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vern and lettuce: time to go home

There's something particularly gut-wrenching and beautiful at the same time to me about this spread arriving in the post just after the announcement about the DFC coming to a close.



I've been going since Issue 1 with Vern and Lettuce and I'd been planning to take a break to do some concentrated work on picture books. But I had every intention to do more V&L strips, at least the next eleven I'd signed up to do (a year's worth of strips in total). So I asked if I could make this one a big hurrah, letting V&L go out in a blaze of glory until reappearing in the anniversary issue, which now won't appear. I'm glad their road trip story could draw to a close before the DFC ended, not cut-off mid-story, as has happened to several distraught contributors. (Although there may be a way that those stories will finish online, we'll see.)

I originally drew this view as a scene in the Airship comics jam I did with David O'Connell:


But Dave and I only allowed ourselves an hour per panel for that, so I was frustrated I didn't have time to do more detail, and I got to play more with the DFC spread. Its view isn't quite London, it's still the parallel Pickle Rye universe, where the Thames seems to have a few less bridges and some of the buildings take on slightly animal-like forms. I spoke with Woodrow Phoenix this morning, and he thought it was really funny we both had sweeping views of the Thames and Tower Bridge in the same issue (his more graphic take on the scene in Donny Digits). It's a classic DFC moment: we often seem to have themes appear unintentionally in an issue, the most memorable being the eerily similar 'drowning girl scenes' in Issue 2 (John Blake and Spider Moon).

So Vern and Lettuce have had their run in the DFC, but they will make a little appearance in the last issue. Woodrow and I have been putting together a good cover and one other collaborative item, hopefully bringing together everyone who's contributed so far to this amazing project. Should be good.

Other tidbits...
I took a photo of my good friend Dan Fone this weekend for a new online project called Tweak Today. On the website, there's a daily new challenge, and that particular day's misson was Have yourself photographed standing in front of something the same color as your shirt. So here's our entry. (We got a bit overly excited about the whole parallel lines thing in the composition.)

(Dan's the guy who designed my website, so book him quick if you want some web work, he's good.)

Rick Eades (eadesmust) did another funny Witch Hetty Grubb comic here.

I bought a lovely painterly picture book last year in Brussels by Carll Cneut and just discovered his website.

And don't miss the third episode of Vern and Lettuce in tomorrow's Guardian newspaper! (Look for it in the Family section!)

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Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
ginasketch
Mar. 6th, 2009 05:28 pm (UTC)
That's beautiful.
jabberworks
Mar. 6th, 2009 05:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much, Gina!
ginasketch
Mar. 6th, 2009 05:41 pm (UTC)
I love airships.

Hope you don't mind my asking, but will you be able to do further things with Vern and Lettuce outside the DFC?
jabberworks
Mar. 6th, 2009 05:43 pm (UTC)
It's all up in the air at the moment, we'll see what happens! All the contributors co-own the characters with Random House, so we'll have to come to some sort of agreement and decide what's next.
eadesmust
Mar. 6th, 2009 05:48 pm (UTC)
That is amazing, I love the detail of the city below.
jabberworks
Mar. 6th, 2009 11:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Rick! :-)
eruditebaboon
Mar. 6th, 2009 06:12 pm (UTC)
That's a beautiful shot - glad it managed to get in before the final curtain. I'll look forward to seeing it in the flesh when I get home!
jabberworks
Mar. 6th, 2009 11:53 pm (UTC)
It was great to see you on the cover this week! And nothing beats a Friday afternoon of watching Irwin and Bearbot sick up brownish-green swill. ;-)
rainboworchid
Mar. 6th, 2009 06:22 pm (UTC)
Slight lump in my throat when I turned the page and saw that spread. Beautiful stuff. Of course I immediately thought of the wonderful comic jam you did with David. I didn't even open The DFC envelope for a few hours - too depressing... so V&L banished that for a bit :-)
jabberworks
Mar. 6th, 2009 11:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Garen! Glad V&L could do their bit.
(Anonymous)
Mar. 6th, 2009 07:14 pm (UTC)
As expected my boys are devasted about the DFC. Ben wanted to write a letter to Randon House with lots of 'Swears' in it but I managed to talk him out of that. Ben said he threw his DFC to floor in digust when he read it was the last 'Vern & Lettuce' for 'a while' as he knows its the last Vern & Lettuce in the DFC.
jabberworks
Mar. 6th, 2009 11:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much, Patrick! You guys are some of my favourite readers, it's the best thing ever to get feedback on what actually happens when the comic leaves my house. I know what you mean about the letter, I kind of wanted to write a few letters with swears myself.
carrot_rope
Mar. 6th, 2009 08:58 pm (UTC)
Lovely.

(Very sorry to hear about the DFC, btw. I hope everything works out for you and all the other creators involved, and new avenues can be found for the stories that were being told! It's a pity everyone can't just club together and buy it and make the largest collaborative self publishing venture ever.)
jabberworks
Mar. 6th, 2009 11:57 pm (UTC)
Now that would be something!!
burnt_jamb
Mar. 6th, 2009 09:18 pm (UTC)
That is astonishing, Sarah.

I'd love to see V&L collected at some point, it's to good to get lost to obscurity.
jabberworks
Mar. 6th, 2009 11:58 pm (UTC)
Here's hoping! I think they'll be playing it pretty safe, but I hope enough people like V&L to make it seem worth their while.
tallguywrites
Mar. 6th, 2009 10:54 pm (UTC)
It's a dang shame! I plan to have a go at doing a Vern and Lettuce pic for you over the weekend. They will be back, I'm sure.
jabberworks
Mar. 6th, 2009 11:58 pm (UTC)
Aw man, that'd be awesome!!
wilburonline
Mar. 7th, 2009 09:24 am (UTC)
it's a gorgeous spread, sarah, i've been looking at it in the comic -- though unfortunately i can't read it yet as i'm still waiting on my copy of issue 38, so i've got 39 and 40 waiting to be read -- but i can't read the stories out of sequence now can i.
still, there'll be plenty of time for reading my dfc's soon i suppose....sigh...
jennieishere.wordpress.com
Mar. 7th, 2009 11:44 am (UTC)
Sending a hug
Hi Hun,

So sorry to hear about Vern and Lettuce. Hope things work out soon, keep going with your lovely blog and artwork, looking forward to spying your picture book 'Morris the Mankiest Monster!'

Jen x
(Anonymous)
Mar. 7th, 2009 12:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Sending a hug
On the way to swimming today Ben was reviewing highlights of the DFC and he concluded that his favourite bit was definately 'Uncle Vern thats not raisens' in V&L.
jabberworks
Mar. 7th, 2009 03:02 pm (UTC)
Re: Sending a hug
Funny, I've had a lot of people comment on that one! Poo seems to be a big hit whenever it appears. I guess Vern and Lettuce have encountered it in many shapes and sizes now.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )