From 1990 to 1998, I published 40 or so small-press comics under the name Protoplasm Press, including 27 issues of my superhero series Amoeba Adventures. Now it’s back with all-new stories, with Amoeba Adventures #28, #29 and #30 now available!
The award-winning series featuring the story of Prometheus the Protoplasm got plenty of kudos and notice from comics legends including Will Eisner, Dave Sim, Sergio Aragones, Tony Isabella and many more. Written by me and drawn by me for the first dozen or so issues, later issues featured the amazing art of Max Ink! Now they’re here as 100% FREE digital download PDFs with lots of cool bonus features. If you’re new to the series, several issues are good “jumping on” points – take a look below at Amoeba Adventures #5, #11, #13, #16 or #27. Everything is free here, but if you want to help support me, please consider a little donation via Paypal:
The new stuff:
Amoeba Adventures #30, 2021 [PDF] It’s an action-packed ticking clock of a tale this issue, as an ordinary afternoon for Dawn Star turns into a fight to survive when the long-missing Rambunny returns. Two of my favourite Amoeba Adventures characters take the spotlight in a story that I had to call … “Take What You Got.” Limited print edition available – details on ordering right here.
Amoeba Adventures #29, 2021 [PDF] Get ready for a madcap detective adventure as Ninja Ant, private eye teams up with Prometheus to unravel a mystery that brings back an old friend and features shocking twists and turns galore and callbacks to some of the very first Amoeba Adventures stories. It’s “Who Is Raoul the Boy Cockroach,” 24 pages of wacky hijinks and protoplasmic perils written and drawn by yours truly. There’s a limited edition print version as well, with details on ordering right here!
Amoeba Adventures #28, 2020 [PDF] Prometheus is back! The first new issue of AA since 1998 collects three short stories – “Tempus Fugit,” a wild look into Prometheus’ future; “Prometheus Drinks Coffee,” featuring Mr. 100, and an all-new Ninja Ant short cartoon. Download it for free right now. Limited print edition SOLD OUT!
Amoeba Adventures Archive [PDF], brand new for 2020 and the 30th anniversary of Amoeba Adventures #1, is a 130-page digital book opening up the vaults featuring new, rare and obscure material including: The return of Prometheus the Protoplasm in the first NEW Amoeba Adventures story since 1998! Troy Hickman pens a long-lost untold story of the Flaming Flag during World War II! Not one but rare two team-up stories with Jason Marcy’s brawling bruiser Powerwus! Rare Amoeba Adventures stories from fanzines, The Rap Sheet, and special publications! Excerpts from the legendary Small Press Syndicate jam comic crossover! The never-before-published, embarrassingly primitive very first Prometheus two comic books ever drawn! A look into the vaults at scripts and art for several stories that never quite made it to print, including a team-up with the late Sam Gafford, an Amoeba Adventures Annual with Lynn Allen, and much more!
The so-called Protoplasm Press “classic years”, 1990-1998:
Amoeba Adventures #1, 1990 [PDF] Where it all began, introducing the All-Spongy Squadron, the mysterious Manslaughter, and the tin-clad tyrant Herr Heinous. Special bonus: 10 pages of never-before-seen artwork and notes!
Amoeba Adventures #2, 1991 [PDF] The All-Spongy Squadron’s adventures in Drudgeland continue! Captured by the horrible Herr Heinous and the mysterious Agnus Dei, it’s Prometheus alone in a race against time. Special bonus: Four pages of rare artwork and reviews.
Amoeba Adventures #3, 1991 [PDF] The epic conclusion to “The Visitor”! Manslaughter vs Agnus Dei to the death, with the All-Spongy Squadron caught in the middle, and a life-changing decision for Mr. Spif. Bonus: Two pages of sketches and more.
Amoeba Adventures #4, 1991 [PDF] Boy cockroaches? Bank-robbing apes? Chats with coffee-drinking priests and Velcroman? Just another day for the gang. Raoul joins the team and much more in “Trying To Lead A Normal Life.” Special bonus: Six pages of rare art, sketches and more!
Amoeba Adventures #5, 1991 [PDF] Guest starring David Letterman! It’s the return of the Asbestos Mushroom, the team appears on their favourite late-night TV show, and a giant shock ending.
Amoeba Adventures #6, 1992 [PDF] Part one of “Details of Design,” which changes everything. Prometheus is missing, and Rambunny, Spif and Raoul embark on a deadly mission to hunt down the mysterious Macabre, but they won’t like what they find. Special bonus: Five pages of rare art, reviews and more!
