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November 14, 2011

Today's Comic
Looking Back: Nailed! Part 1

November 22, 2011

Almost a decade later people still ask me where the idea for the whole “Nailed!” storyline came from.

The first year of S*P I did a lot of work at a local theater owned by a friend. In the mornings there were children's plays; in the evening, normal plays. It was not uncommon for one group of people to be involved in both shows, or people in the children's plays to hang out afterwards in the theater with people who were in the evening shows, just eating, drinking, and talking.

I love doing theater. I've not done any shows in a couple of years now, but I miss it. What I miss most about theater, and I could wax on about this for hours, are theater friends – those relationships you build during a show which are so concentrated, it feels like they've been with you your whole life. During the two or three months you're in a play, you see these people every day, bond, and share with them. It's great.

But then the play ends. Maybe you'll keep in contact with some of them, at least for a while. Many will vanish to other theaters do to new shows, or if it's community theater, return to their normal life having finally done a show and being satiated. It's a bit depressing.

But this theater (which I won't name because they still do a lot of child-friendly things, although not in Boston anymore, and I'd rather not put the stink of my comic on them) was like on giant, continuous show. Cast members hung around to help out with the next run. It was great.

Anyway, it was during one of those afternoons when we were lounging around. It was, if I recall correctly, Josh (whom I based Jason off of), the theater owner/head, her boyfriend, and myself, and we were all talking about the dream shows we had. These original pieces that gnaw at our brains during quiet times. Some good, some blatantly bad but you just really want to put 'em on anyway because fuck it, why not?

I spouted out that I'd love to do Jesus Christ, Superstar but without the “hippy shit” in it. Even when I was a Christian back in my teen years I loathed this play. Unlike other things I've grown to appreciate with age, JC:S still annoys me. I swore I'd make a production so awful and insensitive, it would probably only have one showing and that would end in torches and pitchforks.

Josh looked at me. “So put it in your comic.”

And I did.

Initially, it was only going to be a quick passing storyline – maybe a week of comics at best. However, it snowballed fast. “Oh, I can introduce new characters, too, and then I'll have a larger cast! Oh! And I can make fun of angry directors I've had! Oh! And actors who flake out! Oh! And shitty rehearsals! Oh, and....”

But more than that, “Nailed!” was the point when I began to see S*P as something more than a hobby, a thing I just did in my spare time during rehearsals or at work. That was probably the moment this comic became a real part of my life.

More tomorrow.-R.

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