Coming Soon: Regents Walk, is a comic series told in 12 chapters, beginning in 1987 and ending in 2000. It follows 12 kids as they grow up over 12 years of school, small town life, and their own unique struggles. Each chapter takes place in its own month and each story is a vignette in the much larger, and familiar, journey into adulthood. While each story is simple, the world in which they occur is complex and intricate, filled with years-long arcs, a web of relationships, and local legends.
The comic takes place, for the most part, in a small fictional Oregon town called Widow’s Perch, in Willamette Valley. With a population of around 15,000 and hundreds of named characters, we will be seeing a sizable margin of its inhabitants, and whether they are children or adults, they all grow and change. Some move away while others move in. Families break apart and reform. Friendships end as others are created. Widow’s Perch is a dynamic, very alive town; even if it is past its prime.
While the 80’s and 90’s experience their retro resurgences and those decades’ children begin to take commanding positions on the world stage, Regents Walk also gleefully takes a look back at the times in which those adults were younger, working in popular media and the culture of those times into the story-telling. Widow’s Perch is a microcosm of America during those years, existing as a sheltered place that remains connected to the bigger world and has a variety of people and backgrounds. But the comic is not meant only for the millennial set, as its central themes of growing up among others who will have memories of a shared childhood’s events, movies, shows, music, toys, games, and celebrities remain universal. These were the times of the early internet, the golden age of Nickelodeon, Nintendo vs. Sega wars, and the original films, made before their remakes!
Note that this comic may be about kids at first, but they do become teenagers. And they’re also surrounded by adults. So expect some mature themes and occasional strong language.
The Short Stories
Written by Ian Dean and with special montage comic pages illustrated by M. Dean, the Short Stories are narratives like their comic counterparts. They follow the other 12 kids that are in the first chapter’s first grade class, known as the “Shadows” (it only sounds ominous). These tales are a little shorter and simpler overall, but expand on the world in their own ways, and use the medium of classic text-based storytelling to provide a different take at how these characters perceive their small town’s place and events. The stories go by the same rules as the comic; 12 years, 12 months. They take place before or after each comic chapter, and prelude or conclude various plot lines.
Posted respectively, before or after a comic chapter, these stories contribute quite a bit to the central arcs and Widow’s Perch background. Characters in the main comic may mention and be affected by events from the stories, and vice versa. They also allow us to share some happenings that maybe wouldn’t work as well in a comic’s style of pacing. So you’ll definitely want to check them out!
Ian: Writer, Editor, Web
When I was ten years old or so, there was probably a Saturday where I played some The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past or SimCity 2000, had dinner at Pizza Hut and maybe scored some Book It points, and then later watch some Saturday Night Nick (SNICK). But I’m not trying to make a point here.
The idea for Regents Walk might’ve started when I was in 5th grade and had a thought about making a series of some kind about kids coming home on their school bus everyday, and simply talking about their lives. That idea lingered in my mind for many years, at some point expanding into an ongoing story that takes place solely in a school. That was the original setting in the very early planning stages of our comic, but thankfully my sister easily convinced me to have it be set throughout the whole town, though the schools still have a major presence. Bits of our combined childhoods are spread across the story. I was mostly like Adrian as a kid, but I like to think much less annoying, and more creative.
Other than our comic projects, which we’ve been making together since 2007, I’m a photographer and novel author. Although I’m currently in editing mode, I will have some big releases coming up.
If you’re an Earthbound/Mother fan, our first comic can be viewed and downloaded here.
When I start pushing my novels again, I’ll write all about them in this space.
M: Illustrator, Writer
I was born in 1992. So by the time I was aware of the 90’s, they were over. And I don’t think anyone really wants to talk about the aughts. Now, besides living la vida loca, I make two webcomics (the other being The Girl Who Flew Away, both written and illustrated by me) and whatever else I have time to make, whether it’s freelance or just more comics.