Nathan Schreiber characterizes his serialized graphic novel Power Out as a "quiet epic," contrasting an intimate story with sweeping scope and massive phenomena. But quietly epic also describes the splash this award-winning cartoonist is making in the world of comics. Meet Schreiber at True Believers Comics and Gallery on March 30.
Power Out is described as a quirky, contemporary take on Hansel and Gretel. The comic tells the coming-of-age story of a teenage brother and sister separated from their parents after a military evacuation of their New England suburb during a mysterious, extended blackout of the Eastern seaboard.
"It's like a disaster scenario but not written like a disaster movie," Schreiber tells SFR. "There's no crack team of scientists. It's just a massive, mysterious phenomenon that goes on for a very long time."
Schreiber won the 2009 Xeric Award for Power Out, a grant given to the most promising emerging comic book authors by Peter Laird, the original creator of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
The True Believers event marks the debut of Power Out's third chapter for purchase in print form, preceding its official premiere at the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art in New York City on April 9. Schreiber greets fans, signs and does sketches in books and discusses both Power Out and self-publishing comics in general.
Schreiber published the first two chapters of Power Out last year, with the fourth and final projected for release this December. The decision to publish in chunks rather than waiting for the entire graphic novel to be finished was deliberate.
"Part of me sees the advantage of waiting until I get the whole thing done," Schreiber says. "But then you're toiling alone, not having any contact with anyone looking at your work. There's a lot of good aspects to having dynamic feedback."
But Schreiber has no intention for Power Out to stand as the final culmination of his career—far from it.
"I have 100 ideas for stories. It's just a matter of when I'm going to do them," Schreiber says. "It takes a 12-hour day to draw, ink, letter and color a page and that's not even counting the writing aspect of it. That's tough. But I'll still be making comics no matter what."
Nathan Schreiber Book Signing
True Believers Comics and Gallery
801 Cerrillos Road