Amoeba Adventures #7, 1992 [PDF] Part two of “Details of Design.” Rambunny, Spif and Raoul are in the clutches of the insane Master Macabre and his Huntsmen. They’re going to be put through a roller-coaster ordeal and not all of them will be the same at the end of it. Special bonus: Four pages of bonus art and sketches.
Amoeba Adventures #8, 1992 [PDF] Part three of “Details of Design,” as the full evil of Dr. Crane’s plan is revealed. Why has a group of scientists kidnapped Prometheus, and what will be his ultimate fate?
Amoeba Adventures #9, 1992 [PDF] Part four of “Details of Design,” and the amazing debut of Manipulator and Dawn Star! Featuring six pages of bonus features including the very earliest appearance of some of the Amoeba Adventures characters and more! Guest inks by the extraordinary Anthony Gray.
Amoeba Adventures #10, 1993 [PDF] The grand conclusion of “Details of Design,” changing the All-Spongy Squadron forever! A never-bigger team faces off against Master Macabre in a showdown for the ages, but will Prometheus give in to his worst instincts? Featuring guest inkers Tony Lorenz and Jason Wright, and 5 pages of bonus art and features!
Amoeba Adventures #11, 1993 [PDF] The “Details of Design” are over, and big changes are afoot. There’s surprise departures and even more surprising new team members and a whole new direction for the All-Spongy Squadron, in the first issue featuring the art of Max Ink! With four pages of bonus art.
Amoeba Adventures #12, 1993 [PDF] Good god! It’s the single largest issue of Amoeba Adventures ever, clocking in at nearly 80 pages, and featuring solo stories for Rambunny, Spif, Ninja Ant, Herr Heinous and more, the secret 50-year history of Prometheus by Troy Hickman, Prometheus meets Matt Feazell’s Cynicalman, the scoop on the legendary small-press gathering at the 1993 Chicago ComicCon, and a jam back cover with 27 small press creators! Featuring guest contributors Max Ink, John Hurley, Doug Lumley, Tony Lorenz, Matt Feazell, Lynn Allen, Jason Marcy, Sam Gafford, J. Kevin Carrier and many more.
Amoeba Adventures #13, 1993 [PDF]. A night on the town for Spif and Ninja Ant goes astray, as there’s an unexpected guest for dinner – Herr Heinous! Winner of the United Fanzine Organization’s award for Best Single Issue of the year. Featuring 10 pages of rare artwork, behind the scenes notes, and the final fate of Raoul the Boy Cockroach revealed.
Amoeba Adventures #14, 1994 [PDF] It’s a very special issue as Max Ink takes the reins to write and draw a special story looking at the aftermath of Amoeba Adventures #6 spotlighting domestic violence, and how to find victory when there’s no supervillains to fight. Featuring 5 pages of behind-the-scenes art and notes!
Amoeba Adventures #15, 1994 [PDF] First up, it’s a terrifying vision for Prometheus featuring guest art by Joe Meyer; and then, Max Ink takes over as the team comes into conflict with Mindmaster and everything goes horribly wrong very fast. Special bonus: Whoa nelly, a gigantic 12 pages of extra bonus features, including art from Dave Sim‘s Cerebus, guest work with Tony Lorenz and Pam Bliss, and an interview from Scott Davis‘s Web Line zine!
Amoeba Adventures #16, 1994 [PDF] Quite possibly my favourite Amoeba Adventures issue of all time, featuring the stunning artwork of Max Ink. A time-machine mishap leads the team to be stranded in the age of the dinosaurs – with no possible way home! Jungle action, surprise guests, a little romance, and everybody yells at Ninja Ant! With four pages of bonus art/notes.
Amoeba Adventures #17, 1995 [PDF] It’s a special Christmas issue brought to you by Nik and Max Ink. The return of Rambunny! A major shock for Ninja Ant! A big bar brawl, and a sick amoeba! Plus, guest artwork by Sergio Aragones, a tribute to Eric Hampton, a letter from Will Eisner, John Kline’s The Last Good Guy and much more in a staggering 12 pages of bonus features.
Amoeba Adventures #18, 1995 [PDF] Beginning a two-part story that leads directly into “The Dark Ages.” The Period (from Spif #1) is back, and so is the gang’s worst enemy, the Asbestos Mushroom! Bonus: Two pages of rare art.
