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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Webcomics Correspondent: Bucko!

Posted by Ben Coleman on Thu, Apr 26, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Why look, it's another fine edition of the Mercury's Webcomics Correspondent. There's been two of these so far, so round three must be the tiebreaker. We're operating on Street Fighter rules, right? To mix things up, this week features the audacious pairing of Erika Moen and Jeff Parker and their serial adventure comic Bucko. It’s that “totally Portland” hipster comic that your friend from another state and/or mom told you about that one time. But there’s more to Bucko than just hipster references. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of those. But that's not all Bucko is. And anyway, if you’re not used to the occasional hipster reference by now I don’t know what to do with you.

2012-03-15theend.jpg
  • Jeff Parker + Erika Moen


Dark Horse will be publishing the entire run in a handsome hardcover edition this September, featuring “a four page bonus story about the Juggalette's origins, an epilogue comic, a step-by-step guide to how a page would get created, some guest artwork.” Everything’s still online now for you to peruse, though. After the jump: peruse we shall, with the help of artist Erika Moen's commentary on her favorite pages.

Disclaimer 1: The comic proper is NSFW, depending of course on how your work views cartoon nudity and strong talk.

Disclaimer 2: About half of these pages come from late in the story, so proceed at your own spoiler risk.

Bucko is a tale of murder, alternative transportation, and one man's quest to land a pretty decent threesome. A colorful cast of characters appears along the way, as they occasionally will. Sharp eyed readers will spot a number of character cameos (fans of Paul Guinan & Anina Bennett's Boilerplate and Dylan Meconis' Family Man will be particularly well served) and beloved Portland locals.

But like most adventure serials, it's really best to just dive in and see where it takes you. For those of you who like to skip ahead (or have already finished), Erika was gracious enough to pass along her favorite pages.


This might be my favorite page of script in the whole thing— I love the two cops interacting with each other and the dude-cop's determination to get a free lunch as payment for having to put up with another clueless person taking up his time at work. And, obviously, the PSA about having a successful threesome.

No bike shop you know, Im sure.

Before starting Bucko, I really, really avoided backgrounds as much as I could, so for this project I resolved to really push myself and draw some mother-effin' backgrounds. This page is a bit busy, I know, but I'm really proud of how nicely all the backgrounds came out. We don't ever specifically say that Bucko is set in Portland, but if you're from here it's super obvious and I feel like these backgrounds do the city justice.

100% middle school.

That first panel is one of the best things I drew in the whole story. The final panel required that I search Google for the wrestling move "Suplex", which I'd never heard of until Parker wrote it into the script. So that was fun.


This was all you wanted, wasnt it.

This page is probably the strongest composition in the whole book, and that is because Parker laid it out for me and all I did was draw on top of his sketch. Which was super fun! Parker knows his shit and I learned a ton working with him. This page is a perfect amalgamation between the two of us: his layout and my style on top. FUN FOR EVERYONE.

Everything is Illuminated.

I'm really happy with my inking on the bushes and grass here. I still need to work on dramatic lighting for figures, but still. Them bushes. Fun Fact: Steve Lieber inked in the police car and a sidewalk!


So there we have it: Juggalettes, sweet wrestling moves, bike store jokes, picturesque Portland backdrops and a little 1940's "man on the run" vibe. It's art that may or may not imitate your life to the extent that your mom seems to think, but it's a ripping tale all the same, and worth checking out. Parker and Moen will also be appearing at a Dark Horse Originals panel at this weekend's Stumptown Comics Fest, on Saturday at 5 pm.

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