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

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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.