Dec 13, 2022 2 min read

This Beer Bar’s Comic Book Delivers Joy 4 Panels at a Time

Three men
Miles Escobedo, Neil Ballard and Daniel Silberman pose with their new comic book at the Ocean Ale House. | Courtesy image

Ocean Ale House is selling copies of the collected comics neighborhood artist Neil Ballard produces for the bar and grill every week.

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What started out as a promotional gimmick during the pandemic is now collected in a new book.

All of the Ocean Ale House’s promotional weekly comics have been put together in a new perfect bound book called “The Collected Ocean Ale House Comic Strip.”

The comics usually revolve around the daily trials and tribulations of the restaurant business, often with humor and a dash of fantasy.

Ocean Ale House co-owners Miles Escobedo and Daniel Silberman and cartoonist and former Ingleside Light illustrator Neil Ballard released the print copies earlier this month.

“It’s a combination of gift idea for the community” Escobedo said. “It’s a form of merchandise. It was something also special of just making an anthology of all the comic strips. If anyone has been following since the beginning, it’s been around for almost two years. I believe they’re over 100 comics. They’re all pretty incredible. If you go to the Ale House even slightly regularly, you’ll laugh at each one.”

Ballard originally started making the  four-panel comics in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. They are primarily distributed through the restaurant’s weekly email newsletter and social media.

“I was working at Ocean Ale House at that time and I wanted to use my cartooning skills to create something that would give customers a sense of fun and community and encourage them to support their local beer bar and restaurant,” Ballard said.

Both Ballard and Escobedo expressed pride for the book’s localness. The content is about a local small business by a local artist and made at the local print shop Copy Edge.

“I know that customers really enjoy the comics, as many have kindly told me so, and we wanted to give them a high-quality print version of the collected comics as a timeless keepsake,” Ballard said.

Ballard will continue creating the weekly comic for OAH, but the comic anthology will only be available for purchase while supplies last.
“I think it’s brilliant,” said Shahasp Valentine, Jewelry and Fashion Designer at Precieux Metal Clay Jewelry, said. “The Ocean Ale House email is the only email I look forward to and read every time.”

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