Sam and Fuzzy Q & A: Nail Edition
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"Is there any "for want of a nail" moment in writing you considered that could have bumped the story in a very different direction?" -Zee
There are probably quite a few of them by now, but the one that immediately jumps to mind is the second appearance of Jess Star!
When I was first planning the "imposter X" plot, I thought said imposter was going to be a new character -- a kind of goofy "master of disguise" who utilized impossibly convincing costumes. But I never came up with a version of that character that I particularly liked. (Honestly, the professional disguise master ideas I was tossing around all felt too similar to Hazel.)
So in want of a master of disguise, I decided to dip back into my archives and use my shapeshifter! Jess had only appeared once, years earlier. At the time, I did intend for her to make a second appearance -- helping Fuzzy out after he was first abandonned by Hazel -- but I wound up cutting that and just briefly mentioning it instead. But by casting her as X's imposter, she finally got her chance to return. And I wound up liking writing her so much that she eventually worked her way up to being a main cast member!
It's safe to say that, if I had gone ahead and created that new "master of disguise" character, Jess Star may well have never got a second appearance. And I think we can all agree that the comic would be pretty different without Jess, right?
"Do you have any advice for someone wanting to work in comics to get their first job?" -Kenzie
I wish I had more of this! The truth is, I've spent nearly my entire career self-publishing my own comics. I'm very fortunate that it has worked out for me... but it means that I don't have much experience trying to get traditional for-hire comics gigs. Writing for the Invader Zim seires is one of the only times I've done that kind of work, and in that case, they actually approached me because the editor and Jhonen were familiar with my other work.
Sorry! I guess this might be a good question for a different cartoonist. But good luck!
"What are some good comics cons you've been to over the years?" -Alex
Oh, conventions. I look forward to returning to them in the future, once it's safe to do so again! I definitely have missed them.
My favourite convention is Gen Con! Now, it's not a comic convention... it's an rpg/tabletop gaming con. But it has a great vibe and a really nice crowd. And unlike a lot of other cons, there's fun stuff happening in the later evening, which means I can actually go do some of it! (After all, during the day at cons, I'm always busy working at the booth.)
For actually comic-focused comic shows, I love VanCAF and TCAF. They really put the emphasis on comics and comics creators. It's nice to go to shows that are about literally nothing but comics. And they're free to attend, which is hard to beat!
Now, as far as traditional "comic cons" go -- that is to say, big pop culture conventions that are about all kinds of media -- Emerald City in Seattle is my favourite. But there is also something special about the spectacle of San Diego Comic Con! However, the scale of that show is kind of insane, as is the size of the crowd. I can't imagine what it's like as an attendee! Emerald City is big, but a little more navigable.
That's all for this week, friends! But come back on Monday for our next comic.