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S*P Reader Gathering at the Tomato in Denton, Texas

November 22, 2005
In mid-November of 2005, I received an email from a reader stating that the Tomato in Denton, Texas, would be shutting down. When I attended the University of North Texas, the Tomato (then called the Flying Tomato) was the only place in town to get a decent piece of pizza. I had a lot of fond memories of the place and was saddened at the idea of it shutting down.

When I returned to Texas for Thanksgiving, I decided I wanted to go to the Tomato and eat some pizza. Then I decided, "Why not post on the website and tell any readers in the area they should show up and say hello?" I was pretty sure no one would show up but I'm glad to say I was wrong. Nineteen people came by - that's nineteen people more than I thought I'd see a pretty good turn out considering I had only posted about it six hours earlier. I also learned, thankfully, that the Tomato isn't closing down - so maybe this won't be the last gathering there.

Below are pictures of the readers who were able to show up, sans one tiny blonde girl who came to get a replacement sketch (her original sketch vanished when someone broke into her car and stole, amongst other things, a pile of comic books that also held the old drawing). God speed, little blonde pixie girl, whereever you are. - R, 11-27-2005

Okay, first off, I next to no one's names in ANY of these photos. The girl on your left, in the cat-eared hat, is a grad student working on her library sciences degree. The couple locked in struggle are getting married this December in Las Vegas (congrats, by the way). In fact, the gentleman worked at the Tomato when I was a college student and frequented the place.
These were some pretty mellow guys. I don't know why, but I swear I've met the guy on the left somewhere before.
Just so you know, the two girls in this photo are utter and complete troublemakers. I've got it on good authority they shake newborn infants, too.
The guy on the left nervously asked me for a sketch of Pepito because he'd heard I hate the character and wasn't sure if I'd draw him or not. The reality is, I find myself drawing a lot of weird stuff at cons. In fact, I've had a lot of people ask me to draw Penny Arcade's Div. Either I draw it well or these people are very confused about who I am.
Here's a couple who've been following my work LiveJournal for a few years. They informed me, in no uncertain terms, I'd better shut up about how "scary" turning thirty is. So I think I will
This young art student brought me a mug she'd made. Also, her dad had Vernon Fisher as a professor, too. She was the one who informed me that he retired in the 2004-2005 school year.
I drew a sketch for this guy, he got home, and then a female friend of his threatened him if he didn't come back and get a sketch for her, too. I hope, for his sake, she liked it.
I think this woman was the only person who had questions actually related to the comic. I don't think I did a good job of answering them, though. Sorry.
My God, she's so tiny! You just wanna put her in a tea cup and then lock her in a knick-knack cabinet for safe keeping... of course, then one week you forget to feed her and, well, these things always end in heartbreak.
You can tell I've known Ben for years by the look of, "Seriously, Randy, do you need a fuckin' picture of me?" on his face. We used to write for the same text-file group back in the days of BBSes, a little thing known as the Story From Hell.
Apparently pretty firefighters read Something*Positive. I don't know which comic the ugly ones read.
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