Amoeba Adventures #19, 1995 [PDF] It’s all-out war as there’s a big jailbreak, the Asbestos Mushroom’s fiendish mushroom-bots and the high-calibre chaos of The Period! Plus, the single most shocking final pages in Amoeba Adventures history as everything ramps up for “The Dark Ages.” Featuring seven pages of bonus art and more including rare material from the long out-of-print Amoeba Adventures trade paperback from 1999.
Amoeba Adventures #20, 1995 [PDF] “The Dark Ages” begins at last, as Rambunny makes his final stand against the Dark One, featuring a host of villains from his past. By Nik Dirga and Max Ink. Featuring a back cover by Cerebus creator Dave Sim, and six pages of bonus artwork and more.
Amoeba Adventures #21, 1996 [PDF]. Part two of “The Dark Ages.” Prometheus is missing, everyone’s shocked, so what better excuse for Ninja Ant to throw the biggest party Spongopolis has ever seen? By Nik and Max Ink, as The Dark One’s evil plans take it to another level.
Amoeba Adventures #22, 1996 [PDF] Part three of “The Dark Ages.” At long last, it’s the secret origin of Prometheus revealed! Who is Jacob Potter, and why is this quite possibly the most important conversation an amoeba will ever have? By Nik Dirga and Max Ink. Featuring an awesome back cover by Usagi Yojimbo creator Stan Sakai. Special bonus: Four pages of rare art and more.
Amoeba Adventures #23, 1996 [PDF] Part four of “The Dark Ages,” as the Dark One’s plans all start to come together and it all falls apart for the All-Spongy Squadron. The mystery of Hank Jensen moves into high gear and a disastrous mistake changes everything.
Amoeba Adventures #24, 1996 [PDF] Part five of “The Dark Ages,” as the team reacts to a shocking loss and the Dark One’s most devastating attack yet. At long last, the identity of the villain who’s been hunting them for months is revealed – can the team survive the shock? Bonus feature: More than 20 pages of extra material including a career-spanning interview with Nik from Bob Elinskas‘ legendary Small Press Feedback zine by Troy Hickman!
Amoeba Adventures #25, 1997 [PDF] The final act begins in Part six of “The Dark Ages,” with “Alex’s Story.” How did a seemingly innocuous friend of the All-Spongy Squadron turn out to be their greatest foe yet? Everything is revealed in a story that spans time and space. Bonus features: Seven pages of rare art and notes!
Amoeba Adventures #26, 1998 [PDF] The electrifying conclusion! “The Dark Ages” comes to an end, and it’s everybody versus the Dark One on the Moon! Can the team battle someone with infinite powers and an anger than spans time and space? Everything changes forever and Max Ink takes his leave as artist. Featuring five pages of rare art and reviews.
Amoeba Adventures #27, 1998 [PDF] The bittersweet final issue. After the carnage of “The Dark Ages,” the team regroups for one last hurrah. Plus, a drunken bar brawl! The first issue I’d drawn solo since 1993’s #13, and another of my favourite issues. Parting is pretty sweet sorrow. Featuring six bonus pages, including a look at what might’ve come after #27.
Prometheus: Only A Man, aka “The high school years”
Back “in print,” it’s the very first adventures of the All-Spongy Squadron from Prometheus The Protoplasm #3-6, 1986-1989! (Prometheus #1 and 2 can be found only in the Amoeba Adventures Archive.) Rarely seen, these stories were all done in my high school days and are rough but amusing stuff, featuring the debut of Ninja Ant and Karate Kactus, the mystery of the Promethean and the Inner Gods, and the official formation of the All-Spongy Squadron, all together making a kind of Amoeba Adventures #0! Follow along as young Nik goes from really bad artist to slightly less bad artist! Each issue now features a handful of obscure bonus pages and rare art about the beginning of Amoeba Adventures.
Prometheus #3, 1986 [PDF]: “Like A Ninja,” featuring Ninja Ant and Karate Kactus!
Prometheus #4, 1987 [PDF]: “Doomsday For An Amoeba,” a 27-page epic as it’s everybody versus the titanic menace of the Asbestos Mushroom and Kronos.
Prometheus #5, 1989 [PDF]: “Only A Man,” following up #4’s shocking cliffhanger as Prometheus adjusts to an entirely new look.
Prometheus #6, 1989 [PDF]: “The Truth,” the epic conclusion as Prometheus meets The Inner Gods, the All-Spongy Squadron makes it official, and the stage is set for Amoeba Adventures.
