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Brief summer break & where to find me!

July 16, 2014

Thanks for reading so far!

Chapter 2 is going to start August 6th, and continue to update every Wednesday and Friday. Sorry for the brief hiatus during summer break! I’ll be posting some pinups and other fun stuff, so hopefully the time will fly by and we’ll back to the story in no time!

Here’s where to find me at the San Diego Comic Con!

Thursday July 24th

4pm: Kids’ Heroes, Capes and Journeys: Does One Size Fit All? Featuring Dave Roman & other awesome people. Room 29A

7pm: Dave Roman & Gene Yang presentation, live drawing & book signing

Barnes & Nobel Mira Mesa

10775 Westview Parkway

San Diego, CA Sunday

 

July 27th

10 am Kids Draw! Panel w/ Dave Roman & other awesome people! Room 30CDE

11:30am Dave Roman signing at Sails Pavilion, AA09

12pm Dave Roman signing at the :01 First Second booth #1323

1pm All-Ages panel featuring Dave Roman & many others! Room 24ABC

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Ingredients of Starbunny Part 1

June 23, 2014
The tin on the left is the version I remember. But holy cow, the older one is pretty rad too.

The tin on the right is the version I remember. But holy cow, the older one is pretty rad too.

I hope you’ll indulge me, in this first in a series of blog posts about the sights, sounds and tastes that inspired Starbunny, Inc.

Long before I was lactose intolerant, I drank a lot of strawberry milk as a kid. My family would get the large tins of pink powder and mix it into milk. Ideally in clear glasses, so you could see the various shades of white and pink blend together. My favorite part was the gloopy concentration of sugar that would collect at the bottom of the glass. I’d stick my tongue in at the end, feverishly lapping up every last grainy drop of artificial sweetness. But I’m jumping ahead of myself. While drinking my glass of strawberry milk, I’d always take time to appreciate the packaging. This is something I did a lot as a kid, especially with cereal, toys and video games. On more than a few occasions I’d end up enjoying the box art on an action figure even more than the toy itself!

Those charming tin cans with rounded edges that Nestle Quik powered mix used to be sold in were nothing short of magical. They reminded me of personal banks, and sometimes the lid would be stuck on so tight I’d need a penny to pry it open. And of course, the main attraction of packaging was admiring the illustrations. In the 80s (and obviously earlier) the Quik mascot was a pink bunny wearing blue overalls, with a strawberry on his head! In one incarnation the strawberry was a photograph, pasted onto the cartoon art of the bunny, who was drinking out of a photo of a real straw placed in a real glass. I didn’t know what mixed media was yet (and clearly this would preface my future enjoyment of Who Framed Roger Rabbit) but I was transfixed by this fun combination.

I never drank the chocolate variety of Quik, but a bit of internet research shows that the brown bunny that appeared on alternate packaging never wore anything on his head, simply sporting a corporate letter N around his neck. At some point Nestle Quik became rebranded/abbreviated to Nesquick, and the brown bunny was promoted to mascot for both Chocolate and Strawberry (as well as Vanilla), and his pink colleague was let go. I guess it cost too much to have more than one bunny on payroll? As a kid with an aversion to chocolate (I’ll go into that in another blog post), this upset me greatly, but I should probably get back on topic.

So, yeah: countless hours drinking flavored milk, admiring the container, and thinking about this bunny with a strawberry on his head. Where did he come from? What did he do for a living? Was he a strawberry farmer? Did he have a factory where he processed strawberries into pink powder? Did he get rich selling the recipe? I also hazily remember an image of the Quik bunny hanging out near a river of milk… I can’t remember if I actually saw this image printed on the back of a tin, or if it just appeared in one of my daydreams. At any rate, many years later, I started developing a story for the Flight anthology called “The Great Bunny Migration” (which you can read in the archive section) that built off some of these daydreams I had about bunnies in the milk business. The ideas continued to expand in my brain, with bunnies making cameos in Astronaut Academy, and now Starbunny, Inc.

But strawberry milk is just one ingredient added to the inspiration blender. I’ll share more, in the coming weeks!

It’s sad because it’s true

June 6, 2014

Starbunny, Inc. is far from autobiographical, but sadly, being lactose intolerant is something I have very much in common with the main character, Blue. When I first wrote the prequel “The Great Bunny Migration” for the Flight anthology, I was so young and carefree!  I made a story about bunnies and milkshakes because I loved drawing cute things and eating and drinking ice cream! I grew up in a household that really appreciated their dairy products. I’d literally eat cereal for three meals a day and be happy. And there was no greater party than getting to eat pizza for dinner (or an order of mozzerella- and ricotta-stuffed shells), and a Coke float or strawberry milkshake for dessert.

Then, somewhere around 2008, my body turned on me! I ended up hospitalized for colitis, and was never able to look at my precious pizza or ice cream the same way again. I didn’t have to swear off cheese completely, but to this day I know I’m taking a big risk any time I let myself partake in the pleasure of milk-based treats. There are always consequences. Digestive pills like Lactaid only seem to delay the inevitable “blow out,” as we lovingly refer to it my household. I’ll refrain from going into too many more details, but much like the bunny in the last panel of page 15, I’m sure you get the idea.

The workaround has been adapting to non-dairy substitutes like soy and rice based milk. I’m so grateful to live in an age where these products are increasingly available. So I can still enjoy a bowl of rice krispies on a regular basis. And of course there are many delicious sorbets out there. But if I’m being honest, nothing can replace the childhood sense of wonder that comes from an old-timey ice cream parlor! The magic of small ice cream shops like Ample Hills Creamery and Mt. Dessert Island, that constantly create new flavors like Breakfast Cereal (with milk-sogged bits of Capt. Crunch in it)!! Why are these places trying to kill me?!

So yeah, Starbunny will explore some of my love/fear of ice cream in what will hopefully be a cute and funny way. And maybe together we can discover something equally delicious to help us cope in a world where milkshakes rule.

 

The author circa 2006

The author circa 2006

A new era!

June 4, 2014

Welcome to the official launch of Starbunny, Inc!

I couldn’t be more excited to finally start sharing this new comic with you! Even though it’s about rabbits, stars, corporate takeovers, and intergalactic quests, I’ve really put a lot of heart and soul into this whimsical story.

Starbunny is all about the crossroads of life, finding one’s passion, building your own destiny, redefining family, and choosing the people you want to join you on your quest. All of which could not be more relevant to where I am in my life right now! Despite some ups and downs over the past few years, I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to make exactly the kind of comics I’ve always wanted to, and meet tons of amazing people along the way. I’m hoping that producing Starbunny for the web allows me to connect with even more people throughout the universe! So thanks to you for stopping by, and I hope you stick around for the ride!

Here’s a sneak peek at an upcoming page!

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BTW: Current schedule for updates is Wednesdays and Fridays!

Agnes Quill