For the past six months, "Forever 16" has had a pretty good run as a comic strip. But really, all my best ideas for my characters end up manifesting themselves in the form of longer stories that can't possibly be contained in a daily four-panel narrative. And without a doubt, the story I'm most eager to tell is the one about Jocelyn's introduction into Aaron's garage band, and the wedge her presence drives between Aaron and Steve. This story is set in the summer of 1994, against the backdrop of Joel's efforts to organize a massive road trip to Saugerties, New York to attend Woodstock '94. And as I've turned the whole thing over and over in my head for the past few years, I realize I can't possibly confine it to a series of comic strips - really, it feels more like a movie.
But getting an animated movie made these days is absolute hell. Instead, I'd much rather turn it into a graphic novel. I'll be attending Anime Boston this year, where I'll be shopping my portfolio around to whoever I can get to look at it, and should I get picked up by a real live comic book company, this is the story I want to tell first. I even redesigned the characters in an image better befitting a teenage garage band from the mid-'90s - dirty, unkempt, and ready to rock the fuck out.
To make this piece feel more like a movie poster, I added voice actor credits. The actors I've included are the real voices I keep in mind whenever I write my characters. For those who don't know, here's "who does what voice":
Aaron - Will Friedle
Steve - Jason Mewes
Jocelyn - Alecia Beth Moore (a.k.a. Pink)
Joel - Jonah Hill
Michelle - Ellen Wong
Abby - America Ferrera
Katy - Ashley Tisdale
Ashleigh - Jenna Von Oy
There are other voices I have in mind, to be sure, but those are the characters who figure most prominently in this story.