When last we saw Victor, he was in a pretty good place, emotionally speaking. He had let his feelings for Tom be known and Tom let him down easy.
Seeing Cami on his turf, however, stoked competitive feelings in Victor. Feelings, as you can see in this comic, he finally decided to let go of.
For those of you worried that I’m dipping back into melodrama, don’t worry. This is a momentary lapse. But I needed to bring Victor back on the scene to usher in the last act.
I would have like to do more comics about The Avengers, but with only two months to go, I need to move things along a little faster. Jokes will have to be sacrificed for plot progression. Although there will be some call-backs to a few things along the way that I think you guys will find amusing.
Sorry the comic is a little late, by the way. Cami and I had a huge multi-family garage sale over the weekend and it left us wiped out on Sunday. We got rid of a lot of stuff, but we still had to clean up, sort and organize what was left to take to Goodwill. It was over, but it wasn’t really over, y’know? It was a lot of work.
Anyway, a quick announcement to make…
CALL FOR GUEST STRIPS
Seeing as there are only a few more weeks of Theater Hopper, I thought it might be fun to give some of you the opportunity to join in the fun.
Theater Hopper has had a long history of guest strips and fan art that has been displayed on the home page. All of these pieces are still available in the archive and I’ve always been proud to share them. So as things wind down, I thought it would be fun to put an open call out for guest strips.
There are very few criteria to participating. Images need to be 525 pixels wide, but can be as lengthy as you want. Keep the subject matter clean. No swearing, no over sexual stuff. Use your best judgement. Beyond that, do what you like.
Send whatever you put together to me at email@example.com and I’ll add it to the site. It’ll be a nice way to send things off and you can get your artwork in front of a few thousand people before the curtain call. It’s a win-win.
Thanks for your consideration and for your support. I’m looking forward to what you create!
That’s all for now. See you soon!
Wow! When I announced on Tuesday that I was looking for guest strips to help flesh out the last few weeks of Theater Hopper, I didn’t think I would receive a comic the very same day.
But that’s exactly what Josh Anderson from Worsted for Wear pulled off – and it’s hilarious!
If you’re kind of new to the site and don’t remember David, I encourage you to check out his first appearance from back in 2006.
What follows is a short story arc that takes to task the interesting phenomenon in webcomics at the time where household appliances were gaining sentience and becoming full-fledged cast members. I always thought the idea was kind of dumb, so I wanted to poke at it a little bit. I did that by quickly killing David off four strips later.
I wrote David back into the strip briefly in a story line where Shia LaBeouf used him to attack Tom. It was a case of mistaken identity.
The story line was actually a fabrication on Tom’s part to explain how he had damaged his hand and had to go to the emergency room. That was my funny way of incorporating a real-life injury I had inflicted on myself back in 2009. So David’s appearance was more of a cameo than an actual reappearance. I assure you, he’s still dead.
So, now that we’re all up to speed on David, take a minute to thank Josh for his excellent work and check out his comic Worsted for Wear!
I was really hoping to get a new comic to you today, but the responsibilities of fatherhood got in the way.
I had just finished penciling and inking the last panel of what’s supposed to be a new 7-panel strip for you guys and Pearl was crying her head off. We couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her. We tried rocking her, consoling her, reading stories, laying down with her – everything.
Eventually, we decided that we’d let her in our bed with us, but even that didn’t work. She didn’t have a fever, she didn’t need a drink, she had a clean diaper… we couldn’t figure it out. She kept writhing around and crying all night.
So, yeah. The comic didn’t get finished.
Thank goodness for this guest strip from Bob Dahlstrom!
I’ve known Bob a good long while. He used to have a comic called Think Tank that I used to really, really enjoy. These days he’s got a new comic called Egomaniac; an journal comic which… I think I enjoy more!
It had kind of been a while since I checked in with Bob, so I was really surprised by his work. His line work has really improved. His inking, too. It’s always really cool to watch how people’s techniques evolve.
Bob actually hit on something I wanted to discuss, kind of by accident by bringing up Adam Sandler and That’s My Boy.
First, take a look at the trailer.
Shamefully, I’m going to admit that looks kind of funny to me. Although I think a lot of this film’s success is going to be attributable to Andy Samberg.
Oh, I know exactly what Sandler is doing here. Irresponsible man-child shows uptight square how to let loose a little while learning something about responsibility on the way. Pepper the script with a couple fringe members of society and add a liberal dash of butt jokes. Step 4: PROFIT.
