The Zone

Among my works, Welcome To The Zone is the redheaded stepchild, a book even people who say they are big fans haven’t read. Cursed in its timing, the book was acquired by Kitchen Sink right around the time it was taking over the list of a far larger comics publisher that was going out of business, and it got somewhat lost in the shuffle editorially as a result. By the time it appeared in 1995, Kitchen Sink itself was on its last legs, I was too preoccupied by my move from New York to Portland to do much in the way of promotion, and the book was quickly remaindered.

For years I have been patiently waiting for the trickle of fans at conventions who say nice things to me about Welcome To The Zone to grow into a mighty cult demanding to see it back in print; in the meantime I offer this xeroxed minicomic precursor from 1989, originally drawn as part of Madi’s Mail Club, a series of booklets put out by East Village zinester Madi Horstman.

1989

The basic situation is the same in both versions- a musician pasting up flyers at night and the encounters he has- but readers will notice a number of differences: the winter setting was changed to muggy summer, the mutant-looking Toehead became a more human figure based on King Missile frontman John S. Hall, and the crew of do-gooders forcibly feeding the homeless morphed from school kids in Guardian Angel berets led by a nun in overalls to the freakish trio of Invert, Shroom and Mugg (who later became my interlocutor in Perspective!). I also added a multitude of new characters and additional plots as well as a climax based on the Tompkins Square riot- but you’ll have to see for yourself, gentle reader. The 1995 version is out of print but widely available, for example, on Amazon.

1995
1995