This is a series of posts about comics included in the forthcoming anthology comic “Identity” produced by Northside Comics.



The next comic in our series is by Lauren Davies and is entitled Statue.

Can you give us a brief description of your comic?

A black, billowing smoke-cloud alien and his lovely, ethereal ghostly girlfriend are jaunting through space and time. (Their “meet-cute” happened off-stage.)  They’ve been toying with the idea of reentering the human world, via a man-made vessel.  They come across a statue that sparks their creative, story-telling sides.  Together, they decide to take on a new heroic persona, via some interstellar, post-death magical rebirthing.  The metaphysics are just a touch out-there, but with their powers combined, their living-statue plan works!

How does your comic speak to the theme of identity?

Statue is a playful take on donning a new identity via imaginative “possession”. I’m a little bit obsessed with possession in general, so I really wanted to tie that in. We project emotional back story onto art (and each other!) all the time.  I liked the idea of these two other-worldly creatures doing the same thing with an ancient totem, offering it a tenuous second life of their own shared design. One wandering ghost paired up with one amorphous cloud-alien, playing dress up via material possession of a long-forgotten statue – each of their identities is amorphous, in a different way.

Where did you come up with the idea for your comic?

I’ve always loved sci-fi and short stories, and have look been intrigued by statues/inanimate objects coming to life, since childhood.  I have a rather whimsical side that I don’t always show in my day-to-day realm, so I thought I’d go full-on fantasy. I’ve written another short story about a statue/human relationship, playing on the Galatea myth, so it’s definitely a theme for me.

What influences your work both on this comic and in general?

I love Ray Bradbury, Neil Gaiman, Emily Short’s interactive fiction games and the eerie quality of Beckett plays. I also love those young adult/late childhood books that take you to strange, forbidding places: The Giver, Charlotte Sometimes, and the myth-within-a-myth back stories of GOT, Happy Potter and the like.  There’s a certain mysterious, soft quality I’m drawn to in other art/music/film, and I always want that to come forward, in my own work.

Where can people find more of your work?

The short portfolio version lives here: www.katzenkatzen.wordpress.com
Endless Flickr/Instagram/artwork parade: www.flickr.com/photos/divine_aphasia

The full comic anthology “Identity” will be available later this summer for purchase. If you can’t wait that long you can contribute to our kickstarter and maybe get yourself some unique swag.

We had a great time last night at the workbench. As is tradition, we spent a fair amount of the meetup discussing Star Trek, Ed went on a rant no one listened to about The Matrix,  and we debated the merits of the short-lived 80s television show China Beach. Special shout out to Kelly, our only first-timer out of ten attendees!.

Once we all ran out of steam, we took part in a comic exercise that we do from time to time (need to think of a name for this one). Everyone gets a blank six panel piece of paper with a random word in the top corner. They have five minutes to draw a panel based on the word and then pass it to the right. 30 minutes later you have finished comics! Here are some of the results:


This is a series of posts about comics included in the forthcoming anthology comic “Identity” produced by Northside Comics.


The first comic in our series is by Edward Witt and is entitled Happy HourHappy Hour follows a young man at a bar during happy hour. The man becomes listless and uninterested in the scene, but as he is about to leave he encounters something quite out of the ordinary.

How does your comic speak to the theme of identity?

Without giving too much away about the comic, mine is essentially about a man who feels the need to be in a social situation, but doesn’t really feel like he belongs there. The people he encounters either intimidate or disappoint him. I think a lot of people can relate to these feelings especially when they’re in an unfamiliar setting around unfamiliar people. The final scene of the comic causes the main character to question what it really means to be him.

Where did you come up with the idea for your comic?

My comic is based on an event that actually happened to me, although it’s been pumped up a little bit for dramatic value. I went to happy hour after work one day to meet some friends. It was the middle of the summer and I was wearing a nice outfit. When I got there literally everyone in the bar was dressed up except for the people I was meeting. They were all wearing shorts, skirts, and t-shirts. I felt kind of out of sorts. As we were about to leave, I went to use the bathroom and I encountered someone who looked a lot like me. And when I say a lot, I mean A LOT. He was the same height, had a similar complexion, roughly similar hair color and we were wearing essentially the same outfit. We both sort of acknowledged each other in this weird encounter but didn’t speak. It was very creepy. I sort of felt like he might knock me out, drag me into the stall, and then replace me and the people I was with would never know the difference.

What influences your work both on this comic and in general?

On this comic, I was going for the look and feel of the twilight zone. Sci-Fi has always been like poor-man’s philosophy. It helped that we were doing the whole thing in grayscale. Something is so much more ominous about that to me. I don’t think old movies would be nearly as influential now if they had always been in color. I used a lot of gradients to give it all sort of a dreamlike haze and I tried to fade out people in the background to try and keep the focus on the main character. From page to page you go from watching him to seeing stuff through his eyes. I hope it has my intended effect. In general though, I tend to keep a little bit more on the cartoon-y side of things. I’m not usually the kind of person who tries to draw hyper-realistic stuff. So I’d say my general influences tend to be more like Bill Watterson and especially Gary Larsen. When it comes to comic books, I love twisted and surreal stuff. I spent a lot of time looking at art by Greg Capullo and Todd McFarlane as a child and I like Rafael Albuquerque a lot (especially his work on American Vampire). I can’t draw like these guys at all, but if I could draw like anyone, I’d choose them for sure.

