Jeff Nicholson

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Jeff Nicholson (born October 5, 1962) is an American comic book writer, artist and self-publisher, known primarily for his work on Ultra Klutz, Through the Habitrails, Father & Son, and Colonia. Attended high school at Olympic High, Concord, California. Relocated to the Sierra-Nevadas in 1979 and began college at age 16.

Publishing as Klutz Enterprizes (1981-1985, Chico, California) Nicholson created black and white comics with influences ranging from Mad Magazine, underground comix, Jack Kirby and Dave Sim. These include a self-published 1981 Ultra Klutz underground comic distributed by Last Gasp, and five issues of Ultra Klutz and Other Tales, a photocopy zine which was sold through the mail and later to comic book distributors and retail stores.[1] Also during this time Nicholson created about 80 pages of material published by other small press photocopy zines, later compiled in the Nicholson’s Small Press Tirade anthology (1994).

Publishing as Onward Comics (1986-1991, Chico, California) Nicholson repackaged the Ultra Klutz photocopy zines into a standard format self-published comic book with international distribution. Ultra Klutz #1(June 1986) was released at the height of the black and white boom and sold 18,000 copies. The series continued monthly with new material in issue #6 and beyond, as well as reprints from the small press photocopy days, and contributions from other small press comics artists like Steve Willis, Ted Bolman and Sam Henderson.[2] Sales declined as the black and white boom busted and the series went bi-monthly with issue #24 and later to sporadic releases ending with issue #31(May 1991). As Ultra Klutz waned Nicholson made a major career shift with Through the Habitrails, a series of surreal dark humored short stories about life on-the-job in the corporate and creative world, based on working as an illustrator for a newspaper and graphic design house in the late 1980s to supplement his comics publishing.[3] The series was published in four volumes of Stephen R. Bissette’s Taboo anthology, alongside Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s From Hell series. One installment, "Escape #2: The Dry Creek Bed," gained Nicholson his first Eisner Award nomination for Best Short Story in 1993.[4]

Publishing as Bad Habit Press (1992-1998, Chico\Petaluma, California) Nicholson continued self-publishing with Nicholson’s Small Press Tirade, Lost Laughter #1-4 (an Ultra Klutz sequel), Through the Habitrails (collecting the entire series of previously published and unpublished material in 1994 plus 1996 enhanced edition), and Ultra Klutz Book One (collecting the first 24 issues). During this time he also contributed comics to established publishers with Father & Son #1-4 (Kitchen Sink Press) a generation gap comic about baby boomers vs. gen-x, No Regrets (Caliber Press) and The Dreaming #15 (DC Comics / Vertigo). Father & Son received an Eisner Award nomination for Best Limited Series and Nicholson was nominated for Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition in 1996.[5] The Dreaming #15 received a nomination for Best Single Issue in 1998.[6]

Publishing as Colonia Press (1998-2005, San Francisco, California) Nicholson launched Colonia, an all-ages fantasy adventure series influenced by Jeff Smith and Linda Medley. The unique spin on the series was the setting in the New World with real geography and alternative history considerations, unlike the generic pseudo-Europe of most middle age or renaissance fantasy. The series lasted from Colonia #1 (October 1998) which boasted sales of 3,000 copies initially and 5,000 in total, to Colonia #11 (November 2004) where sales declined to the 1,100 mark. Also During this time Nicholson published Father & Son Special #1, Ultra Klutz Dreams, and the collections Ultra Klutz Book Two and Father & Son Sell-Out. San Francisco based publisher AiT/Planet Lar issued the compilations Colonia Book One and Colonia Book Two. DC / Vertigo compiled The Dreaming #15 into Through the Gates of Horn and Ivory. Colonia received two Eisner Award nominations: Best New Series and Best Title for a Younger Audience in 1999.[7]

After 2005 Nicholson retired from comics and created animated 'Father & Son' cartoons.[8]

References

  1. fatherandsontoon.com bibliography
  2. fatherandsontoon.com small press tirade
  3. fatherandsontoon.com Jeff Nicholson chronology
  4. Comic Book Awards Almanac 1993 nominees
  5. Comic Book Awards Almanac 1996 nominees
  6. Comic Book Awards Almanac 1998 nominees
  7. Comic Book Awards Almanac 1999 nominees
  8. fatherandsontoon.com cartoons

External links

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