10 YEARS IN THE MAKING
The conception of Coffee Time Comics came about some time in 2003. Tobias Gebhardt and John Kratky met while working together in a Borders coffee shop on Ventura Blvd. in Los Angeles, California. John had just moved out there with big dreams of becoming a screenwriter (along with hundreds of thousands of other people), while Tobias had the vision of becoming an accomplished artist. It didn't take long for their artistic paths to cross into collaboration. No, it only took long for that collaboration to actually get off the ground.
Plenty of ideas were thrown around, and plenty more were thrown out, but there was one that stuck when they took the old adage "write what you know" to heart. Not exactly understanding what to do with their idea (webcomics were unknown to both of them), it would take another year and a half or so to get it going again.
IT'S COFFEE TIME
It was 2005 when the two decided to move on their idea, starting work on scripts and pages, and in May of 2006 the first version of coffeetimecomics.com went live. Their first comic Coffee Time was about the varied lives of those who worked at a coffee shop and its surrounding businesses. It didn't stay behind the counter though as Tobias and John used it as a vehicle to express their love for gangster movies, kung fu, and fast cars. You'll just have to read to see what I mean.
What the first volume of Coffee Time really became was an education in comics. Sure, there are schools out there that offer classes on how it's done, but the only way to really learn is to do it and make lots of mistakes along the way. And trust me, they made mistakes. From the layouts, to the placement of word balloons, the pacing, and what too much dialogue looks like on a page, these are lessons that they brought with them to the second volume of Coffee Time.
With the second volume of Coffee Time came Across the Way, a comic that took place across the street from the coffee shop. While taking place within the same universe, it was an opportunity to explore darker themes more closely related to real life as it was about a soldier returning home from war to find that his old friends were still up to their old tricks and trying to drag him down with them. Starting this comic was a big step for Tobias and John as they would now be releasing four pages a week. The workload was huge, but they made it through the the two stories and by the end of the original coffeetimecomics.com run, they had a little over 350 pages of work online.
TALES AND BEYOND
The third volume of Coffee Time never saw the light of day. In 2008 both John and Tobias had to move on from the world of online comics for a bit. Tobias got married and had a kid. John ended up in Reno, also getting married (with a proper ceremony, no drive-thru marriage licenses here). During those years off, john was hard at work on what will someday be the team's opus, but it was not yet the time for that. Instead, one day John opened his email to pictures of a new character Tobias had created: The Bavarian Hammer. Of course he soon turned into Berend Eberhardt and Tales of Hammerfist was born.
That was February of 2013, and now in September of 2014, the Coffee Time Comics moniker has returned to the internet with a new Act of Tales of Hammerfist, two new comics, The Black Wall and Ham-Fisted Tales, and the goal of many more to come.
Here's to the future!