Where can people find more of your work?

I occasionally post short web comics at kantorwont.com. I also post other doodles and illustrations on instagram (instagram.com/edwardwitt/) that you won’t find on kantorwont.

The full comic anthology “Identity” will be available later this summer for purchase. If you can’t wait that long you can contribute to our kickstarter and maybe get yourself some unique swag.

I’m proud to announce our first group contest! Our website and social sites need some flair. I think we need an awesome logo and accompanying banner to show off what we’re about. I’m envisioning something that we can use across platforms (Meetup, Twitter, Facebook) as well as in other arenas (group projects, group signs for conventions, etc.).

So rather than try to create my own logo and banner (not a great idea), I thought I’d open it up to the group for submissions (much better idea). You are welcome to submit a logo and/or a banner. To sweeten the deal I decided to make it a contest.

Here are the general rules:

Regardless of whether you submit a banner, a logo, or both, the final product needs to be digital and full color.

Additional specifications for each are below:

Logo The logo needs to represent what we’re about (cartoonists and comic artists) and should probably also indicate that we are a Chicago-based group on the Northside. Our technical name is “Northside Cartoonists and Comic Artists” (Northside Comics, for short). So the name should also be somewhere in the design. These are general guidelines, if you think that you can do something cool that doesn’t incorporate these elements, please have at it.

Keep in mind that the logo should also scale well. That means it should still be legible at different sizes. If you want an example, go to this link and resize the browser a bunch of times to see what I mean http://www.responsivelogos.co.uk/­.

You’re final logo should be 300 X 300 pixels at at least 300 dpi.

Banner – All of the above also applies to the banner. I want it to give a similar amount of information about the group. Please keep the text somewhat minimal. Facebook is picky about what % of the banner can include text, so less is better.

Speaking of Facebook specifications, their ideal dimensions are 851 X 315 pixels at at least 300 dpi. If you want more detail about where the logo is placed on top of the banner, what part is shaded, etc. go here: https://www.facebook.com/CoverPhotoSize­ but at minimum please make sure it’s 851 X 315 pixels at 300 dpi.

File specifications – the final file (for both logo and banner) needs to be in a format that is lossless. So please save as a TIFF, BMP, or PNG file (JPEG and GIF are lossy and will make it hard to scale the images up or down).

Logo Winner: Copy of Manga Studio 5 (or $25 Amazon GC)
Banner Winner: Copy of Sketchbook Pro (or $35 Amazon GC)

The final submissions will be judged by myself and an independent board of shadowy figures (who, unsurprisingly, wish to remain anonymous). I’ll also open up public voting and factor those results into the final decision. I’ll be rating on originality, clarity, and quality.

Deadline:The deadline for entries is Sunday, July 12th at 11:59pm CST. Please send your entries via email to me at edwardwitt(at)gmail.com­.

Legalese: By entering the contest you are giving the group permission to use your submitted image in any group-related material which includes, but is not limited to, use in promotional materials, on websites, and in digital and print publications. Credit for the logo will be given whenever possible using the manner that the artist prefers (link, twitter handle, etc.). If you are the winner, you will have to sign a document stating that you understand these terms and releasing your work for these uses.

I know I tend to be a little long-winded, and paradoxically I still manage to leave important details out (my father calls it “inefficiency”). So if you’re confused please feel free to email me with any questions you might have.

Good luck everyone! I can’t wait to see what you come up with.


Last week we had a great turnout for our “Learn Manga Studio 5” meeting at the Edgewater Workbench. After a few technical difficulties we were treated to a nice presentation of the capabilities of Manga Studio 5 by Byron Wilkins.

Ed introducing Byron
Ed introducing Byron

Byron showed us many of the great comic-specific tools built into Manga Studio and answered questions from the audience. Smith Micro, who sponsored the meetup was kind enough to provide the workbench with a copy of Manga Studio for instructional use and two additional copies that we raffled off to our lucky winners Pmac and Jim.

PMac, the proud owner of her new copy of Manga Studio courtesy of Smith Micro
PMac, the proud owner of her new copy of Manga Studio courtesy of Smith Micro
Jim, the proud owner of her new copy of Manga Studio courtesy of Smith Micro
Jim, the proud owner of her new copy of Manga Studio courtesy of Smith Micro


Special thanks to Smith Micro, Byron Wilkins, and the Edgewater Workbench.

Keep an eye out for more special events in the coming months. All of our events require an RSVP and can be found on our group meetup page.

Actually, it already has.

This group was started in January of 2015 by a singular artist trying to find other artists to keep him accountable.

Today we have over 100 members who are working on multiple awesome projects and we are in the midst of our first group project (more updates on that to come).

This site is still in the early stages but here’s what you can find (or at least expect to find) here in the near future:

  • Updates and promotions of group member’s events and projects – so many people in this group are doing awesome things, it would be hard for me not to promote it.
  • Updates on our group project
  • Information on upcoming events and group news
  • Special artist information
  • Sponsor’s events

Thanks for stopping by. I know you won’t be disappointed that you did.