Quixotronic Origins: Reckless Life

Updated: Feb 4, 2021

In my inaugural post on this very site I briefly mentioned a comic I worked on in the early aughts called Reckless Life. RL as I affectionally call it was my passion for most of my 20’s. Most of my time, energy, and thought went into a fictional thief name Locke and his often zany, sometimes melodramatic adventures in a ruined Las Vegas.

Those years of inking until 2am and then rolling into my day job late and dead tired were in many ways the best years of my life to date. I remember the days that my printed copies would arrive and filling my nostrils with that “new book” smell. I remember tabling at Chicago Comicon with my best friends and being flown to San Diego to moderate panels on mobile comics. I remember the stress of set-up the night before a convention and the absolute joy of people not just buying my books but coming back the next day to tell me how much they liked them. I remember the fellow creators who became friends. I still refer to these years as The Glory Days. It all resulted in a little more than 380 pages that go from kinda competent to pretty damn good.

I didn't really plan to end RL in 2007, and in fact, I had a lot of stories I still wanted to do. I said I'd take a little break and yadda yadda yadda, you can read about that here. Suffice it to say, I never came back to it. I considered a reboot, which, in retrospect, was an idea ahead of its time but that never made it past a handful of pages, and really, they just didn't recapture the magic of the original.

Reckless Life lived on for a while on Graphic Smash, the webcomics site that published it and that I eventually become editor of, but tragically we lost Joey Manely, the founder of the site far too young. Eventually, Graphic Smash fell away and so did Reckless Life.

Seeing this logo STILL brings me joy.

So that brings us to now. For over 10 years Reckless Life has been in the Quixotronic Vault but I promised that when we got more page likes on Facebook than my ex-wife’s band 😜 that I’d start re-posting and we cleared that hurdle in like April so here we go!

I’ve repaired broken files but that’s it. I started writing and illustrating these pages around age 22. At the time I was still trying to break away from my Catholic/conservative upbringing and a few things in RL do make me cringe in terms of somewhat misogynist jokes or poor representation but this was the best I could do at the time. Know that I have learned a lot as an artist and as a human since this tale began.

Along with the re-posted work, I will be doing a little commentary right here on Quixo on each episode. Sometimes it will be some context on what I was thinking when I made these, or anecdotes from the Glory Days, or digital art tips or you name it. Hopefully, it will be a fun look at how we were making webcomics in the early 2000s in the heady days of MySpace and Web 2.0.

I hope you all enjoy reading. I really loved making this comic once upon a time and I remain immensely proud of it, warts and all. If you dig it, please like or comment. I really miss that part of it.

The first post will be coming this week Thursday and then every Thursday thereafter until I run out. Hopefully, by then we can start talking about NEW stuff. (And maybe NEW RL stories if there is interest...) Thanks in advance for reading.

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