When Sean McKeever looks back at 2002, he'll undoubtedly see it as a year in which he not only gained a lot of recognition with mainstream fans, but also was able to complete a lot of life long dreams. From contributing to the Spider-Man universe with an issue of "Spider-Girl" to launching ComicsMover.Com, McKeever has been doing what he wanted in 2002 and his latest project, "Looking At the Front Door," epitomizes his efforts during the last year. The mini-comic is available exclusively through McKeever's Web site and he was happy to discuss the one-shot with CBR News.
"'LATFD' is the story of a guy stuck in a stressful relationship," explains McKeever. "He lives with his girlfriend who is very demeaning and demanding of him and he's plotting to bolt...eventually. The title is actually based on an old rap song of the same name by Main Source. I just always really liked the song and felt it had the seed for a good short-form comics drama."
Those who are even vaguely familiar with McKeever's work will notice something about this story that is quite different from his other work- a lack of teenagers. McKeeever says that he likes writing people of all ages, gender and race, but that he won't be far from his old stomping ground either. "It was great to write twenty-somethings, and I'd like to do more of that. But, no, it looks like I'll be writing a whole lot more teens in the near future."
Like all of his work, "LATFD" is a finite story and McKeever explains that he simply feels that the stories he writes work better that way. "I like closed-endng stories in that I'm usually writing something to communicate a point, and there's nothing like the final act of a story to drive the point home. I just like trying to come up with appropriate or cool endings to stories. Also, it forces me to be more economical in my storytelling when I know I only have x pages to get the whole point across. From a financial standpoint, when doing small press work, it's intimidating enough just to put out a single book that may or may not do well, so you can imagine how intimidating an open-ended series could be."
The point that McKeever is trying to communicate is multi-layered and he's not about to give it away to readers before they read the comic, but he will explain some of the themes in the book, particularly the idea that people have to remember not to "lose that moment" in all relationships which makes the two people remember why they love each other. "I don't want to give too much away, since it is only a 16-page book, but..." says McKeever reluctantly. "I think what you've tapped into is a fascinating aspect of relationships. I see old couples just bitching each other out all the time, but you know that they're together for a reason, and that they were happy once. But the title implies that in these types of relationships there's a sort of silent urgency from one or both of the partners to gather up enough fuel to reach escape velocity."
Always a modest gentleman, McKeever is hesitant to say if "Looking At The Front Door" represents a growth in his writing talents, even though he does say he is quite proud of the finished product. "Gosh, I don't know. I guess it's up to readers to determine how--or even IF!--I've grown as a writer."
With "Looking At The Front Door" bearing the Signal Comics logo, one would reasonably wonder about the origins of the company and some have already concluded it's another brainchild of that highly motivated McKeever. "Signal is just me, essentially," admits the scribe. "It's an imprint I created to do minicomics. I've romanticized for years about the idea of doing quality minicomics, and I had a hole in my schedule so I decided I'd write a 16-page drama for a local artist to illustrate. It just so happens that local artist Tom Williams was standing around when I was thinking aloud about it at The Laughing Ogre here in Columbus, and he thought it would be cool.
"I hope to do more of these in the future, with the idea being they'll all be 16-pagers by local artists, written by me, and debuting at comics conventions. I'll also distribute the books to retailers who contact me through my site or who order through ComicsMover.com. I'm currently also looking into having Cold Cut carry the line."
Besides the collaboration with Darwyn Cooke in "Marvel Double Shot #3" that's in stores on January 3rd, McKeever says he has a lot of projects lined up and laughingly threatens fans. "A lot of things are coming! I'm convinced that people will be thoroughly sick of me by the end of 2003. Nothing I can report on yet, but some pretty big stuff, starting in April."
In the same vein, McKeever also jokingly says that he hopes fans keep enjoying his comic books because… he isn't going anywhere.
"I hope you keep reading 'em, because I'm gonna keep making 'em!"