About Ohio Is For Sale
(Read about the current work-in-progress here. )
Ohio Is For Sale is a comic I started in 2012 based on some characters I invented back in high school. I serialized a bunch of self-published issues before it got picked up by Alternative Comics, and later Iron Circus.
Ohio Is For Sale is the title of the first collection and also the name of the whole overall universe, like the way there are a lot of different Star Trek movies and shows and stuff, but it’s all still also just Star Trek. Anyway, Ohio Is For Sale is a bunch of loosely connected stories about a group of animal people in their twenties and teens who are themselves loosely connected to each other by proximity, temperament, or a shared inability to overcome their own personal failings and make something of themselves. The characters in these stories are hapless losers, hopeless dreamers, drunks and druggies.
The whole thing takes place around 1996-97 in a small, made-up town called Piney Bluff in northeastern Ohio. One of the first things people ask me when they see my comics is if I’m from Ohio, and the answer is no, I’m not, I’m from central Connecticut. The Rust Belt itself doesn’t quite run that far east, but the area where I grew up was filled with plenty of abandoned, collapsing factory buildings that I think are sort of emblematic of the post-industrial downward collapse of that whole swath of the country since like the 1970s.
Patrick is the first character to appear in Ohio Is For Sale, and I use him as a way to express my own creative ambitions and frustrations. He’s an aspiring writer who hasn’t accomplished much of anything, and he worries that he has nothing to write about and nothing to say. He lives in a dumpy little house on the edge of town with his two friends from high school.
Leonard is one of Patrick’s two housemates. He’s not exactly dumb, but he has kind of a limited way of looking at the world. His dad is an electrician and his family is secretly kind of well-off. When he and Patrick were younger they liked to get into trouble together, but now that they’re a little older, they don’t have much to say to each other anymore. Patrick doesn’t really understand him that well and frankly, neither do I.
Trevor is Patrick’s other housemate and he’s super dumb and maybe slightly insane. In school he was the kind of kid who would eat weird stuff on a dare, or set himself on fire for fun, or leave a dead animal in the teacher’s desk. He’ll probably be dead before he turns thirty.
Julian is another one of Patrick’s friends. He doesn’t really get along with Leonard and Trevor at all, partially because he’s dating Leonard’s sister. He and Patrick became pals when they were always hanging around outside smoking cigarettes in the school parking lot in high school. His dad is the former mayor of Piney Bluff. Julian’s had plenty of opportunities to make something of his life and he’s squandered them all. He’s lazy, parasitic, dishonest and has a mildly concerning drug problem.
Dana is Julian’s girlfriend and Leonard’s older sister. She’s a caring and thoughtful person, but she can also be too trusting for her own good, which makes it easy for Julian to take advantage of her. She lives in a little house that her parents rent for her, and that Julian lives in, mostly rent-free. She hasn’t gotten to star in her own story yet, but hopefully someday she will.
Veronika is Dana’s best friend. After dropping out of college, she moved home in with her parents, and all she wants to do now is get out of there. She studied computer programming and worked doing data entry for a while, but she’s currently unemployed. The new story I'm posting on Instagram is all about how she gets a new job and starts gaining some autonomy. Out of all my characters, she’s probably the smartest.
- Age: 23
- First Appearance: Ohio #5
- Notable Appearance:
- Species: Bear
Matt is Veronika’s boyfriend, and the lead singer in a local death metal band called Carnosphere. He’s kind of gross and kind of a moron, but he knows how to have a good time, for whatever that’s worth.
Camden is Veronika’s younger brother. He lives at home with their parents and goes to Piney Bluff high school. He likes death metal and skateboarding and he’s gay. He has an unreciprocated crush on his straight best friend, Jeremiah.
- Age: 17
- First Appearance: Ohio #6 (You may think you saw him in the background of Ohio #5, but that was Jeremiah’s older brother Kevin, who happened to be in town that night.)
- Notable Appearance: Lonesome Era
- Species: Monkey
Jeremiah is Camden’s best friend. While Camden is quiet and studious, Jeremiah is a troublemaker and a delinquent. They spend their time hanging around the 7/11, playing video games, and skateboarding.