But here’s the thing… I think Adam Sandler might be this generation’s Jerry Lewis.
Hear me out.
Both of them started in nightclubs before moving up to venerable comedy institutions. Martin and Lewis and Saturday Night Live, respectably.
Both of them went solo, starring in a string of successful films heavy on slapstick. The Delicate Delinquent, Cinderfeella and The Bellboy for Lewis. Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore and The Wedding Singer for Sandler.
In later years, their popularity waned and the both took several hits from the critics. But both continued to be box office successes. Lewis’ film Hardly Working made $50 million at the box office in 1981 despite being panned by critics. That’s almost $120 million today.
Sandler continues to be a bankable movie star today. His last movie, Jack and Jill swept The Razzies last year and had a 3% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes but it still made almost $75 million at the box office.
Both men are philanthropists. Lewis’ name is synonymous with the Muscular Dystrophy Association. His annual telethons have raised over $2.6 billion to fight the disease. He hosted those telethons for 44 years. Sandler is just getting started in this arena. In 2007, Sandler donated $1 million to the Boys and Girls Club in his hometown, Manchester, New Hampshire.
Look, all I’m saying is that Sandler is about 15 years away from the French calling him a genius. Wait and see if I’m right.
Anyway, that’s it for now. Thanks again to Bob for the fantastic guest strip! Keep your eye on the site in the next day or two. I should have my comic finished shortly!
And, by the way, if you want to submit a guest strip to me in the last few weeks the site is up, feel free. I’m basically opening the flood gates and giving everyone the chance to contribute. Think of it as a big going away party!
If you’re interested, send your comic to firstname.lastname@example.org. 525 pixels wide, JPG format, and no swears. Other than that, feel free to come up with whatever you like!
Talk to you soon!
To follow up a little bit on the blog post from yesterday, I wanted to let all of you know how Pearl was doing.
Apparently, after being very cranky and moody at day care all day, she was telling us that her ear was hurting. Fearing an ear infection (and another night without sleep), Cami took her to our pediatrician and – sure enough – she had an ear infection.
This is the second ear infection Pearl has had in a month. She had one for Mother’s Day. Looks like she’ll have one for Father’s Day. Parenting is fun!
I don’t know what it is with Brazelton kids and ear infections. Between Henry and Pearl, I’ve lost track of how many they’ve had. They’ve both had tubes put in their ears. Henry’s ear infections were so bad, he eventually had his adenoids removed! I don’t know if we’re on the same path with Pearl or not. She just went to the ENT for a checkup last week and was given a clean bill of health. Just goes to show how fast these things knock the little ones out, I guess.
Anyway, I won’t bother you with that stuff anymore. Just wanted to give you a little background information.
I’m trying to move the ball up the field a little bit with today’s comic, getting closer to the finale. Feeling rejected, Victor takes out his aggression in the closet where he kept all his photos of Tom. This was a concept that was introduced in a guest strip by Brandon J. Carr back in 2006 and it totally changed the direction of the character for me.
I decided to adopt what Brandon had played off as a joke into the comic. Originally, I intended Victor to be a standard authority figure for Tom, Cami and Jared to play off of. But his secret infatuation with Tom made him more interesting. Can’t thank Brandon enough for that idea!
Incidentally, I’m still accepting guest strips from anyone who wants to say “goodbye” in their own artistic style. Keep it clean, 525 pixels wide and in a JPEG format and we should be cool. You can send it to me at email@example.com.
I’m trying my darnedest to increase the production schedule on the comic. I have the last few weeks plotted out in my head and I’m starting to worry I won’t make my self-imposed August 6 “deadline.”
I suppose if I go a little over, that’s not the worst thing in the world. But when I’ve been making the rounds since January telling everyone “I’m ending the comic on August 6! I’m ending the comic on August 6!” failing to hit that mark is kind of embarrassing.
I guess we’ll see how it goes! Keep your eyes on the site and I’ll talk to you soon!
Working on this week’s comic and I’l almost done. It’s another extended strip. I seem to have forgotten how to write four panel comics. Then again, I’m not really writing jokes at this point – it’s all story. So I tend to go on a little bit. Oddly, though, I’m not using and dialogue. Chalk that up to it featuring Victor.
I promise there will be lots of action after this week’s comic. So stay tuned for that!
