Comic courtesy of Will Wilson, who used to provide comics for the Good Five Cent Cigar.
Former Cigar cartoonist Will Wilson received two Eisner Award nominations for his published comic strip collection, “Wallace the Brave.”
The Eisner Awards are given out in the comic industry and are often referred to as the “Oscars of the comic book industry.” “Wallace the Brave” received nominations for Best Publication for Kids ages 9-12 and Best Humor Publication under Wilson’s pen name, Will Henry.
The award ceremony was held at the San Diego Comic-Con in July. Wilson was not in attendance due to a prior family commitment. Although he did not win the categories he was nominated for, Wilson was grateful for the nominations he received.
This comic strip collection features the first 156 comics that ran of the character Wallace and the adventures he goes on in Snug Harbor with his friend Spud and the girl who is new to town, Amelia. The comics are designed for both kids and adults.
“I’m trying to hit that sweet spot where kids like it and parents like it,” Wilson said. “I wanted something where the kids and parents could have a similar experience with the book.”
The storyline of “Wallace the Brave” is centered around what it is like growing up in Rhode Island.
Wilson grew up in Rehoboth, Massachusetts but frequently visited family he had in Matunuck, Rhode Island. He moved to Matunuck when he turned 18 and currently is settled in Jamestown.
The characters are inspired by Wilson’s personal relationships with his family. He says that the character Amelia is based on his sister, Sterling is based on his brother and the parents reflect his own parents.
“It’s all very closely based on my family,” Wilson said. “I wish I had took some more artistic liberties but it’s pretty close to home.”
He sees himself as both Wallace and Spud. Together they represent his two personalities, only taken apart and magnified.
One of his first comics, Ordinary Bill, was featured in a publication of The Good Five Cent Cigar when Wilson was first starting out. Since his publication in the Cigar, Wilson believes that his lettering and coloring skills have improved along with his character development.
Wilson also had comics published in The Narragansett Times, Motif magazine and The Jamestown Press when he was first trying to get published.
Currently, Wilson creates daily and Sunday comics that are featured in 150 newspapers nationwide, with numbers that are still growing. A newspaper in Hong Kong recently picked up his work, making Wilson’s comics go international.
Wilson mainly has been focusing on “Wallace the Brave.” “Wallace the Brave” was first seen on gocomics.com before it was picked up and turned into a paperback collection. Just this past March it started running in newspapers after Wilson spent three years working with a company to develop it and make it market ready.
“I worked so hard to get it out there. I didn’t want it to fail within the first four months,” Wilson said.
Fortunately, he has received all around positive feedback.
Wilson first and foremost sees himself as an artist. As an artist he is inspired by many things that he is surrounded by and cherishes.
“There’s a lot of things [that inspire me],” Wilson said. “Family. Nature. Kindness. Curiosity. All those things are very important to me. The ocean and friendship. Friendship is a big one. I owe a lot to my friends.”
While Wilson continues to create stories about Wallace and his friends, he has another idea that is currently in the works. His overall goal right now is to produce better comics. Alongside his family and friends his love for comics is apparent.
“I love comic strips,” Wilson said. “I just feel like I’ve been handed an opportunity here to showcase my work to a national audience. I obsess with making better comics.”