I was very excited a couple days ago, looking at the nominees for this year's Ignatz Awards, hoping there'd be a fun surprise, a friend or artist whose work I really like being nominated. Or maybe Achewood wouldn't get nominated for best online comic, and someone else could win for a change. Well, I wasn't disappointed (besides the fact that Achewood in fact was NOT nominated), as in the Promising New Talent category, tucked in the middle was the name Ed Luce.
I personally have never met Ed Luce, but his work was an influence on mine early on, as he and I share in the history of the Untouchable Leader Lampoon. The Leader Lampoon is the comics & humor section of SUNY Fredonia's school newspaper. While a student at Fredonia, I was a regular contributor to the Lampoon, and in my Junior Year became the editor, a title I held until I graduated from Fredonia in 2001. When I first got to Fredonia, the Editor was a Senior, Chris Bishop. He took me under his wing as a cartoonist, and made me fall in love with large areas of black from the tips of sharpies. Following Chris' editorial tenure, Rich Fancher took over for a year, and then I got to take up the mantel.
The Lampoon (which earned its "Untouchable" status my Freshman year, after Chris "dodged" a lawsuit for one of his comics), is one of the only papers from a SUNY school that had an active comics section. Other SUNY papers that would come in to our office often had syndicated strips the papers would buy to print in their pages. Usually they could only afford one strip. The Leader Lampoon sometimes had FOUR whole pages of comics, by tons of students from a variety of majors, and points of view.
As an editor, I actually had a desk -the one right by the door, what were they thinking?!- and access to the filing cabinets full of old issues of the Leader from years past. I used to spend hours, when I should have been drawing mine and Kevin Sciretta's first comics collaboration, SUPERFANTASTIQUE, reading through the old Lampoons from long before I arrived on campus.
That was where I first found the comics of Ed Luce. I definitely remember the name, and that I really liked his stuff, though I can't now be sure what his work was. I do remember a strip I'd like to think was his, a very surreal comic that involved photocopied characters, such as a photograph of a fish, and maybe a distiller? Now I think I'm making things up.
Ed's newer project, Wuvable Oaf comics is in its infancy, issues zero and one have been self published, and it's pretty awesome. It follows the comedic hijinks of members of a gay bear community, the title character truly being a wuvable oaf, who runs a home for wayward cats. The art is fantastic, and the humor is top notch. Ed is certainly deserving of the Ignatz nomination.
I'm really excited a fellow Leader Lampooner has been nominated for an Ignatz. Go Blue Devils!