Today’s Strip…

What a great riff on a classic super hero convention!  Today’s excellent and quite funny strip comes from T.L. Collins, the creative mind behind the newer webcomic Bullfinch. I really like T.L.’s art and the personality he injects into each of the characters.  So much so that…well, you may want to read the next item…


I have some good news and some bad news.  But first, a little history…

It’s been over 2 years since I started the SuperFogeys.  It started as an experiment, a challenge to myself, really.  Could I do strip format comics?  Could I do a webcomic?  To varying degrees of success, I can safely say that the answer is yes.

But something happened with SF that I did not expect: I fell in love with my experiment and the stories and the characters that resulted. I wasn’t very far along into it before I realized I had something I really wanted to see through.  It would (and has) take(n) years, but I wanted to do it because it would be…so…freakin’…cool.

And it has been.  It really has.  But there was a problem with my doing SF from the very beginning.  I had other projects going before the idea for SF ever fell into my lap and, though I meant to continue with them, I just couldn’t.  I didn’t have the time.

One of those projects, a graphic novel, I managed to complete the script to.  Until an artist comes along that’s willing to take up that charge, that’s pretty much where that project will remain.  I’m okay with that.  I’ll get back to it one day.

It was the other project that was gnawing at me.  I worked on it here and there, when I had the time, but 2008 was a bad year for that project.  It fell by the wayside and I felt sick about it.  It was stressing me out because…it’s something I have to do, y’know?  I think we’re all put on this earth for a variety of reasons and I’ve known for a long time that this project was one of those things that I had to do.

Only I wasn’t doing it. That project had come to a standstill and I wasn’t okay with that. SuperFogeys had taken its place in my heart and that didn’t feel right.

It’s a book.  A book about my father and his life and death and how his end was the beginning of me. It’s important (to me, anyway), funny, touching and–I hope–original.  It’s something I have to write.  Something I have to complete.

Most people in my life, both online and offline, think of me as an illustrator first.  Even when they think of the SuperFogeys (if they do at all), they think of it as something I DRAW, with little thought as to how I know what to draw and where the words come from. But that’s not how I think of myself.  I’ve always thought of myself as a writer first.  Whether that’s fair to my abilities on either side, I don’t know.  That’s just how I think of myself.  I’m perfectly aware that it might just be my own delusion.

But I don’t care.

This may not work out at all, but 2009 is the year I devote to “Bullets and M&M’s.”  I already started over the Christmas break.  I got a laptop, uploaded all the work I had already done, and sat down and started writing (and rewriting).  It felt good.  It felt right.  And I know I’ve made the right decision.

What will become of this book?  Who knows?  But at least I’ll have finally done it.

Now, the big question.  You want to know what this means for the SuperFogeys. What it means is this:  I’m doing less SuperFogeys in 2009.  I’m going to a once-a-week schedule that will allow me to use my time in the most efficient way possible, prioritizing the things that are most important to me.  Thanks to other, more important responsibilities in my life, I have a certain amount of personal time allotted each week that I can devote to personal projects and while I’d love if it SF was my job and Bullets was my nightly side project…look, just tell your friends and buy the t-shirts already, okay?

So, things being as they are, I made my decision.  I told Th3rd World about my decision in early December and they were very supportive.

But then…a couple days later…an idea was hatched.  What if there was a way to allow me to work less on SF, and yet still keep the SF train a-chugging at the same rate? What if we brought in another artist to work on scripts written by me in an SF spin-off strip? Who would even want to do such a thing and was there enough material in my idea well to even warrant such a project?

Hmm…  Ideas were batted around.  For a while there I was seriously considering doing a spinoff strip with Captain Spectacular II and the current Society of Heroes.  But a funny thing happened on the way to a webcomic about a bunch of characters almost no one cares about…it was looking like the Origin of Captain Spectacular and Dr. Rocket was a big hit.  This extended break from the main story, this overlong flashback that I thought might test readers’ patience…it was actually coming off pretty well.

In fact, on the whole, flashbacks seemed to be among the most popular episodes of any given SF chapter.  Dang, why not?  It’s not like “Heroes” is using the idea anymore.  So why can’t I?

So, yes, I’d now like to announce Th3rd World’s newest Webcomic…

(Big thanks to Th3rd World Publisher Michael DeVito for the logo design.)

Let’s face it, you’ve been wondering right?  You’re finding out right now where Captain Spectacular and Dr. Rocket came from, but what about Spy Gal? Swifty?  How did the Society of Heroes get together?  Why did Dr. Klein found Valhalla in the first place?  Who was Captain Emo before Weezer’s Pinkerton came out?

Not saying I’m going to answer all of those questions, but SuperFogeys Origins (or SFO) will answer some of them, and even a few questions you maybe didn’t even know to ask.

And who will be joining me for this mad adventure?  Why none other than the artist of today’s guest strip–TL Collins. I’m gonna give it you straight people: TL’s got the stuff.  In a lot of ways, I prefer his version of the SF characters to my own and I can’t wait for you all to see what he’s been cooking up.  We’re truly in sync on this project and it feels good.  Really, really good.

And I haven’t even told you the best part yet.

As a major break from SF tradition, each episode of SuperFogeys Origins will be a FULL PAGE update.  We’re talking traditional comic size here. As you can see, TL’s art is more than worth it (wish I could show you more than a panel, but I want to save some surprises for the launch!): 

So…who’s that guy?  That’s The Money Man, who appeared briefly here (and not even “for reals”) in Chapter 3.  His origin is up first (just a mere 2 pages) and then it’s straight on to the Origin of the Society of Heroes.  Can’t wait to tell that story.  Some big surprises in store for that one.

And Now…How This is All Gonna Work:

So this is good news/bad news, right?  The good news is you’re actually going to be getting more SuperFogeys content each week.  An entire page affords me the opportunity to really stretch out that the strip format just doesn’t.  The bad news is…it’s going to take a little longer for our main story to roll out.  Hopefully, you all won’t mind the delay.  Hopefully this is a good trade-off.  I think it is. SFO starts the first Tuesday in February.  (That makes January a little sparse for updates, I know.  Sorry about that.)

The way it will work is this: same schedule as before.  New SuperFogeys content every Tuesday and Thursday, with odds and ends (like preview pages to the bonus stories in the books, guest strips, etc.) popping up on the off days as necessary.  You never really know.

Tuesday will be dedicated to “SuperFogeys Origins.”  No need to travel to another URL, will still be your one-stop shop.  The stories could be about anyone or anything in the SuperFogeys universe–at any point in the SF timeline–but it will be an origin.  That much I can promise.

Thursday will be the only day I’ll be posting “The SuperFogeys.” This will be in the regular strip format, based in the current continuity.  Chapter 6 will continue as it was.  Just a wee bit slower.

Everybody clear?  Make sense?  Actually make it all the way through this post?  Good for you.