I wrote this one while driving to S.P.A.C.E. in Columbus. I find that I can sometimes write strips while driving, alone and with the radio off. I have to be able to picture the clip in my mind clearly, so when I try it, I don’t pick strips where the position or expression of the characters matters. A lot of the strips where the conversation takes place inside a building were written this way.
Anyway, I wrote this, and I liked it. Then I got to the con and looked at the clip, and I realized the kid was reading a MAGAZINE in it, and not a book. The way I wrote it, it had to be a book.
Well, there I was, surrounded by artists, in need of a new clip to fit the joke. The solution was obvious. I started asking people about commissioning a small drawing. I asked my table-mate Brian McFadden, but he declined, as did my panel-mate Steve Conley.
I caught up with this very nice woman named Michelle Arcand, who had bought one of my books earlier. I had discovered defects in some of the books so I stopped her and asked to inspect her book. I then explained the problem I was having with the clip, and she told me she was an artist and would draw/trace the clip, substituting a book for the magazine. I offered to pay her $25, which is what I paid Andy for the art in Blood Cells.
She came back to the table about 10 minutes later with this beautiful rendering. On top of that, she refused the commission. So she was exceptionally nice, exceptionally talented, and (take my word) exceptionally pretty. Meeting her was the best part of the con. I just want to say thank you, Michelle from Kansas City. If you ever decide to put your work online, I will be sure to give you a link.
BTW I had to call this “Boy Reading Alone” because I already had one called “Boy Reading.” I may change that one to “Boy Learning to Read.”