Collecting Whatnot: In Lieu of an Introduction

Today, I’m releasing my small book Whatnot to the world. At thirty-two pages, it’s chapbook- or zine-length. The collection is new, and it’s my debut as a self-published author, but its contents aren’t exactly new—though they’re probably new to you.

For about a year between 2008 and 2009, I wrote a blog post almost every day on my blog Whatnot Studios.* However, I rarely posted about my personal life, and instead mostly wrote very short stories and drew pictures and comics. By the end of that almost-year, I’d ultimately made around 200 short narratives in word and image.

Whatnot is a collection I’ve been thinking about making for years, a selection of nine stories and thirteen drawings that I’ve deemed as my best from that time, and slightly before (“Derek and the Shadows” and “Mike Was Going to Kill a Dude” were first written in 2004 and 2006, respectively).

Is this something of a vanity project? Oh, hell yes. Still, in mercilessly paring down the size of the collection, I hope I’ve curated a bizarre, quirky collection that might touch a small audience in some small way.

Each of the stories in Whatnot have been extensively edited and some have more or less been rewritten from their original posted forms (particularly “Mike Was Going to Kill a Dude,” the longest story in the collection at six pages). The comics have been left alone, though those in color have been re-tinted for monochrome publication in the paperback edition.

I’ve greatly enjoyed putting Whatnot together, and it’s inspired me to spend more time writing fiction and drawing. I’m tentatively planning to assemble a new collection for publication around this time next year. Perhaps a little longer. Perhaps a mixture of new material with a few pieces that just missed the cut for this volume. Probably not called Whatnot (I’ve reach my maximum on things I’ve called “Whanot,” perhaps).

I want to thank just two of the many people I could thank: First and foremost, Rachel Anderson, my partner in life, who read over this manuscript for me, is the best human being I know, and inspires me to be a better person in this world. Then, William C. Stewart for being such a great friend for over two decades, the number-one supporter/enabler of my creative endeavors over that time, and a frequent collaborator and co-conspirator.

My release of this book is a little different from most. Because more than anything else, I want people to have access to my work, I’m releasing it for free as a PDF here on, where if you enjoy my games, I hope you'll enjoy my book. It's also available as a paperback through Amazon for $5.95--a little pricey for such a short book, but if you enjoy it, it's a great way to show your support.

I hope you enjoy the book.


*I started with seven blog posts a week, but later went down to weekdays. This was part of a mutual challenge between my good friend William C. Stewart and myself. William did the same thing with his blog—I think he lasted a little longer than me. Both of our blogs have since been taken offline. 

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