STAUNTON — Ryan Brosmer likes to say that he’s been drawing comics all of his life except for a break between the ages of 10 and 32.
Growing up in Northern Virginia, Brosmer was fascinated with the comic section of The Washington Post. Reading that part of the paper was a daily ritual for Brosmer when he was in elementary school, and he used to try his hand at doing his own comics.
After the age of 10, Brosmer hit pause on his artistic endeavor. As he got older, he played music in some bands and wrote some fiction to help scratch his creative itch, but he found that nothing scratched it better than drawing comics even though it took him two decades before he returned to his passion. It was just before the pandemic when Brosmer decided to start drawing comic strips again and once COVID shut down much of the country, Brosmer had more time to dedicate to relearning the art of drawing.
“I’ve always wanted to draw,” Brosmer said. “I like to doodle. I’ve always been kind of artistic.”
He pulled out some of his sketchbooks and tried turning those doodles into stories. Before long he had a 20-page comic that he had drawn. That was a story featuring a robot named Rust-ee. Brosmer began posting that character, and a few others, on Instagram and was getting positive feedback.
As he tried to figure out his identity as an artist, he started to settle into kids comics. He did a mini-comic called “Soggy Doggy” with unnamed characters which Brosmer described as “a pink, amorphous humanoid character and their little dog.” That was inspired by his dog and Brosmer’s own anxieties as a pet parent.
“It was just a story about the dog getting in trouble,” Brosmer said. “And the owner trying to save and rescue him.”
He self-published that story and it took off, ending up in some comic shops. He sells his books at both in-person shows and on the web. He has seen parents have to drag kids away from his table as shows because they were so engrossed in reading his books.
“That’s one of my favorite things to see,” Brosmer said.
Brosmer has self-published 10 comics of various lengths. The shortest one is eight pages and the longest is 32 pages. His current work, “Swap Meet and Other Stories!” will be a 92-page graphic novel, his first perfect-bound book. It features the characters from his previous work “Soggy Doggy,” which now have names, Doggy and Dew.
There are three stories in the book that follow a common theme of the two getting separated and reunited, and the zany antics that take place in between. The book should be available in October following a crowdfundr campaign. Brosmer said he didn’t need crowdfundr to fund the novel, but because the company was sponsoring the Small Press Expo he figured it was a good way to get some publicity and pre orders for his book.
“Doggy and Dew are best buds,” the description on the crowdfundr page reads. “Nothing can keep them apart…except bad luck, big mistakes, and silly mix ups! But new friends and fun adventures always bring them back together in this collection of stories that are fun for the whole family.”
You can find out more about Brosmer and his work at his website goodgreatok.com or on instagram. He also sells his comics at Queen City Games and Gifts in Staunton, where he has an appearance scheduled for Oct. 14 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
“I’ll be debuting the new book,” he said. “Plus have all of my other comics, toys, stickers, and art for sale.”
His books are also available locally at Hello Comics in Charlottesville. There are about 10 others stories across the country that sell his books.
— Patrick Hite is a reporter at The News Leader. Story ideas and tips always welcome. Contact Patrick (he/him/his) at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Patrick_Hite. Subscribe to us at newsleader.com.