Making a Mark: Traces

If you want it done right, you have to do it yourself.

Joel Lux has tried to make comics for years, running into countless bumps along the way, not least of which being that he couldn't draw a decent picture to save his life (can you imagine such a scenario?). Several projects have started and faltered for various reasons, leaving Joel's creative vision in the dust. Eventually, he came to the only logical conclusion; if you want it done right, do it yourself. Or for that matter, if you want it done at all, do it yourself.

Tackling a comic solo when you lack in artistic ability is daunting task, to say the least. Every idea that came to mind required far more talent than Joel could even pretend to muster, so he decided to go about things a bit differently. Instead of telling the fantastical stories he so longed to put to page, he'd tackle one of his other loves: philosophy.

In a short series of single-page stick-figure and abstract comics, Joel began approaching the medium in a manner different than he was accustomed. He did away with typical narrative structure, instead choosing to highlight the concept with which he wrestled, ultimately creating comics that present an idea and a feeling more than any simple story might convey.

After experimenting for a short time, a solution presented itself. Joel decided to “cheat.” Or rather, he came up with his own work-around, utilizing other skills he possessed to create a visually compelling piece despite his lack of traditional artistic skills. And what's more, he had a concept that was compelling to him, one he hoped would strike a cord in readers in a manner he otherwise would not know how to tackle.

This is Traces. This is a piece of art that seeks to address our place in the world; the effect we have, our relevance, who we would will ourselves to be. A visual presentation of the invisible effects of our words, our actions, even our very presence, Traces seeks to challenge your perception of yourself and your relation to the world you inhabit.

Traces appears in See Sharp Knives, available in the summer of 2016. The collection is the second anthology comic by Mystery School Comics Group, the first being A Minor Spell, available for purchase on our website and select locations. A saddle bound, booklet format minicomic; A Minor Spell is a 40 page collection of 10 stories and supplemental artwork.

See Sharp Knives is Mystery School Comics Group’s first standard format, perfect bound publication. The collection includes more than 50 pages and a dozen stories. The book reflects the group’s delight in surprise by containing stories read in standard format, horizontally, and in one manga-style story backwards.

Our comics commitment to you and to ourselves is to continue to provide crazy comics faster, better, and in greater quantity with each collection. To that end, the group hopes to produce their next collection Be Flat Broke in December, 2016.