Hardcase McCorman follows the adventures of the titular detective, a rough, gruff P.I. investigating criminal activity in the magical land of New Yaga City. Story arcs are based on fairy-tales and legends re-imagined as cases Hardy must solve.
Unlike the sane way you’re supposed to write a comic (or most stories for that matter), Hardcase McCorman has no real script, no intensive planning, and no thumbnails. Instead, the content of pages, scenes, and even panels are decided primarily by what’s drawn from a special “Storytelling Deck”, and it’s my job to make sure this furshlugginer comic still has a coherent narrative and solid mystery!
There’s no one reason for how Hardcase McCorman came about. It’s essentially the product of two different classes I took during my senior year at the School of Visual Arts.
In 2012, I got an assignment from David Mazzucchelli requiring me to tell the story of Little Red Riding Hood, using a “storytelling deck” of his own design to dictate the flow of the narrative.
Aside from where I began, he required that every panel and scene was based on whatever card was drawn from the deck.
I got really engaged and pencilled up to eleven pages for the initial assignment. Unfortunately, I had to turn my attention to the rest of my workload once the project was complete.
In 2013, I was about to take Meredith Gran’s webcomic class, but doubted the initial idea I had. Originally, I wanted to do a simple gag-a-week comic. Something done in a far more minimalist style than what I usually did, and a style of humor that was more awkward and quiet compared to the usual bawdy comedy I had done before.
I liked it well enough, and thought it would be a good way to experiment in a style I wasn’t used to writing or drawing, but I wasn’t quite satisfied.
Walking home one day, I kept thinking of the Red Riding Hood comic, how I wanted to end it, what other cases the protagonist might investigate, how I could turn those into mysteries…
And then it hit me.
I had a solid reason to go back to a concept I already enjoyed the hell out of, and I essentially had an endless source of material. I decided to keep telling the story with Mazzucchelli’s deck as a way to challenge myself and keep the comic spontaneous. While I would plan out ideas for how certain things go down, getting to them would rely entirely on the heart of the cards.
With that said, I hope you enjoy Hardcase McCorman!