This isn’t the first time I’ve depicted Jared as having the sauce and sometimes I wonder if that’s fair. But it’s not like I’ve made it a dominant character trait, so I don’t lose much sleep over it.

I only express mild concern because Jared the comic character is based off a real person and I don’t want to offend him. Secondly, I always second guess comics where I introduce alcohol or other adult themes because I like to believe that Theater Hopper is accessible to a younger audience.

Obviously the comic isn’t sunshine and lollipops all the time (do kids still care about lollipops?) but my rule is never to go any further than what you might see in Prime Time TV. I think we’re still in safe territory here.

SIDEBAR: I just took a closer look at those comics I linked to earlier and the look like friggin’ cave drawings compared to what I’m doing now. I’m not trying to brag, I’m just shocked at my own evolution and am racking my brain a little bit trying to remember when and exactly how I started to change my style. Fun.

I suppose along those lines I can mention that I’m working on Theater Hopper: Year Three. I originally started laying out the book in late Spring with the hopes of taking it to Wizard World Chicago in June, but that didn’t happen and I ended up putting it on the back-burner.

Well, now it’s on the front-burner and I’m half-way through the commentary. You’d think writing commentary for the strips wouldn’t take that long. I essentially do it every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the present. But there’s something about revisiting that period three years ago that makes it difficult to remember where I was at creatively and what things were important to me back then.

Remember, this is before Henry was born and I feel like a completely different person now.

But the Year Three book is something I want to get right. It was the first year I started to experiment with longer story lines. It was the year I wrote the arc where Jimmy lost his job. It was also the year that I introduced Charlie. I know a lot of people who have written me and talked about how they’ve enjyoed those stories. So I want the behind-the-scene revelations to be satisfying for them.

I generally consider Year Three to be the make-or-break year for Theater Hopper. I started taking more risks creatively and the audience began to solidify. In some ways, it was the high water mark of the strip and I would really like to try and capture that again. But if things hadn’t turned out the way that they did, I probably wouldn’t have continued to pursue the comic.

At any rate, I’m working on it. I’d like to have it out by the holidays, but it’s already mid-November, so that doesn’t seem likely. I know I want to have it in my hands when I go to the Emerald City Comicon in Seattle this April. So keep your eyes peeled for a pre-order opportunity sometime in the new year.

In the meantime, I’m not sure I’ve shared this here or not, but if I have, I’ll post it here again. This is the cover for Year Three:

Theater Hopper: Year Three

That’s it for me today. Planning on seeing Quantum of Solace tonight. Cami says she’s not interested in seeing it, so I’m going solo – which is a shame. She really liked Casino Royale. Oh, well. I’ll tell you what I thought of it on Monday.

See you then!

↓ Transcript
One cup of ice please

So what’s this awesome secret you wanted to tell me?

Dude, check it out. I brought a flask with a pre-mixed martini in it!

Just like James Bond. Get it?

Are you stupid? Quantum of Solace is rated PG-13!

You can’t go in there sucking down booze! Kids will be in there, man!

That’s why I got this cup of ice! It’s a disguise!

What’s the worst that can happen?