A World Without Beer…

When the brainwave for a comic about the history of beer crossed my mind, I was seeing a straight history; linear and comprehensive. I was less than a week into brainstorming when I had my second brainwave: the book would be DULL. It needed a twist.

 

As I was doing my research, I discovered what an impact the making and drinking of beer has had on civilization; all way back to the change from a hunter/gatherer culture to an agrarian one. Another eureka hit me and I had my angle! The book became a speculation on what the state of civilization would be if beer had never been created. The concept became “A World Without Beer”

Throughout history, humanity has used beer not just for refreshment but for food and medicine and currency. Many historians belive that the builders of the pyramids were paid in beer! One of the first written laws promised the death penalty, by drowning, for brewers found guilty of watering down their product. On their journeys to the “New World”, the explorers were much more likely to hydrate themselves with beer than with water. In no time I had put together an awesome list of beer related stories and facts.

The potential for fun, fresh, over the top storytelling was clear. I created a narrator who would tell the stories from a bar stool and then tell the story of a world without beer. A world where commerce and science and exploration never really took off and man was still living in a backwards civilization that finally faded into extinction. It was funnier than it sounds but it wasn’t enough to fill a single comic much less a book type format. It was a fun story; it just wasn’t the book that I wanted to write.

So it was back to work brainstorming; figuring out how to make the book more than just a list of amusing information. The book was (slowly) turning into “Rivers of Beer” but I was making a big mistake and setting myself up for a big setback. More soon.

Showing My Work

Why am I blogging about “Rivers of Beer” when I could be putting this time and energy towards actually finishing the book? Mainly to drum up interest. The plan is to raise the funds to publish this thing through Kickstarter or another crowdfunding service and the more asses I can get in the seats in the meantime the better.

Also, I want to share the process of the book as well as the progress. I recently read a great book by Austin Kleon called "Show Your Work". He urges any creator to show bits and pieces of their creative project, as it’s being created, to as many people that will look or listen.

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Showing my work makes me *really* uncomfortable; so it’s probably exactly what I need to be doing. There’s a reason that our brains try to talk us out of showing our work and they’re discussed in Steven Pressfield’s excellent book “The War of Art”. If it wasn’t for “The War of Art” there would probably be no “Rivers of Beer”; I’ll tell that story soon.

 

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www.austinkleon.com

www.stevenpressfield.com

Title ‘Bout?

The title “Rivers of Beer” comes from a proverb I ran across “History flows forward in rivers of beer.” This pretty much nails the angle of the book.

The previous working title was ”The World According to Beer”. Lame and I hated it. I usually pride myself on the titles I come up with for my stuff but this was the best I could do for months.

Over pints, a couple of my buddies gave ‘World According to Beer” a thumbs waaaaay down; as they should have. A couple of weeks later, when I least expected it, the rivers of beer quote found me.

Another working title from early on is “A World Without Beer”. More on that later.

In the meantime; enjoy some possibly evil monks having a possibly evil beer.

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Rivers of Beer

So I’ve written a script for an illustrated book that I’m calling ‘Rivers of Beer”. It’s a look at the impact of beer on society, beyond being a tasty beverage, presented with comics and stand alone illustrations. I love reading comics and I love drinking beer. I also love creating comics. I haven’t taken a shot at brewing beer yet and since I do well to make a pitcher of Kool-Aid this is for the best.

 

I’ve been working on Rivers of Beer for going on a year now. The project has burned through half a dozen titles and even more thematic and stylistic changes. The next step is to round up a crew of cartoonists and bring this thing to life. With that in mind, to wrap things up for now, here’s a taste of the art that my buddy Sean will be contributing; illustrating beer related quotes from notorious faces…


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“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.”

Stick around. As we take the finished book to the next step towards being a reality I’ll be sharing a lot more: art previews, script excerpts, research notes, so on and so forth.

 

plasticfarm
plasticfarm:

23 hours. That how long it took for you guys to fund the NIGHTMARE THE RAT Kickstarter. I should be packing for Baltimore Comic Con, but instead I’m sitting here looking at the screen in wonder and disbelief. I went into this thinking that, realistically, we might reach 100% by the end of the first week. Might. You are all incredible people who have done a wonderful thing.
Thank you.

plasticfarm:

23 hours. That how long it took for you guys to fund the NIGHTMARE THE RAT Kickstarter. I should be packing for Baltimore Comic Con, but instead I’m sitting here looking at the screen in wonder and disbelief. I went into this thinking that, realistically, we might reach 100% by the end of the first week. Might. You are all incredible people who have done a wonderful thing.

Thank you.