The Patron Saint of Tart, Part 2

... so when last I was posted, I was about to introduce you better to Ana.

After Janet and I returned from London we had many memories, a couple souvenirs (Janet got two Sonny Crockett action figures - I told you Don Johnson was her first love) and zero, count them, zero pictures.

Travel trip for anyone visiting a country with an unfavorable exchange rate: PACK A CAMERA.

When we got to London we saw the disposable cameras in the shop for fifteen pounds. At a two-to-one exchange rate Janet and I just couldn't justify 30 bucks for 15 pictures. About two weeks after we returned though we got an email. You might have guessed it, from Ana. With a photo of Janet talking to Neil Gaiman as he signed our books.

{ My wife is the one in the picture who does not look like Neil Gaiman. I have no idea who the chap standing in the doorway is, but I can tell you he's hoping we'll finish soon so he can come in out of the cold.}

We stayed Pen Pals. She helped me track down Laurence, who agreed to illustrate a poem for me which we've since self-published. Not only that, but Ana translated it into French for us. She introduced me to the wonderful fantasy short story zine Ethereal Tales in which she'd had a poem and artwork published. And then the email came:

It was something like, "I have this friend who is an amazing artist. He's been working on these characters for a awhile and he's really got something. But he's stuck. You guys seem to have the same sensibility, I thought maybe you might work together well."

I told her I was too busy to do anything, but I'd be happy to read what he sent.

About two days later I received six pages of the the most beautiful artwork I'd ever seen. Now over the last two years Ludo's English has improved greatly, but what was awesome was at that point, it was pretty awful (Let me stop for a moment and say that Ludo's English, even at that time, is a thousand times better than my French. So yes, I know that I'm being unfair, but bear with me). And he'd hurried his translation in order to show me the story.

Because the translation was... off, I had this really strange fixation with it. The art was crisp, the action was kinetic and the dialogue was... insane. But like, Japanese game show insane. I loved it, but didn't know what I could do with it. Depressed that I had this in with an amazing artist, I decided I just wasn't capable of contributing.

So I went to sleep. At 4 AM that night I woke up. I had an image of a girl waking up in an alley. She didn't know where she was. She didn't even know when she was. But she knew there was a problem out there she needed to solve.

The nuts and bolts of the issue you're reading, and the series we're presenting grew organically through a lot of cross Atlantic emails between Ludo, Ana and I. Yes, Ana. She doesn't get a credit on our story, but if there is an editor of Tart, Ana is it. She's been part of this story from the beginning. Offering suggestions, brainstorming, giving support when needed, kicks in the ass when necessary, and reading on every script we've worked on.

Without Ana, there is no Tart. So if you enjoy what you're reading, give a toast to her, she is the person who brought Ludo and I together on this project. And I can't thank her enough.


PS- Tart's story continues tomorrow!


  1. It's because I sold at the Devil my ability to handle foreign languages ​​against the gift of drawing.
    Damn, Tart is a child of darkness and mistranslation.

  2. Ha! A Damned good deal! Like I said, you're English is much better than my French. The sum total of which is "Merci," "wee wee" and "ménage wa toi." and yes, I'm certain I spelled most of that wrong.

    Ooh. Ooh. One more: ", Voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir
    Voulez vous coucher avec moi."

  3. "wee wee" is too cute! "ménage wa toi" I don't understand..
    You should know that there are very few french word in "W".
    "wee wee" and "wa" aren't included in the list.
    "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir" is correct! But I'm not quite sure it's a good sentence for a married man!
    Except if you say it to Janet of course. But it's not my business.

  4. Cheers to Ana. We should all have one.

  5. Ok dudes, let me step in here: wee wee = oui oui; ménage wa toi = ménage à trois.
    Kevin, I frown upon the provenance of what little french you know.
    That being said, this was a very touching post about me, so I forgive you all :)

  6. I guess I understood.
    My irony failed again...

  7. All that I can add to this is to sheepishly admit that I didn't purposely misspell anything, and only spelled the lyrics to Lady Marmalade because I googled them ; )