Wednesday, December 26, 2007


It's official--HOLIDAY MEN Season begins January 8 on the Chemistry Set. I'm pretty sure this is the first press release I've done where someone didn't stop me from having fun with it:

The Chemistry Set Online Comics Collective is pleased — well, not pleased, exactly, more like extremely reluctant but they’re doing it anyway, to announce the addition of Andrew Foley and Nick Johnson’s comic THE HOLIDAY MEN to the site’s regular features.

ChemSet co-founder Vito Delsante tried to explain the situation. “I don’t really know how it happened. I was just having a drink–a Pepsi, it wasn’t even liquor!–and the next thing I know I’m in a cheap hotel room with a dead hooker and there’s Andrew and Nick telling me they’ll take care of everything if I’ll just convince the other ChemSetters to let them join. No one’s found the body, yet, so,” said Delsante, stifling a shudder, “They’re in.”

THE HOLIDAY MEN chronicles the ongoing conflict between twisted versions of holiday icons and global economic superpower O’Mega-Mart. Described by Johnson as “a subtly nuanced, satirical critique of consumer culture,” and “a haphazard collection of ridiculously violent fight scenes” by Foley, THE HOLIDAY MEN is the first collaboration between the two talented, handsome, and modest creators.

An elderly curmudgeon since the age of 12, Foley graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design’s drawing program, ran his own painting studio, and successfully evaded his creditors for several years in the ’90s, before deciding to focus his creative efforts on writing. In addition to the independently produced comic books PARTING WAYS and DONE TO DEATH, he’s been paid to write more than a dozen graphic novels that haven’t been published, and a couple that have.

In addition to being a founding member of Calgary’s Vicious Ambitious Studios, Nick Johnson’s hobbies include juggling, animal husbandry, and lingerie modeling. An artistic wunderkind who drew his first comic prior to leaving his mother’s womb, he started selling minicomics to earn beer money at the age of fourteen.

Writer and artist first met in 2000 when Foley attempted to dispose of the pizza box Johnson lived in at the time. Said Foley, “Looking at the frankly disturbing images Nick had scrawled on the side of the box, I realized I’d just stumbled onto an amazing creative talent and immediately planned to ruthlessly exploit him to the best of my ability. Now, with THE HOLIDAY MEN, I finally get the chance.”

In addition to giving Chemistry Set’s audience a rollicking good time, THE HOLIDAY MEN also offers invaluable services to its corporate clients. Foley claims that, “Sponsoring a HOLIDAY MEN panel is a great way to bring your message to ‘the kids.’ You give us money and we give you access to the free webcomic-reading demographic every company’s dying to reach. Being part of this project will lend your business instant ’street cred.’ Rather than seeing you as a dust-covered dinosaur on the brink of extinction, partnering with THE HOLIDAY MEN will convince young people you’re ‘radical to the extreme!’” Anyone interested in becoming a HOLIDAY MEN sponsor is encouraged to send an e-mail with “Sponsorship” in the Subject Header to

THE HOLIDAY MEN’s first episode, “The Massacre Memorial Day Sale Massacre”, will appear in serialized installments every Tuesday on, starting January 8. “We’ve still got good stuff like Dwight McPherson’s SURREAL ADVENTURES OF EDGAR ALLAN POO and Andrew Drilon’s KARE-KARE KOMIKS appearing on other days,” said Delsante, trying to reassure himself as much as anyone else.

The Chemistry Set is a destination for webcomics in a variety of styles from a variety of up & coming and established talent. Founded in 2006, The Chemistry Set’s membership boasts three Xeric Award winners and a combined bibliography including work for Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Random House, Image Comics, SLG Publishing, Markosia and many others. Visit The Chemistry Set at


"Robert" commented on O'Mega-Mart's Holiday message posted on the Set, taking offence that O-Mart had failed to mention Christmas. I wrote and got the following in reply:

Dear O’Mega-Mart Customer,

Thank you for contacting O’Mega-Mart’s Customer Relations Department. While we don’t want to encourage such behavior, we appreciate you taking the time to have thoughts of your own, and even for sharing them with us.

O’Mega-Mart would like to apologize for offending you by refraining to use “Christmas” in our annual Holiday Greeting. As you are likely aware, the O’Mega family are strong believers in the Christian faith—their luxury underground bunker on the O’Mega Estate has a fully-stocked 200 seat chapel ready to go in the unlikely event that they are not swept up with the rest of the righteous during the Rapture. Hopefully knowing this will help you appreciate that the O’Mega Family shares your indignation with its employees’ failure to highlight the celebration of the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ in an appropriate manner.

In defense of the employees in question, prior to their termination, numerous studies indicated that a substantial portion of O’Mega-Mart’s customer base did not respond favorably to religion-specific holiday messages (unless those messages were specific to their religion.) A choice had to be made between the O’Megas’ deeply-held religious convictions and the desire to profit from people who are doomed to an eternity in the Lake of Fire. Ultimately, we had to do what was right by our shareholders; hence the generic holiday message. Only time and Our Lord Jesus Christ will tell us whether we chose correctly.

As you clearly have an interest in O’Mega-Mart-related affairs, we have taken the liberty of adding your e-mail address to our O’Mega-Mart Customer Update mailing list. If you don’t wish to receive alerts regarding the latest bargains available at your local O’Mega-Mart, please go to on January 8 and follow the instructions there to remove your address from our list, or send an e-mail to this address with the “I don’t want your XXXXing Spam” in the subject header.

Yours truly,
The O’Mega-Mart Customer Relations Dep’t.
O’Mega-Mart: Serving all your consumer needs. Or else.

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