This piece was a pitch for a serialized New York bar review comic. Aside from the work on Nervosa, it was one of the first complete things I ever made with Barrie Potter. A thing happened to me where I moved to New York with my soon-to-be-boyfriend to be illustrators together. The recession had just hit. I became an illustrator, and he became a dishwasher, then a barback, then a server, and then a bartender at a place in our neighborhood: The Manhattan Inn.
He went on to train Barrie on the same track. Adam is now quite a singular bartender at one of the most well known and respected cocktail bars in Manhattan. But the years these two men spent at the Inn are ones that I will remember as some of the darkest of my adult life, and in the lives of everyone I met there. This place was a vortex of fatalistic hedonism that cheerfully drowned the talent and potential of every person working under its roof. The story of death in the service of drunk brooklynites is eternal. Alcoholic victims were an obsession of Barrie's, and what we wanted here was for our main character to be always trying to solve a mystery that he was too drunk to remember, while allowing our readers to tour new bars and retreading an exhausting social roster of usual suspects.
I'd still make it. Funnier, more stylized, but I would do it. I pitched it to Lucky Peach, The New Yorker, The Times... I pitched it to Vice and was roundly rejected by Nick Gazin, art director and butt blogger. His email to me began "How old are you and where did you go to school?"
There are days when I think I should have sent him a picture of my ass instead.