Coming Soon: My First Mini-Comic
Updated: Aug 25
Or, how I spent my summer vacation.
Allow me to interrupt my usual blog for an exciting announcement. Ever since I put filmmaking behind me, I have been looking for a satisfying way to continue storytelling. I spent much of the past year writing a 250-page graphic memoir, and now I’m in the process of drawing 1500+ panels to illustrate it.
That’s going to take a little while.
To liven up my days (and provide some short-term deadlines) I’ve decided to serialize excerpts of the novel as I work. It’s a long, proud tradition, that goes back at least to Charles Dickens publishing chapters of Pickwick Papers before collecting them as a book. More recently, I enjoyed Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City and Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities the same way. My story is a little different from those, however— it’s called When We Were Trekkies.
It is a (mostly) true graphic memoir of cosplay, conventions and genre fandom from a time and place undreamt of: 1970s New York City. The novel follows the exploits of five bridge-and-tunnel kids who dream of a magical realm where starship captains, interplanetary goddesses and comic book creatures can meet and thrive. But first, they need to get permission from Mom to stay out past curfew.
Conventional wisdom says you should write what you know, and I have a long history with fandom. I was there at a dozen of the first Star Trek, Famous Monsters and Comic Art conventions, and yes, I have stories to tell (fortunately, the statute of limitations has long since passed). At its heart, WWWT is a coming-of-age story that blends awkward adolescence, nerdish spectacle and a generous spirit of adventure. While certain details are fictionalized, the costumes, festivities and unbridled passions are completely authentic. Guaranteed.
My intention is to publish eight monthly mini-comics starting next month. The term mini-comic refers to the print run, not the size, although these little “xeroxed” beauties measure about 5" x 8", slightly smaller than your typical comic book. Each issue will be a 20-page, condensed version of a chapter from the book, printed in glorious black and white with color covers.
As you may know, I'm not the first cartoonist to emerge from the Sikoryak clan; my brother R. Sikoryak has been leading the way for decades, and is graciously coaching me through the process. Sister-in-law Kriota Willberg is enjoying a prolific second career in comics, as well. And while he hasn't drawn much lately, our middle brother Steve Sikoryak retains an important role, consulting in the braintrust.
When We Were Trekkies will be available for purchase in September, in better comic book shops in the greater New York and San Francisco areas. As soon as my distribution deal is done, I’ll let you know where you can pick up copies or order online.
Meanwhile, take a peek at the first issue, above. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you in the funny pages!
* * *
If you enjoyed this post, or are interested in When We Were Trekkies, you can follow me on Instagram @joe_sikoryak and Facebook @joesikcomix for the latest developments.