Comic Art

Sean McArdle’s The Führer and the Tramp Returns!

Fresh off its 2019 Eisner nomination, Workshopper and alumnus Sean McArdle is pleased to announce the new print run of The Führer and the Tramp! Along with co-writer Jon Judy and artist Dexter Wee, Sean will be releasing the graphic novel as a five-issue miniseries through our partners at Source Point Press. Issue one hits comic book stores on March 25, so you Wednesday warriors make sure to mark it on your lists!

The Führer and the Tramp centers on legendary performer and director Charlie Chaplin. During the early years of World War II, he searches for ways to show his support for sending Americans to fight in Europe. And FDR has just the idea…

Travis McIntire and Source Point has been an amazing advocate for The Führer and the Tramp. I don’t know how much of the particulars I can get into, but I think that its safe for me to say that there were some tricky, umm… legal entanglements that had to be navigated in order to have the book published,” Sean says.

“Travis and his legal team were able to come to an agreement with the Chaplin Estate and made the book possible. I cannot think of another publisher that would be willing to jump through the myriad of hoops that were required to secure the us using Chaplin and The Tramp.”

Luckily, the process of breaking down the original graphic novel format proved a little easier for Sean and his team than anticipated. Though they still took away some valuable lessons in narrative and structure.

Sean says, “We conceived of The Führer and the Tramp as a five issue miniseries. Breaking down the entire 176 page story into more manageable single issue chunks kept us from getting lost when plotting out the story. We utilized the self contained episodic nature of each issue to serve as a stand in for the pieces of a traditional three act structure. The first issue was conceived as act one, complete with the set up, character introductions and the call to adventure. The second, third and fourth issues followed the structure of the second act, with the middle of the third issue serving as the midpoint of the story. And the double sized fifth issue is the final act.”

“Breaking the story down in this manner taught me the importance of story structure, and it kept me from getting lost in the weeds of act two. I learned how to properly pace a story, and how to create the feeling of rising action, with each sequence building on and topping the sequences that came before it.”

While working on The Führer and the Tramp, both before and after writing and publication, Sean received coaching from Comics Experience founder Andy Schmidt.

“Andy has always been a champion of both Jon and I, and he really helped point out plot holes and parts of the story that needed work and to be clarified. Andy is a terrific editor and is able to see both the entire project and the individual building blocks and assess the viability of both concurrently,” Sean says.

“It really is difficult to keep an eye on both the big picture and the individual details, but Andy has an almost supernatural ability to vacillate between both.”

Want to learn more about the celebrated comic? You can read our interview with Sean and the story behind The Führer and the Tramp here!

Don’t forget to pick up your copy on March 25!


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