On The Sixsmiths

The Sixsmiths is probably the work that I am best known for. My first big sale to an international publisher, available for sale all around the world.

Although J.Marc and I took a while to get around to it, the concept is pretty simple: a sitcom about a family of suburban Satanists. The book is labelled ‘horror’, but it’s pretty much a pure-bred comedy. Although it is most usually compared to the Addams Family, but we purposely tried to guide the book away from that. There is no supernatural element in the Sixsmiths, and we talk about the family’s religion overtly.

The Sixsmiths is much more akin to The Simpsons than to the Addams Family. We try to focus on each family member in their own element as well as showing the family as a unit, and we have an extended cast of supporting characters who will often commandeer the narrative for their own purposes. The Sixsmiths adds an element of religious satire and puts the whole situation against an Australian backdrop, but structurally it is very similar to Matt Groening’s creation.

When we first conceived the Sixsmiths in 2008 we decided that the book would be about a family fallen on hard times. The subprime housing crisis in the US was underway, but neither of us expected that this would develop into a Global Financial Crisis.

J. Marc and I decided to run a Sixsmiths webcomic to help promote the graphic novel while we were working on it. Out of all of the stories we posted on the webcomic, only one single page is used in the graphic novel. The webcomic and the graphic novel share a continuity, but you don’t need to read one to enjoy the other. (Although I hope you will read both.)

The Sixsmiths volume 1 was released late in 2010 from SLG Publishing. It was preceded by The Sixsmiths #1, a one shot constituted of remastered material from the webcomic and an exclusive new story.

I am presently working on the Sixsmiths volume 2 with a team of artists, including Dean Rankine, Jase Harper, Ed Siemienkowicz and a dozen other amazing talents that have yet to be announced–but it’s an amazing Aussie comics lineup and I don’t think anybody will be disappointed.

Where The Sixsmiths volume 1 is about family, volume 2 is about community. All of your favourite characters will return–and then some–but volume 2 will foreground the struggles Dennis, the new convert; of Jezabelle, who finds her faith renewed as she recovers from her accident; and of Melmoth, the vicar, who finds his entire community under threat. I have competed all of  the scripts for volume 2 and art production is underway–I will post updates here and on thesixsmiths.com. Unfortunately the webcomic will not be resuming on a regular schedule, but we will be offering occasional updates.

The Sixsmiths is available for online purchase from amazon.com,  direct from SLG, through the Book Depository, or more or less other book outlets. Shoot on over  to the website and explore if you haven’t checked us out already. If you have… well, I have only one thing to say to you:

Get thee behind me. It’s where all the other cool kids are hanging out.

— JF

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