First in a series? I mean—I certainly have the material . . . .
So I spend a lot of time talking about comics (to be meta, yesterday I talked about me talking about comics). But I don't often publish actual comics of my own making. In fact, mostly never. I made a four-page comics version of my Mike Allred interview for the Sunstone comics issue, but my boss deemed it too confusing to the uninitiated, so we just wrote an article instead.
That comic, however, prepared me to create "Mormons by the Bay."
(Not that I haven't used the newscaster idea before. In fact, I use it all the time. See here and here for examples.)
When I saw SF Weekly's call for comics as it prepared its Very First Comics Issue! (theme: Connected in San Francisco), I knew I was going to submit. And since I'm already working on a novel that takes place (partly) in an alternate version of San Francisco where the Mormons never left, I thought I would incorporate some of those elements into the comic.
I intended to fit myself into the smallest space offered to maximize the chances of being accepted and spent a week or two sketching ideas. Then I finally sat down and thumbnailed it, only to discover that, pared down, the comic was still running twice as long as intended. Then I checked the specs and realized that my "as intended" was twice as long as the actual space I was intending to fill.
Time for major edits.
So I scraped it down and got it in and now! what do you know! I'm in.
And I'll tell you what: Crushing my ideas into that small space forced me to prioritize punchline over list-of-facts, which I think was better for everyone.
I stopped by the newsstand on my way to work, but it only had the East Bay Express and the San Francisco Guardian, so I'm still not sure whether or not I'm in print or online only, but still. I published a comic. I'm pretty happy. And if it is in print, I'm getting paid.
The weird thing is realizing that by this time next week, "Mormons by the Bay" may well be the most read thing I've ever published.
I mean---SFW has a circulation of 50,000. Which I'm pretty sure is more than Irreantum.