The idea for Across the Way came from the desire to tackle something a little darker and more serious in tone than Coffee Time. The initial idea for Coffee Time was partly sprouted by the old adage, "Write what you know." John & Tobias took that in a pretty literal sense by creating a slice of life comic that took place within a cafe. As the second volume it was understood in a less general sense and more as "Write about things you feel you're well versed in." Hence Coffee Time became more about genre explorations combined with slice of life storytelling.
The writing for Across the Way sprouted out of John's love for the films of the 1970's that were socially conscious while still being fun. He also liked that they were not driven by message, but by character. The story was also influenced by the numerous Asian gangster films John and Tobias were taking in at the time. The story was written during the senseless Iraq war and concernes a soldier named Erik coming home from that war and dealing with his old friends who are living the same lives that he lived before the war. Does he stick to what he knows, or change to save his own life?
Across the Way is a completed story and represents the first steps into the noir world of Coffee Time Comics, a world further explored in The Black Wall.
The comic benefitted from being done after the first volume of Coffee Time when it was better understood how to format pages, and after Tobias had changed his drawing style up. There is still at this point too much dialogue on some pages, and the bubbles seem a little mixed up, but it is still very readable with great art and a good story.
Below is the "About" section for the old website. Enjoy!