Last week we concluded “The Misadventures of Mr. Stiffens: The Case of the Scratch ‘n Sniff.” Hope you enjoyed it.
The collected book will be published later this fall.
We’re hoping to get some support for the series, so we can afford to bring you more from the Stiffens universe.
Just a little background...
Harvey Stiffens started in a hybrid short story/comic book/poetry collection called, “Stories from Arlington.” Stiffens was basically a bit character in a short sequential story (based on an unpublished poem) called “Rain.” I was intrigued by the idea that Stiffens wasn’t just a small diner owner. When the last dish was washed, the cash register closed, he ran a detective business for those seeking help with the paranormal. And he had some cool friends to aid him: Fargo, the werewolf cop, and Spoken Word, a nightclub owner with magical abilities of his own.
Abel Ramirez was the first to draw Harvey Stiffens, so it made sense to see if he was open to taking on “The Misadventures of Mr. Stiffens” as a serialized comic strip.
Abel and I have collaborated for more than a decade now.
He’s been drawing since his father put a pencil in his hand when he was 5 years old. Abel’s the first children’s books include “Diny Tots” and “Diny Tots and the Hot Air Balloon.” Additionally, he’s the creator of the Pink Crusader, the breast cancer awareness superhero.
Here’s a quick Q & A we recently conducted.
What attracted you most about the idea?
I liked the idea of a sci-fi detective story, but it’s sci-fi related – there’s a werewolf in it, The mishmash. He (Stiffens) looks like a regular Joe Schmo who runs a diner in the city of Arlington, that’s a crazy town (no pun intended).
What was the most challenge aspect of the comic strip form?
With my busy schedule, time.
Your favorite piece of art from “The Case of the Scratch ‘n Sniff”?
The car exploding scene. It was fun to do and the Leslie Long character made it fun.
Who’s your favorite character from the Stiffens universe?
It would have to Mr. Stiffens. I like Fargo and Spoken Word, but Mr. Stiffens is funny to me. He’s an overweight guy and he does a lot of running around.
Where can readers find more of your work?
Sure, this is goodbye for now. But we hope to see you soon.
Thanks for flying the trans-dimensional divide with us. It was fun.
CORNELIUS FORTUNE is a Detroit-based journalist, writer and poet. His work has appeared in Cinema Blend, iPhone Life Magazine, Yahoo News, the Detroit Metro Times and others. His play, “Dislocations,” was featured during the Thespis Theater Festival in New York (2014).