Rockwell Granger isn’t exactly a bad guy. On the wrong side of 40 after turfing out of the military, he’s drifted from town to town and a series of dead-end kitchen jobs and quasi-legal freelance work. But his longtime dream of owning his own restaurant has finally come true, back in his hometown of Portland. Rock should be happier than ever, but the reality of his dream has a nasty habit of dragging him down. His customers are uncultured savages, he’s not making enough money to pay back his loan sharks and they’re forcing him to do something morally iffy or they’ll take his truck. And possibly his thumbs.
Harper Marbury isn’t exactly a thief. She works half a dozen side hustles to pay her rent at the Split Apple Co-Op Loft where she shares overcrowded floorspace with dozens of spare changers, young families, traveling musicians, burnouts and scam artists. Developing a love of cooking by throwing the random ingredients found in the Co-Op’s fridge every day together to feed her roommates, Harper’s been nurturing a dream of what she could do in a real kitchen, with real ingredients. When she breaks into Rock’s truck, mostly it’s to get out of the rain, but when he doesn’t show up, she opens up for business. Just to try it out. Just to see what it’s like to cook in a real kitchen, with real ingredients.
When Rock busts Harper, he hires her on instead of kicking her to the curb, inducting her into the arcane rituals of food cart society, a land where every cart collective is a gang vying for territory and rivalries are resolved with food truck duels rolling down the middle of Hawthorne with baseball bats. While Harper learns the ropes, Rock begins his job for the Bardems, searching for the identity of a rogue food truck operator who’s invading the Bardem’s territories. Together with Harper, as his conscience and helping hand, they’ll navigate a world of secret menus, food pirates, culinary femme fatales, curmudgeonly dads, shadowy figures, creeps, foodies and 5 star ratings, trying to uncover the secret before the Bardems burn Rock’s world down.
SHORT ORDER CROOKS is a 5-issue, full-color comic that’s equal parts comedy, crime story and cooking comic. The first issue is due out in June 2017. We have future arcs we would like to do to tell the complete story, but we need your help to fund this first arc and help us find an audience for our weird little book.