Yeti graphic novel, 1981
As kids grow up, few things are as fascinating as animals. Your boundaries are forced to constantly expand as you learn more about the other forms of life that share our planet. They grow increasingly exotic, and their number never seems to end. Then you learn about extinct life, the dinosaurs and prehistoric mammals, and the momentum accelerates. You wonder what else there could be. Then you get introduced to cryptozoology.
Animals we know about are one thing. Mystery creatures that dwell in the shadowy places, resisting every effort to be found and tamed by science, challenge every assumption we make. At ten years old, we absolutely KNOW Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster exist. We know it with every ounce of certitude we once devoted to Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. They are out there. Waiting in the dark to GET you.
If you draw, and you have a vivid imagination, you pass through a phase where they dominate your every waking thought. In some cases, you never leave that phase.
I plunged into this graphic novel at 15 years old, setting out to create the best Abominable Snowman story ever told, direct a horror movie on paper (with no adult relationship experience), and play with a different storytelling format. Did all comic book pages have to have the same kind of panel layouts? I didn’t think so. I still don’t.
There was no script and no advance planning, just a general idea of what was going to happen. That made it as suspenseful for me as anyone who would read it. At the time, that was just a couple of friends in my high school. But now you are all my friends. Please enjoy my horror movie. (And keep in mind that John Carpenter’s The Thing didn’t come out until 1982.)