You read that headline right. After a nearly two year absence (the last SuperFogeys Origins page posted on October 12, 2012), SuperFogeys Origins is coming back this coming Friday, July 4th! That’s right, American Independence Day! Which is purely coincidental and has nothing to do whatsoever with SuperFogeys Origins or the story we’re kicking it all off with!

And what is that story, you ask? I’ll tell you: a direct sequel to Spy Gal’s origin entitled “Spy Gal – Captured” with art by the incomparable Jason Williams! If you’ve seen his recent SF fan art, you know that’s good reason to get excited. Check out his take on Spy Gal:

In the Spy Gal origin (with art by Lee Cherolis), Spy Gal went from being an evil mercenary and homewrecker, to prison where Money Man approached her and asked her to become a hero. Chronologically, the next story in Spy Gal’s history is the Origins story about formation of the Society of Heroes, by which point Spy Gal is fully heroic.

That’s always kind of bugged me. How did she go from international criminal to a superhero? What was that transition like? What kind of influence did Money Man have on her that she could make a switch like that? That’s the story Jason and I will be telling. I’m really, really excited about it.

“But wait,” I hear you say. “Why did SuperFogeys Origins go away in the first place? I remember it being kind of cool and you seem pumped about it, so why did you take it away?”

Great questions. I’m gonna do my best to answer honestly.

SFO was always a labor of love. The full page comics are not easy to write or draw and required quite a bit of time investment from both me and the artists I worked with. After more than two years of Origins stories, I started feeling like the investment wasn’t entirely worth it. SFO never got as much as traffic as the regular strip, and the comments on the stories were considerably fewer in number. When there’s no money to be made (that’s right, all SFO artists work for the fun of doing it–just like Marc and I basically do [with the exception of your donations to Marc's Artist Fund in the left sidebar] on the regular strip), the reader excitement and participation is the only real reward. I couldn’t figure out why SFO just didn’t invoke the same passion. Why, with great artists like Denver Brubaker doing fun stories like SuperFogeys Babies, did interest appear to be so low?

I’ve had some time to reflect n this and I think I know the answer. The problem was the writing. I saw SuperFogeys Origins as a great way to tell traditional superhero stories of all stripes, at any point throughout the history of the SF Universe. But I’m not sure that’s what everybody wanted. SuperFogeys Babies is a great story and I stand by the work Denver and I did on it, but you don’t come away from that story with any greater insight to the characters and no secrets are unlocked that help you see the present day situations in a new light. It’s a fun story, period. I think a lot of the later SFO stories were like that. I think that’s enough for a print collection, but maybe it’s not enough online where you have to wait so long for pages and you’re expecting a greater return on your investment. Fun isn’t enough. Adventure isn’t enough. You want consequence. You want relevance.

So, that’s my guiding light for the SuperFogeys Origins reboot. I’m going to stick to stories that really have an impact and give you real insight into the characters. I feel like the Spy Gal story we’re starting on Friday has absolute relevance to the current chapter, 19, “The Man Who Sold the World.” There are things you’re going to see in that chapter that, if you’ve read “Spy Gal – Captured,” it’s going to have great impact and your understanding of that thing will be that much better.

Now, that’s the goal. SuperFogeys Origins is a seat-of-my-pants affair. I have an outline for the next Origins story I want to tell (and this one is HUGE–a story I can’t believe I haven’t actually told yet, though several of you have asked me about at one time or another), but that really depends on whether or not I get an artist to draw it. Would Jason be up for a round 2? Would any past SFO artists like to come back? Are there other artists out there of sufficient skill who would like to try their hand? I don’t know. We’ll find out together. For now, I make no promises.

Well, I make one promise: there’s a new SuperFogeys Origin story and it’s coming this Friday! See you then.