The Ether was spawned out of a desire to do a comic based on skewed characters
from my youth and some I stole from a previous strip called Rats (that I drew with
killer writer Greg Kiesow for the Daily Cardinal at University of Wisconsin, Madison). The original Rats comic starred three rats trying to make it
in the semi-urban sprawl of a college town. When we both left town, Rats ended. When I returned
I went back to the paper and gave them 24 comics of The Ether and they "hired me" me on the spot (I use the term loosely
because I never agreed to be paid for it). The editor had seen my work in Rats and decided to give
me the benefit of the doubt.
The Ether went on for a year or two and then I moved away from Madison a second time, this time ending what was a well received, yet still un-syndicated strip.
The first ten strips here I'm fond of but are kind of clumsy and embarrassing. I'm including them because they somewhat define the roles of the main characters. Hopfully you'll be able to forgive them and enjoy the rest of the series.
The strip is about two young boys (Popcorn and Matty) that stumble into a place called "The Ether". There they meet Jasper, Phil and Mary who become their chaperones and tour guides in this new world of adventure. The strip is about friendship, mischief, love, power and corruption.
The Ether and all things Hypnothetical © 1999 Mike Simon