Spif #1, 1994 [PDF]. At long last, the All-Spongy Squadron’s resident human steps out into his own solo adventure, revealing the mysteries teased way back in Amoeba Adventures #1 of what exactly happened to turn Dr. Spif into the grim avenger Mr. Spif! Written by the legendary Troy Hickman from a plot by Nik, with art by the great Max Ink. Featuring the villainy of the hat-tossing madman Stiles, the debut of the vigorous vigilante The Period, and guest-starring Karate Kactus. Includes four bonus pages.
Rambunny: Unacceptable Losses #1, 1997 [PDF] At long last, the raging rabbit gets his own solo adventure! A man from Rambunny’s past returns with a tempting offer, launching Rambunny back into a dark world he thought he’d left behind. Action, adventure, and explosions galore, with art by Ron Gravelle. Featuring 5 pages of bonus art and pin-ups.
Amoeba Adventures Fifth Anniversary Special, 1995 [PDF]. A celebration of the first five years of AA, with a look at the All-Spongy Squadron featuring profiles, essays and pin-ups galore by a bevy of small press heroes! A great primer to the Amoeba-verse.
Prometheus: The Silent Storm, 1992 [PDF] A special AIDS benefit jam story, featuring the talents of Quinton Hoover, Max Ink, John Hurley, Lynn Allen, Anthony Gray and Doug Lumley in a tale of the All-Spongy Squadron facing an impossible foe. Old friend Monte Python is HIV-positive, and the team faces their fears and own prejudices in this powerful story. Featuring 13 pages of behind-the-scenes art, scripts and more telling how this collaboration came together.
Jip Book One, 1993 [PDF] Back in print for the first time in more than 20 years, the first half of my 1993-1994 newspaper strip for The Daily Mississippian. Meet Jip, a typical confused college student at university, and his pals Terry, Jay, Karen and more, in a strip that mashes up elements of “Bloom County,” “Doonesbury” and “Hepcats” to create a goofy look at student life. Collecting the first five months of the comic including a crossover with Victor Lazlo aka Lain Hughes’s “Pumpkin Shirt,” and five pages of behind-the scenes art and interviews.
Jip Book Two, 1994 [PDF] The final weeks of my 1993-1994 newspaper strip for The Daily Mississippian! Say goodbye to everything as Jip and friends wind up their university days with parties, pathos and predicaments. Jip gets a girlfriend, his parents show up at school, Jay makes a road trip and we at long last learn exactly how old Skeet really is. With two pages of rare bonus “Jip” strips!
Chiaroscuro #1, 1995 [PDF] Quite possibly the strangest comics I’ve ever done, collecting the weekly strip from the pages of Oxford Town. Anything goes! The adventures of Lil’ Kafka, the horror of the shivering walnuts, the return of Jip, the Notional Squad, Bob The Rabbit, President James Buchanan and much more in this selection of strangeness and surrealism. Plus two never-before-seen strips!
Imitation Crab Meat #1, 1992 [PDF] A rare foray into real life, this autobiographical minicomic “Roasting Chestnuts” looks back at a Christmas carnival from my high school days.
Imitation Crab Meat #2, 1992 [PDF] A second autobiographical-type minicomic, this one looking at the death of Brady Bunch star Robert Reed, and why it hit me so hard. Plus, several extra pages looking at the never-published Imitation Crab Meat #3!
Prometheus: Only A Man. Out of print, collecting Prometheus #3-6, see above for downloads of those issues.
Dr. Phlegm #1, 1993 [PDF] The first full-length collaboration of Nik and Max Ink introduces the most disgusting, mucus-laden villain of all! Raoul and Prometheus do deadly battle with the most contagious foe they’ll ever meet in this rare minicomic.
One-Called Tales #1, 1991 [PDF]. One for the fans, this eccentric collection of rarities tosses together a whole mess of rare pre-Amoeba Adventures art and strips featuring Prometheus, Rambunny and more, in a look at my earliest high school-era comics, including the very first appearance of Prometheus and Rambunny!
Prometheus Saves The Earth #1, 1991. Out of print, this environmentally themed comics anthology featured stories by Erik Kaye, John Hurley, Max Ink, Matt Feazell, David M. Pitts and the late Quinton Hoover! As these artists own the copyright to their work printed here, I’m not making a PDF of the book available at this time. However, the two Amoeba Adventures stories, “Perspective” and a team-up between Prometheus and Matt Feazell’s legendary Cynicalman, were both reprinted in Amoeba Adventures #12, to be found above!