. From all my time at SAIC and the time since I left in 2009, I feel that with my experience freelancing and doing other things has given me enough background to move on. I have enough knowledge that I really don’t need to have a BA degree to back me up. I’ve put together enough of my own books and other companies publications that I can do this. I just need to suck it up and get the work done.
IF Comics: I understand that this story has been done for quite some time. Why was it never printed?
Anthony: I don’t think I or the story were ready. I did a video slide show and released it through YouTube shortly after I finished it. However, one of things I was struggling with was how to put the words with the images. Picture you have a book open in your hands. I had always envisioned the text totally on the left page and the full image on the right page.
IF Comics: So, kind of like a storybook design?
Anthony: Yes. The problem is that some of the text that was paired with the images may have only a couple lines of text. Other images had close to a full page of text. If I overlapped the text over some of the more “busier” images, I would lose a lot of “hidden messages”. When I was at SAIC, I had a final project showing with the class and brought out this work to be critiqued. Most of the students didn’t have too much in the way of advice except that I should try to letter the story via hand. They didn’t really help at all but liked the story and the images. In fact, during that critique is where I debuted the next short part. The last eight pages of this story are truly the images that no one has ever seen. Except for those students.
If Comics: Can we include an image from this “lost” part of your never before seen story with this article?
Anthony: No. (laughs) These past few months, I have re-examined the work again and decided that the best thing to do was shrink the image heavy images and place the text either above or underneath on the page. I didn’t want to lose the imagery. (Example can be seen to the right) A lot of the story/text is kind of vague and the imagery will make a lot more sense once The B.U.C.K.S Stops Here (the last and final Terry Freedom story) starts to be published and released. It has been important to me that each image can be seen in it’s entirety.
If Comics: By the way, when will be start seeing that story, The B.U.C.K.S. Starts Here, come out? It was advertised in Escape in a Dirigible back in 2003.
Anthony: (laughs) Yeah, I have no idea. I started drawing it 2 years ago. I have the outline drafted but still have not found how the story will be concluded. It’s “locked up here inside” as some would say (points to his head). As I have been re-examining this work (Tears), I have been pondering the idea of releasing an issue at a time. The last story is going to be quite involved and complex as it deals with time travel. It (multiple issues released periodically) may satisfy the fans who have been waiting for almost two decades (The Crystal Skull Files was published in 1997) to see what happens afterwards.
If Comics: So, ultimately, what is this story about?
Anthony: Well, it’s a short story that actually takes place at the end of The Crystal Skull Files. There is a scene where Terry Freedom and the gang are flying after a rocket that is heading towards the moon to destroy it. The plane has reached an altitude that causes all the occupants to pass out from lack of oxygen except for the robot, Rustbucket. He is left alone with the Crystal Skull that is being used to send its audio sonics to destroy the rogue rocket. Before the Skull expels its last sonic song, it reveals to Rustbucket its long history on planet Earth. The whole story takes the skull two seconds to impart its story to Ruckbucket.
If Comics: So we get to find out where the Crystal Skull comes from?
Anthony: Yes, plus you will learn that it has a history with Freedom and his family. And if you look close, you may discover a few other things. However, you have to look REALLY close as everything I added is probably really subtle. Except to me. I see it all but I wrote and illustrated it (laughs). The best hints I can give are to re-read The Mask Conspiracy and The Crystal Skull Files. You’ll see a lot of familiar “images” from those two books show up in this prequel.
If Comics: So, when will we finally be able to read this thing. Huh? Huh? Sounds pretty interesting…
Anthony: I’m hoping soon. I’m almost finished with designing the E-book version and I’m still debating as to if I should do a print version. But the more I think about, I should release both version simultaneously like a real publisher should.
IF Comics: Sooooooo, next month?
Anthony: (laughs) Hopefully before Christmas! I would like to design a FREE E-book version for Legend of Brigadier General Schaumburg Harmony and finally digitize The Mask Conspiracy and The Crystal Skull Files for Amazon download. Eventually Escape in a Dirigible as well. However, I need to do one thing at a time as everything just listed already seems daunting as I say it. I would also like to modernize Ink and Feathers Comics website (IFCOMICS) at some point as well. Its a bit outdated. I do all this in my spare time when I’m not playing with my kitty, G3 (Goober the Third for short), and hanging with my girlfriend catching awesome TV shows and new movies.
If Comics: Well, thanks for taking time today to speak with us today and keep drawing. We want to see more stuff asap!
Anthony: No problem.
- Ink and Feathers Comics will post an update as soon as Anthony lets us know when the books will be available for pre-order and download. Previous books, The Mask Conspiracy, The Crystal Skull Files, and Escape in a Dirigible are available for order through Amazon.com