For the five comics making up the sixth issue (our “horror issue”) of Twist Street (and anticipated future issues), the underlying visuals were generated using Artificial Intelligence tools, namely those provided by Midjourney.

The images were generated by Midjourney based upon my “prompts” (descriptions of what I had in mind). In exchange, I paid Midjourney $30 for a monthly subscription fee. Once images were generated, I laid out those images into a comics-style sequence, lightly edited the images when necessary (though I purposefully avoided “major repairs”, for the most part), and lettered the resulting comic pages.

Each page was generated at 2063 pixels by 3131 pixels, at 300 pixels per inch (with space reserved for “bleeds”, per my vague understanding of industry standards). Those pages were then shrunk down to 1041 x 1580 images at 72 pixels per inch, to generate smaller JPEGs for transmission through this website. (I made my originals CMYK format and my web copies RBG format, but I have no idea why I did that– just an old habit).

The first comic (They Will Inherit Hell) was “written” before work, on the morning of July 11, 2022. It was completed in its six-page entirety by the end of the day, in the hours after I came home from work. (Not counting later revisions and fine-tuning).

For comparison purposes, six pages a day was reportedly Jack Kirby’s speed when creating the Marvel Universe.

I prepared 9-12 six-page comics since July 11th (with plans for more)– all while the bulk of my energies and primary focus remained directed to my day job.

I did not believe I’d make a comic again after my fifth issue Gangland Allstars, certainly not this year and not in the near future at least. And I never expected to be in a position to make a horror comic, or to work in any number of other genres. So I’d guess you’d say this has all been something of a surprise.

The process has had its frustrations– Midjourney often struggles with hands, actions, gestures, hair, animals and a great number of other matters. But even with those limitations, when using it, I typically feel as though Midjourney‘s reach exceeds my grasp, and I suspect that I will become exhausted by creating long before exhausting all of the possibilities of what I could create.

But while it is a tool that may be well suited to a wide variety of applications, it is not one designed for the rigor that panel-to-panel visual storytelling requires. Midjourney doesn’t afford the user the level of control that I believe comic storytelling insists upon– I am rarely “calling my shots”, as much as working with the shots that have been generated.


However, technology has generally been known to improve over time. And this particular technology seems to be the subject of significant development, competition, excitement. Put another way: the images I’ve assembled may have certain aesthetic issues or limitations, but do you think those issues / limitations will still be there five years from now?

When playing with these tools, one thus becomes consumed with thoughts about the future– both the liberating possibilities of this technology, as well as the practical, economic, social, legal and ethical challenges that this technology could likely pose.

I alternate between glee and a bone-deep fear over where things may be headed, for others.

There are steps that may need to be taken (quickly!) to make this technology a more equitable one. Those steps will likely require a conversation with a diverse range of potential stakeholders. And I worry that comic artists have never built the structures to ensure that they have a seat at that table.

I hope that comic creators understand that the urgency for those structures and for their engagement is increasing sharply.

Because of my opinions about social media (particularly Twitter and its inhabitants), I’m going to respectfully decline to say any more than that.

But if you’re interested in more of these comics experiments, you’re welcome to join us once a week, and while this project is ongoing.

Thanks and good luck.


Twist Street Issue #6– our Horror issue– concludes on August 22, 2022.

Twist Street Issue #7– our Science Fiction issue– begins on August 29th.