Jail Bait & Trailer Trash is a collection short stories in graphic novel format, illustrated by several very talented sequential artists.
Over the past 16 years, Justin Gray has been writing, co-writing, and creating comics and graphic novels for some of the largest publishing companies in the world. He also personally has backed over 90 Kickstarter campaigns, and to date, he has been a part of nine successful campaigns. Now he is back on Kickstarter looking to fund his latest project – A Mature Readers Collection of short stories entitled Jail Bait & Trailer Trash — a 64-page paperback graphic novel featuring sequential art from three diverse and talented artists. In addition to writing the stories, Gray also lettered and colored two of them under the pseudonym, Benny Lava. With the help of his pal, Bill Tortolini, he performed the majority of the design work including the cover and chapter breaks.
Despite the provocative title, Jail Bait & Trailer Trash was inspired by some of his literary and film idols including Barry Gifford and David Lynch as well as the short fiction of Raymond Carver and John Cheever. If you’re familiar with the Sex and Violence Kickstarters that he and Jimmy Palmiotti produced, then you’ll probably enjoy JB & TT as well because it is the natural progression of the stories he wrote in those books. These are engaging tales about people facing moral dilemmas, adversity, confronting prejudice, falling in love, and struggling with the inevitable change that comes with age.
Backers and potential readers should be aware that there is some graphic violence, nudity, as well as coarse language in the book, but all those things exist in service of the stories Gray tells rather than simply for shock value. Sometimes surreal and darkly funny, Jail Bait & Trailer Trash is undeniably Gray’s most personal sequential work to date and he is extremely proud of the artists that have helped craft these stories; which include:
Suburban Infidels is a darkly humorous tale of a middle-aged son taking custody of his estranged mother’s remains and coming to grips with her mental illness and the darkness of their shared past.
In An Obscure and Vanishing Tribe, a racist and misogynistic alcoholic named Ben attempts to play cupid to a Korean American bartender in love with his African American co-worker.
The titular story, Jail Bait & Trailer Trash is a high-octane, teenage lesbian, spaghetti western, that is set in the modern world.
Gray wants to be personally invested in the kinds of stories he tell, and wants readers to feel the same. Further, he wanted to do as much of the production work as possible — including things he had personally never done before, like color 40-pages of art in Photoshop using a mouse.
Sequential art is a collaborative art, and Gray always believed that you get the best product when you pair the right people with the right project. Which is why he wanted to work with a diverse group of individuals who have different styles of art suited to the stories in the book as a whole; the JB&TT Kickstarter features artists from Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, Italy, Spain, and South America.
This collection started with Coco and Rosie, a pair of characters who drove 100 MPH out of the toxic fog of moral outrage that blankets most of modern America. Gray tells us that the pair came at him with very distinct voices and a ton of attitude. “They screamed at me in Pulp novel cover blurbs like: Wild, savage, and lusty! The story of twilight love on a kill crazy rampage! And the only place I can bring this project to life the way I envision it is with your help through the Kickstarter platform.”
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, March 24 2017 11:40 AM EDT.