The Crippler’s Son

The Crippler’s Son is about James and his older brother, Jack, who also goes by the ring name The Crippler. Jack wrestles all over the world to help get James through college and then medical school. When The Crippler comes back to town, James has to decide whether he wants to reconnect with his long lost brother. But Jack has to decide whether he wants to share the truth with James…

I created The Crippler’s Son as my thesis project for graduation with my MFA from the Center for Cartoon Studies. Fantagraphics published the book in November 2014.

Using a sketchy, expressive style that reminds me a bit of a slightly less scribbly Jeff Lemire, The Crippler’s Son is about a professional wrestler nicknamed “The Crippler” (a name he took from his wrestler father) and his much younger brother, James. James is an ER resident whose entire education was paid for by Jack (“The Crippler”) and the success that his wrestling career brought him. The Lemire comparisons extend to his Essex County trilogy, which is a story about familial relationships and misdirection regarding same. It’s also about James seeking an identity as a gay man who grew up without real family relationships or close bonds. It’s also impeccably researched, as Riffner did a fantastic job researching the back story behind wrestling and the kind of terms that only insiders tend to use, and made it part of the book’s vernacular.

Rob Clough, High-Low

Democracy Doomsday

Democracy Doomsday is about a robot created in the dark days of World War II. Its mission: KILL ALL NAZIS. After a disastrous test, the government deactivated the robot. It is forgotten until the 1970s, where it awakes to… Nazis!

A mini-comic produced as part of my thesis project for The Center for Cartoon Studies, Democracy Doomsday is an alternate history ride into hilarity.

Signs and Meanings

Signs and Meanings follows the character Ashley from Lydia as she attempts to rebuild her life and career. It gets strange. Written by Kevin Church, with art by myself and Rick Hiltbrunner. Running from 2012-2013, the webcomic is currently on hiatus.

Drunk Elephant Comics

Dragging his way through hangovers and broken promises comes Hank, a little elephant with a sizable appetite for booze. Along for the ride is his roommate, Marty, and their favorite bartender, Kacy. Running from 2008-2012, Drunk Elephant Comics was my first ongoing webcomic.


Lydia is a spin-off of The Rack, featuring the (mis)adventures of Lydia Park, an overly practical young woman that’s found herself in the incredibly impractical world that is Corporate America. Running through 2009, Lydia was my first ongoing webcomic collaboration with writer Kevin Church.

Quick Step

Winner of the 2007 Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics

Quick Step is about a mouse named Lorenzo Quick, and boy, this kid can dance! Unfortunately, there is another great dancer at school, Jonny B, who has his eyes set on Sandra to take to the Spring Fling. And well, Sandra seems to have her eyes set on Lorenzo. The heart of Sandra is the prize once Jonny challenges Lorenzo to a good ol’ dance-off! But Lorenzo may have other ideas…

Originally self-published online in 2007, QUICK STEP was turned into a mini-comic and won the Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics!

Golden Boy

GOLDEN BOY is about Cole “Golden Boy” Parker, a retired boxer who has lost his way into a lonely life. A chance violent encounter with a young criminal causes Cole to change his life back to when he was happy. His neighborhood will join him on his journey.

Originally published by Unbound Comics in 2002, GOLDEN BOY was my first graphic novel, and the first longform comic I ever attempted.

“GOLDEN BOY will elicit many emotions from a reader, but chief among them will be the bewilderment that such an accomplished book is a first effort, and secondly, delight that you can count yourself among the first to enjoy an exciting new voice in comics. Get in on the ground floor of Max Riffner’s career now, chump!”

-Phil Hester Green Arrow, Deep Sleeper, The Coffin