Friday, April 13, 2012

A Friday in '52

    NOW SHOWING       

Thom Shepherd's clever little retro "Flying Saucer" fable seems as timely in today's paranoid culture as it did in 1990 when he created the strip. It features a pair of button-up scientists, Walt and Frank, and a couple joy-ridin' foot-loose aliens who cause more than their fair share of confusion. Told in minimal black & white panels with touches of gray and half-tone, Thom's nostalgic comic recalls a simpler time and reminds one of the child-like wonders of discovery. "A Friday in '52" is reminiscent of the days when comics were clean and uncluttered and stories were character driven avoiding unnecessary violence and cliched stereotyping. Well I guess his is kinda stereotypical too. The cop is eating a donut. Oh well. It's still cute. And he HATES it when I call it that. Please Enjoy.


"Sometimes it takes more effort to make things look simple."
A Few Words From Artist Thom Shepherd
I wrote this in the summer of 1990. Fauquier Magazine was featuring me in their September issue as 'Artist of the Month' or something like that. I had the strip half finished and when I found out that the magazine wanted to feature my artwork, I worked overtime to get it done. Unfortunately, they didn't end up using any of Friday in '52. It finally debuted in Black Egg Theatre in 1998. The only people who have seen it are close friends and family.

I wanted to do a period piece. I was working for a film company at the time, and was very interested in how filmmakers pay very close attention to detail when making a movie set in a specific time period. I thought it would be neat to make a comic strip story that looked like a black and white 50's movie. I am also a big antique car buff, and wanted an excuse to draw some 40's and 50's style cars. I hope you enjoy it. - Thom Shepherd (6-30-98)

Note: The original artwork was created on paper in pen and ink with hand-cut Zip-a-tone screens. Some of the half-tone screens became "ugly" when scanned and reduced for this on-line presentation. For instance the screen tone of Frank's car has been digitally replaced with a solid gray tone. - DW.

In November of 1986, while in our final year of high school, Thom Shepherd and I formed Starving Artist Productions and over the following two years created ten animated short films and three live-action works. We also collaborated on various comic book and comic strip projects. Thom has since gone on to become a successful country music singer/songwriter with several chart-topping hits (such as "Riding with Private Malone", "Redneck Yacht Club"). I on the other hand, still sit alone in my basement drawing silly pictures, but at least my drooling problem is almost gone. Almost. 

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