Alum Launches Kickstarter To Bring Comic About Post-College Horrors To Life
Alumnus and current Penn State outreach marketing employee Denny Connolly is using Kickstarter to bring the first issue of his comic “Worst Job Ever” to life.
The comic follows Nemo, a character stuck working overnight at a public library, while her friends are heading off to become witches, band managers, and astronauts. Her job is not what it seems, however, as she battles monsters, spirits, and nihilistic philosophers attempting to break their way out of novels.
The adventure fantasy comic tackles dead-end jobs and the exploration of the horrors that come with post-college life. It was originally written as a five-issue miniseries, and Connolly says he hopes to leave behind characters that can be revisited in future stories.
The idea for the comic stems from Connolly’s experiences after leaving Penn State. Although his background was in education, Connolly quickly realized that being a classroom teacher wasn’t the job for him.
After one year of teaching, Connolly started to work at a comic book store and finally felt at home. Even though he felt confident in his decision to work at the comic store, Connolly worried about how he was viewed by others who were “traditionally successful.”
“‘Worst Job Ever’ plays around a lot with that idea of feeling like you’re being left behind while other people do great things,” Connolly said. “But in the end, all jobs matter and have value and I want these characters to help readers feel that away about whatever it is they do.”
Connolly has been writing and drawing comics since 2009. His work has ranged from adventure titles to daily autobiographical comics and has appeared in both small press anthologies and literary journals. Connolly is also currently working on an ongoing comic, “Making Weight,” about high school sports and weight loss.
Connolly wrote the script for “Worst Job Ever” himself and is teaming up with Sloane Leong, who is handling art and colors.
Leong is a self-taught cartoonist who explores themes such as identity, spirituality, and mental illness to promote kindness and a better future. Her most famous work, “Prism Stalker,” has put her in the spotlight and helped establish her name in the comic world.
“Even though the style of Worst Job Ever is more lighthearted than [Sloane’s] other books, I knew she was a versatile enough artist to pull it off,” Connolly said.
Also joining the creative team is Carolyn Nowak who wrote Dark Horse’s latest Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic, “Buffy’s New School Nightmare.” Nowak is also an Ignatz Award-winning cartoonist and author of “Girl Town.”
“I knew I wanted to work with female or non-binary artists since the core cast is full of women and non-binary identifying people,” Connolly said. “I felt like a female or non-binary artist could help bring truth to these characters that would be more authentic than if the creative team were totally male.”
The script is already complete, so the goal of the Kickstarter is to help pay the creative team as well as cover printing and postage so that the story can be published by next February. The current goal is $3,700, with $3,018 already pledged. The campaign ends Friday, August 10.
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