I have been a silent blogger, but I have been working. I will post some updates of work on SHIRTLIFTER #5 later this weekend. I have been much better about posting updates to Facebook though, so if you like my page over there you can see some of the work I have been doing on #5 as I post them.
The reason for this post is to call your attention to the anthology QU33R, edited by the fabulous Robert Kirby and published by Zan at Northwest Press (paper copies and downloads available here. Nestled in among the selections by 33 great queer cartoonists is my short story “Vacant Lots”, which happens to be the first work I have completed and published since 2011. The long hiatus was due to my pondering whether or not I was going to continue doing comics. Managing to complete “Vacant Lots” should make clear which side of the question I have come down on.
Response to the anthology has been great, with a number of reviewers mentioning my piece specifically:
Consider Steve Macisaac’s “Vacant Lots,” which is a tour de force of storytelling. Everything about it is pitch perfect: the pointed dialogue, the spare and direct line work, the colors, the characters. As you flip through the book, this story hits you with one violent page facing one docile page. It’s these two beefy guys and you’re instantly curious to find out how they could be in a bloody death match on one page and, just one page over, be engaged in demure conversation in the produce aisle. Was it something he said about the bell peppers that set the other guy off? – Henry Chamberlain, Comics Grinder
Another strong autobiographical entry is ‘Vacant Lots’ by Steve MacIsaac, in which the artist returns to his home town and sees one of his former school bullies in the supermarket. After reliving the past and indulging momentarily in a fantasy of violent retribution, he concludes that living well is the best revenge.- Tom Murphy, Broken Frontier
I was also deeply moved by Steve MacIssac‘s [sic], “Vacant Lots,” a story of coming back to his hometown, a completely different guy than he left, and seeing how life had changed those who motivated him to become who he is. (Oddly, enough, my mother just brought up one of the two people who function the same way in my life. It’s always bizarre when Mom mentions her, because she remembers I didn’t like her, but not that she emotionally tortured me for years, or that I have long, long ago let it go. All that is left is Mom’s memory that I didn’t like her that she always has to remind me about it.) – Erica Friedman, Yuricon
Steve MacIsaac contributes a winner about the haunting memories of hometown, and how those can shape our adult personalities.- Justin Giampaoli, Thirteen Minutes
Steve MacIsaac’s “Vacant Lots” a story about a man who comes home and encounters a boy who bullied him in school, is one of my faves of the volume. The art’s good, and the story seems to go one way, but goes in another direction instead, one I rather appreciated. – Wolfen Moondaughter, Sequential Tart
There’s also an insightful story about the appeal and perils of exacting revenge on a high-school gay-bashing tormentor (Steve MacIsaac’s “Vacant Lots”) and a poetic meditation on past loves (Rick Worley’s “For Fletch and Ruski, Spooner, and Calico”).-Roberto Friedman, Bay Area Reporter
Last but not least among the top stories in “QU33R” is Steve MacIsaac’s “Vacant Lots,” which touches on going back to one’s hometown as an adult and encountering a face from the past. MacIsaac’s story infuses revenge fantasy with the understanding of how the world actually works, and that balance between desire and understanding what’s right hits a strong emotional resonance. It doesn’t hurt that MacIsaac’s always been an excellent artist; he understands how to draw large people both as strong and merely big, and he’s another comic creator from whom I’m always eager to see new contributions. –Greg McElhaton, Comics Book Resources
QU33R is available through enlightened comic book shops, bookstores, and Northwest Press.