Third issue of Okie Comics hits the streets
The Land Run, Oklahoma's wild weather, and the state song are all subjects of the third issue of "Okie Comics," available free now at more than 70 locations across the metro.
But the stories aren't simply historical; some are slice-of-life, others fantastic, but all with a tie to the Sooner state.
Local author Jeff Provine continues to spearhead the free local comics publication "Okie Comics," with copies available at locations including libraries, restaurants, and bookstores. It is also published online at www.okiecomics.com.
Ten stories are featured in issue 3, and creators including Marc DiPaolo, Don Rosencrans and Jessica Garvey join the "Okie Comics" lineup.
"We have a good number of new artists in this third issue: Don Rosencrans, who has been doing comics for years with his 'Welcome to Ralton' title; Jessica Garvey, whose style of soft realism perfectly fits for slice-of-life comics like 'Something More;' Richard DePew, whose precision in art made 'The Headless White Horse' even spookier; the buff '80s art of Austin L. Brooks; and the cartoony comix art of Holly Brown, who is a wave-maker in the local zine scene," Provine said in an interview with The Oklahoman.
New writers signed on for issue #3 as well.
"We have original stories from writers Stephen McMurtrey and Roger Colby, as well as artist-writer Tom Simonton of the classic superhero story 'The Oklahoma Patriot,'" Provine said.
For English professor DiPaolo, who has written multiple books about comics, this is his first published comics project.
“Anything we can do to create and promote regional art, music, film, and literature is really worthwhile,” DiPaolo said in a news release. “This is one of many important local efforts to tell Oklahoma stories — to help us see ourselves as we are better, and to help us figure out who we want to be.”
Provine himself took the photos for a "fotonovella" or "fumetti" — a comic told in panels of photos rather than drawn art, focusing on the Land Run.
Artist Don Rosencrans worked with Provine on a story about Oklahoma's unpredictable weather.
"Jeff manages to encapsulate Oklahoma's changing weather patterns, and for two pages it's easy to see how strikingly accurate he is!" Rosencrans told The Oklahoman.
Thus far, Provine said he has worked with more than two dozen artists and writers from across the state.
"The process is becoming second-nature, although it is always a learning process, such as figuring out word bubble placement that maximizes reading while fitting with bleeds in printing," Provine said. "These are little things we rarely think about, but it's a great part of growing in art."
The stories in Okie Comics need to show an Oklahoma connection; have an Oklahoma connection for the creator; and need to be all-ages readable.
"Since that's so general, we have had themes from all over the place: comedy, history, spookiness, action, educational — like showing the formation of rose rocks or Oklahoma weather," Provine said. "There are so many aspects of Oklahoma culture that it may be a long while before we start to overlap. One thing that stands out, which may be comics or may be part of the helpful Sooner Spirit, is heroism as our characters work hard to help each other out."
Provine says that work is already underway on the next issue, which will release in November.
"We're constantly growing, including three new stands in Garage restaurants on the northwest side of Oklahoma City," Provine said. "People are emailing regularly to ask about how they can get a few copies in their own shops and eateries."
A list of locations for Okie Comics is available at https://okiecomics.com/where-to-find-us/