In the meantime, please enjoy this guest strip from Jesse Kiefer. Jesse writes a comic called Tank-Monkey that you should really check out. If you like monkeys and you like tanks, Jesse pretty much has you covered!
I thought his guest comic was appropriately sweet and actually very close to a strip I planned on doing later on feature Truman.
People keep asking me if we’ll see Truman before it’s all over and I calmly reassure them, “Yes, he will be back.”
It’s one of the great mysteries of my “career” how much people love Truman. I get requests for comics with him in them all the time. I can’t figure it out. He doesn’t do much. Mostly just sits there. We’ll, accept for that time he piloted a bi-plane, which Jesse cunningly references the fourth panel of his comic. You can see that what he’s referring to here. In fact, here are the other two Truman comics he references: “Sexybark” and “Legally Stoked.”
People used to love that gag with Truman in a purse. That drawing was actually one of our first t-shirts back in 2003! Wow, man. Time flies.
One parallel between Truman and Theater Hopper I can think of is how close both came into my life. We brought Truman home in April of 2002. I started Theater Hopper a few months later in August. So, in many ways, he grew up with the comic. I know I wrote my fair share of blog posts about him. Maybe that’s why he resonates with fans? You grew to love him the same time I did? It’s kind of cool when you think about it.
At any rate, that’s it for today. Thanks again to Jesse for the very sweet guest comic and everyone be sure to visit Tank-Monkey. It’s got tanks, it’s got monkeys… DOOOOO IT.
By the by, if you’d like to contribute to the fun, I’m still looking for guest strips to put up on the site. Feel free to chip in by sending your comics to firstname.lastname@example.org. They need to be 525 pixels wide, JPEG format and relatively free of obscenities. Nothing your Mom would be embarrassed about. If you’re down for that and would enjoy a moderate bump in traffic as Theater Hopper ends its run, we’d love to have you!
Until then, hang tight and stay tuned for a new comic tomorrow!
Apologies for another late strip. If you’re following me on Facebook, you know the reason why – bedtime troubles. We’re having a little difficulty keeping Pearl in her “big girl” bed. As such, Cami and I have to take turns being warden and staying in her room to keep her from leaving. The other night it was my turn and I fell asleep in her room. Basically been playing catch up on the comic and sleep ever since.
Not much to tell you about this comic except that maybe Victor shouldn’t have kept all those oily rags and other obvious flammables together in one box. At least they were labeled appropriately? Best laid plans, I guess.
But what happens now that Victor’s Infatuation Closet is on fire? And why is he walking away?
The answers to all of these questions and more… NEXT WEEK!
The action really starts to pick up from here, so you’re not going to want to miss what happens next. I mean, there’s fire and people running around dressed like superheroes. So what do you think is going to happen.
And Victor… green and so full of rage? Does he remind you of anyone? He’s so misunderstood… and only wants to be left alone.
More to come! Thanks for your patience and I hope you enjoyed today’s comic!
You know, it’s funny. When I announced that I was ending Theater Hopper back in January (which feels like a lifetime ago), one of the things I highlighted was how I was finding it difficult to advance my art forward in a way that was not so time-consuming.
Well, I would say this final arc is certainly pushing my art forward, but it is no less time-consuming.
Things were so much easier when all I had to do was come up with a joke and draw a couple of characters facing each other to deliver it. Toss in the occasional visual gag to break things up a little bit and we had a formula for success!
With this last arc, I’m drawing fire, splatter, characters in different costumes – COMPLICATED costumes – and drawing 2 to 4 additional panels per comic. It’s madness!
Maybe there’s some truth about art and suffering. I’m punishing myself a little bit for ending the comic. Or maybe I just want to try to end things as best I can?
Either way, I appreciate everyone’s patience as we head into the last month. July’s pretty much it and then NO MORE THEATER HOPPER! Can you believe it? I can’t.
Actually, I’m not sure I can wrap this up in 4 or 5 more comics. I’d like to produce more, but the way I’m going, that doesn’t look feasible. Am I gonna have to break my August 6 deadline? I might…
I’m embarrassed that I might not hit deadline I set for myself almost 7 months ago. Maybe I should have planned better. But maybe I don’t want to say goodbye just yet, either?
Hell! It’s my comic! I’ll do what I want!
And I have! A theater engulfed in fire? Victor engulfed in rage? What does this mean for Tom, Cami and the rest! Stay tuned, true-believers! You’ll find out soon enough!