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ERIC GRISSOM and CLAIRE CONNELLY have known each other since before they entered the realm of comic book making. Once they created their comics and ended up on in neighboring booths at a small comic con, they struck up a closer friendship. It was Eric’s public post on Tumblr looking for an artist for a small project and Claire replied, striking up their partnership.

Claire was a rebellious art student who argued with some teachers, but still had the talent to exceed in the skills needed. She balances her art life between comics and commercial graphic design. Eric, on the other hand, didn’t major in art but took a few classes.


Claire had a character called The Forgotten King already; when Eric said they have to do something inspired by The Legend of Zelda, they came up with a story together. They divided up the tasks of the story’s big picture, characters to appear, design, and then writing the actual poetic verse.

THE MARK is a dark fairy tale about Hilda, an animal trapper, who goes through the forest and needs firewood. She cuts a branch from a sacred tree that her people have ruled should not be touched. Hilda is cursed and the mark of the tree appears on her. When she goes back to her village, people are afraid and she’s banished.

“It’s my first time doing a Kickstarter. It’s been three days and I feel like I’ve aged ten years.” Eric Grissom

Eric discussed how he doesn’t feel his creator-owned work is what publishers would consider marketable. This is his first Kickstarter, but Claire’s done a few for her own books.

THE MARK will be a hardcover storybook, not a comic. It’s a great book for adults to read to kids; the poetic verse might be a bit challenging for young readers on their own.

As long as the Kickstarter goal is reached, they’ll have enough stock leftover after fulfilling the backer rewards to sell them in other places. If for some reason, it doesn’t reach goal, they’ll work on a digital distribution plan.

Once THE MARK is out there in the world, Claire and Eric still have other projects on their To-Do lists including another installment of ANIMALS.

We got pretty Jerseycentric brainstorming ways to make board games like CLUE customized for New Jersey. Like the previous episode with Howie Noel, we talked about the need to redesign the Jersey Devil.

“I can have this cookie. At least I’m not addicted to heroin.” Claire Connelly


Claire on Twitter @ckconnellydraws
Eric at
The Mark information

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