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September 4, 2007

Today's Comic
Hello and Goodbye

September 4, 2007

On September 15th, the Museum of Comics and Cartoon Art is having an exhibit entitled Infinite Canvas: Art of Webcomics. It runs until the 15th of January and I was lucky enough to be asked to submit some strips. So, if you're in or going to be visiting New York anything soon, stop by and check it out. A lot of people have offered things up. I'm hoping to go to check it out the first day provided I can find a place to stay in New York.

So... I have a childhood friend named Brandon Safford. Brandon and I did all sorts of stupid things together and frankly I'm impressed we're alive to this day. He's still an important friend to me. Last Friday, he and his awesome wife Aimee had their first child. Welcome to the world, Jack. I can't wait for you to understand speech so I can tell you many, many humiliating stories about your papa.

On a different note, many of you know Josh, whom I based Jason off of, is moving to Santa Monica for his "real" job. Josh has been my roommate for a year, my ads manager for two years, and a friend for six years. It's very hard to see him leave and this has been very heavy on me for weeks now. It's like when Clarine moved from New York back to D/FW. Even though we weren't in the same city we saw each other all the time - and suddenly that wasn't going to happen. It's very surreal.

I've often said that the two people who shaped S*P are Clarine and "the real PeeJee" (sorry, you don't get to know her yet). But the reality is Josh had just as much influence on S*P as they did. I met Josh in October of 2001 when I auditioned for a show he was directing. S*P launched midway through the show's run and Josh, as well as two cast members (Claire and T-Bob) volunteered to be in the comic (actually, there two other people who also volunteered - Darrick, who appeared in the comic about three times but I could never make the character live up to how cool Darrick is; and "Jennifer" who appears in that first strip with him and showed up once later was a cast member - but the original strips with her had her real name which I retconned out).

Josh, like Claire and T-Bob, is a bit of an anomaly. In theatre, you do a show and for the duration of that rehearsal and run time, the other people involved are your closest friends. You're with 'em nonstop. You grow a strong bond - and at the cast party, you swear you'll still hang out but it next-to-never happens. Other shows start, real life returns - something gets in the way. With Josh, that didn't happen. Granted, it helped he suckered me into helping at the children's theatre, but even after I quit that we still hung around each other.

Josh is one of the funniest people I've ever known. He's been acting since he was a child and has easily the best timing of anyone I've been on stage with. His improv skills are astounding - I've seen him improv, in rhyme, a monologue during a children's show because "Jennifer" needed more time to change costumes - and it wasn't a small monologue, either. And frankly, it was better than the rest of the play (if you do children's theatre, I beg you, do not perform the Mask of Beauty & the Beast)

All of Josh's stuff is gone right now. It's in a truck heading towards California. His flight is in the early morning but he's spending the night with friends. With Rinny doing gigs in NYC, I'll have the entire apartment to myself until the new roommates start moving in tomorrow.

I'm going to miss Josh being around. It's going to be very difficult. He's kept me centered and calm many times, and also acted as common sense when I was lacking (although I can't even begin to relay all the times he and Rinny have tried to tempt me into doing REALLY awful things with the comic just to see what would happen).

Josh, I hope things go well for you in California. Things won't be the same without you. But I'm trying not to dwell on the downside of this. This is a good thing and good things are going to happen because of it.

After all, I've been needing a free place to crash when I go to LA.

I'll miss you. -R.

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