Tom Hart's contribution to '9-11: Emergency Relief,' preview

Over the past couple of months here at CBR you've seen a lot about the Alternative Press tribute book "9-11: Emergency Relief" coming January, 2002. Since it was first announced shortly after the September 11th attacks, the book has seen an increasing number of creators added to its roster which helped grow the book's page count from an initial 128 pages to 208 total. One of those creators contributing to the book is Tom Hart.

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Tom Hart is most well known for his creation Hutch Owen, described by Hart as "a vagrant, a 'pissant' and dissident and a general rabble-rouser. A homeless man who rages against the rampant globism and corporate hegemony he sees everywhere. But he's also funny, or at least the stories are. Sometimes he is swept up in the stories more than he is an active participant."

In Hart's contribution to "9-11," the four page strip stars both the creator Hart and his creation Hutch Owen, displaying their reactions to the attacks. For Hart his contribution was all about honesty.

"I only tried to accurately represent what was going on with me emotionally and intellectually at the time," said Hart. "It's a confusing comic for a confusing time. Perhaps I was being insensitive, but I was just trying to sketch from life.

"I don't claim it's a terrific or challenging piece, just honest."

Since the September 11th attacks Hart has used those events as a catalyst for an all new weekly comic series called "Public Relations. Started December 3rd, each week includes a new improvised page posted to the Web site.

"I'm terrifically excited about this project. I've been wanting to add a more spontaneous element to my work and I think if the 9-11 event changed how I work at all, it was by giving me something immediate and real that I couldn't avoid sending through the processor. I think this will be a great story."

In addition to his work on his own Web site those interested in reading more of Hart's work can do so at Top Shelf Productions in their dotComics online anthology. There's also a "Collected Hutch Owen" trade paperback that received both Harvey and Eisner Nominations available through Top Shelf.

Look for "9-11: Emergency Relief" in comic stores January 16th.

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