I always knew I wanted our 100th strip to be something special and my original script nearly gave Jamie a nervous breakdown. I showed him Rothermel's The Battle of Gettysburg: Pickett's Charge and said "Like that, but be sure to include everyone who's ever appeared or asked to appear in the comic. The consumers should be attacking us with shopping bags and I want to see an eight-foot-tall Ralph Nader astride a flaming bone-chariot, wearing Hellfire armour and a necklace of human skulls, including the freshly-severed head of Donny Deutsch. Our CD should be locked in mortal combat with a mysterious blonde woman wearing a full face mask and most of the other creatives should be taking a beating, with the notable exception of David Droga who stalks the battlefield like Death Incarnate, wielding sharpened One Show Pencils and a shoulder-mounted rocket launcher that shoots Gold Lions. Adding to the chaos is the stampede of bloodthirsty zombie cows and chickens. Also, may I please have a double-bladed lightsaber? Oh, and throw in any 300 reference you can think of."
I sent him that script at 9:20, Thursday evening, knowing full well he was taking his family to the cottage the next afternoon. I think you'll understand why he suggested we just re-run last year's comic after we were once again shortlisted without winning. His addendum to last week's blog probably makes a lot more sense, as well.
In the end, I actually prefer the elegant simplicity of Jamie's homage. For one thing, the heavy use of shadow pretty much gives me carte blanche to hand out cameos. Can you say for sure that's not your silhouette?
This week's special guest stars are:
- Steven Rigney
- Stewart Graham
- Lorelei Derera
- Klara Fellegi
- Keith Prestwich
- Chris Eaton
- Åsk Dabitch Wäppling (the silhouette with the red hair)
- Doryen Chin
- Jody Matheson
- Patrick Dugan
- Nicholas Hall
- Brian Thompson
- Borna Zlamalik
- Barbara Vermeersch
- Michelle Renée Maynor
- Amy Bagnall
- Rainypete (the silhouette with the clown nose)
- John McAdorey
- Ren Olivieri
- Petra Scott
- Jennifer Lui
- Radovan Grežo
- Saro Ghazarian
- Sarah Moffatt
- Chandrachoodan Gopalakrishnan
- Brian Howe
- Brendan Watson (the lithe silhouette with cat-like grace)
- Craig Horning
- Dawn Whiteman
- Mario Cesareo
- Leith Mellors
- Jason Theodor
- Evan Long
- Hubert Marczuk
Thanks to everybody who asked to be in the strip and to everybody who reads it. Your interest and enthusiasm are the main reason Jamie and I do this. All jokes aside, we are honestly grateful.
At the risk of negating everything I've said thus far, I should tell you that this is actually the 102nd comic. The first two were character studies Jamie created after I bugged him for a year about creating a comic together. I wanted to hide behind fictional avatars and call it Ad Nauseum. Jamie wanted to use our actual identities and call it Words & Pictures. I told him that was a stupid name. He drew our faces in the comic and created the logo at the top of this page and that was pretty much that. On the upside, I got a good strip out of the experience.
I give you the humble origins of Words & Pictures:
Did I mention that Jamie wrote these?
To be fair, he only wanted to show me how the comic would look. The backstory here is that our office had recently been invaded by a huge millipede. It was lightning-fast and dodged Jamie's attempt to stomp it by running sideways up the wall like Trinity in The Matrix. In his panic, Jamie reached for the nearest weapon and spray glued the poor creature to the carpet. I placed a napkin over her as a burial shroud and Jamie created a tiny tombstone that simply read "Milli".
The cleaning staff didn't touch it and two weeks later we were forced to scoop a liquified millipede corpse off our floor. Apparently spray glue does that.
I have no idea why he's wearing Captain Picard's shirt.
I actually think this one is pretty good. He certainly had our dynamic down pat. After we launched a few months later, Jamie polished this and proposed we run it as our second comic. It took bionic testicles to placate him.
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