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December 2, 2016

Enjoy the theater storylines in S*P? If this Kickstarter is successful, I'll be illustrating a whole card game about theater nightmares! -hint hint-


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Passing the Cat

January 22, 2016

In my original timeline for S*P, the one I made up during the first few months of the comic, I'd planned on ending it at Year Ten. Originally, it was going to go as such: Year Six, PeeJee moves away. Year Seven, Kim leaves. Year Eight, Jhim. Year Nine, Jason.

Year Ten would have focused just on Aubrey, Davan and Choo-Choo Bear after their group of friends has dwindled to just them. Sure, there's be other characters still around but the core cast would have been gone. Near the end of the strip, Aubrey would have gotten her dream job offer and was going to leave. In one of the last strips, Davan was going to give Choo-Choo Bear to Aubrey before she moved away. There was other stuff, obviously, and all of this got scrapped because I began rethinking it in the second year of the comic (including when I considered killing Davan off in Year Three until the friends Aubrey and PeeJee are based upon voiced their EXTREME disapproval).

So, this is the closest that will ever come to that - Davan leaving Choo-Choo Bear with Vanessa so she's not alone. There are worse things, I guess. -

One Last Familiar Face and a Story

January 15, 2016

When S*P first started in December of 2001 I was in a production of the play, The Eight: Reindeer Monologues by Jeff Goode.  Of the shows I did, it was one of the closest cats I remember.  When I uploaded the first strip, I included everyone from the show on an email I set to people I knew saying, more of less, "LOOK WHAT I DID!"  To my surprise, almost everyone in the show wanted to appear in the comic.  And, quite a few of them did.

The director, Josh, became Jason (I need to tell the story of why he's Jason sometime - it's not really long or interesting but makes me snicker).  Claire and T-Bob were also in the show.  One actress, Sarah, I always wanted to put into the show but we all fell out of touch with her after the show so I never knew how she wanted to be represented.  And then there's the character in today's strip, Darrick.

Darrick's real inspiration was about the sweetest guy on earth. Very polite, always had a smile, clever.  He was just fun to be around.  I dunno if you've been in theater or not, but here's a reality of it:  while you're doing a show, that cast is the closest group of people in your life. They're your family and friends.  You learn pretty much everything about them.  Then the show ends, and you hang out for a bit afterwards, but time goes by and people start dropping off until you never hear from any of them unless you're in another show together.  It was always weird to me and I never got used to it.  With The Eight, I actually stayed friends with Josh, Claire, and T-Bob, although admitted I don't talk to any of them as much as I should (distance and lives busy beyond theater are the culprits now).  Darrick, sadly, was one of those casualties.

I did see him again early in 2004.  MIT was putting on a production of The Vagina Monologues and I designed the shirt.  It featured PeeJee hugging Choo-Choo Bear and said "Take Care of Your Pussy."  I didn't charge them, my only requirement was it be sold online (the proceeds when to shelters to help people escape domestic violence - it's still probably the BEST selling S*P shirt ever.  I wish I knew the final totals).  I attended almost every performance and, one night, ran into Darrick!  We talked a little bit and I told him I needed to put him back into the comic.  Sure enough, he showed up briefly in the Shock Treatment storyline.  That was the last time he showed up, although he was discussed by the characters much later.

Because I sometimes fall into Google holes like everyone else, I did look him up not too long ago (well, like two days ago after I drew this comic).  Apparently he's doing well,  which is good.  I considered contacting him but it's been forever and I always feel uncomfortable about butting into someone's life after being away for years. -R.

People I Knew Long Ago

January 14, 2016

So, Spooky is actually inspired of someone I knew in the Boston theater scene.  I was even in a Hunters game he ran (the only Huntter: the Reckoning game I ever enjoyed, in fact).  Amazing guy, and nothing like the character (the real Spooky never endangered anyone's like and was nothing but diplomatic to everyone).  I've always been sad Spooky in the comic never looked like the guy I knew because THAT Spooky was like an ethereal elf.  Just... unworldly good looking guy.

Bloodthorn, however, is another matter.  Originally he was going to be a reoccurring minor character in S*P as Mike's henchman/cousin.  I ended up dropping that when I decided Branwen would be better as Mike's cousin.  Bloodthorn did return two other times, though: once in 2004 and once more in 2007.  There are a lot of characters I wish I'd done more.  He's... not one of them. -R.