This is Billy Swift. It’s the heartwarming tale of a boy who can run really fast and his pet robot.

As usual, if you like it, please share it around so others can like it too.

Also, because people have been asking: Here’s a free ebook! The link takes you to Google Docs – just hit the download link there to grab your own copy.

For anyone who wants to hear it, there’s a bit of a story here. I actually started this comic over five years ago. Wrote the script in one quick go, in an effort to write the kind of comic I would have loved as a 12 year old kid. Goofy, funny, fast. At about that age, I really liked Sonic the Hedgehog, but found the fact that he and his friends were animals kind of an insurmountable obstacle. Considering the thing of indescribable darkness that the Sonic fan-community has evolved into today I feel like I dodged a bullet. (If you’re wondering what I mean, look it up. Actually, on second thoughts, don’t.) I’d also found a stack of Carl Barks Scrooge McDuck comics in the back of a family friend’s closet and absorbed them. I remember this one issue had a bunch of skyscraper-sized robots – “man-robots”, they were called, for whatever reason – that went haywire thanks to some Beagle Boys tomfoolery and it was left to Scrooge and the nephews to put it right. I don’t remember the details. Just the big robots. They were pretty cool.

I finished inking this after a year of working on and off on it in a seriously haphazard fashion and immediately hated it. The inks were sloppy, the characters were off-model in basically every panel, and nothing about it made sense. I desperately wanted to get it to a state where I could feel like publishing it but couldn’t stomach looking at it or the thought of starting again.

A few years later, I got a computer with Manga Studio and a tablet and started doing some freelance illustration – at first for friends, then for actual paying clients. I entered a comic competition and came third. I began to get marginally better at drawing and decided to have another crack at Billy Swift.

It took a while, but I got it done. And when I re-read the comic, from start to finish, it’s goofy and funny and fast, like I’d hoped. 12 year old me would have loved it and started doing fanart and wouldn’t have noticed a single one of my mistakes. Even now, I’m not strictly happy with it – the inks are still sloppy, the anatomy is a bit off, the characters still change appearance wildly from panel to panel. I get a little depressed when I think about the fact that several major motion pictures were made in the time it took me to finish this 23 page story. But it’s done. I finished a thing that I started. I’m a bit better now than when I started out. And I want to keep doing this stuff.

So yeah, I’m pretty proud. And I hope 12-year-old you likes it too.