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Thursday August 28, 2008
3,000 Strips: No, I Don't Remember All Of Them
Just last week I was scripting and I used the phrase "revoke metaphor privileges." It made me giggle, but it sounded familiar. I worried that maybe I was stealing from somebody.
Turns out I'm stealing from me. I decided to run the line anyway. In the linked instance above it's the punchline. In the upcoming script (three or four weeks out, I forget) it's the setup for a different punchline.
And the point, long since lost by now, is that I've now posted 3,000 installments of Schlock Mercenary to the web in 3,000 days. No, I've never missed a day. There have been no guest weeks, no two-for-Tuesdays to cover a missed-it-Monday, and no stretches where I hurriedly threw together a week of Ennesby and Schlock doing plot exposition because I knew I could get seven days of that penciled, inked and colored inside of four hours.
Okay, maybe that last one has happened. At least twice. Still, nobody called me on it.
We've all changed a lot in the last 3,000 days. Politics, global economics, and science have all done interesting, disappointing, wonderful, and terrible things in turn. But more importantly most of us have gotten 3,000 days older, and at least 250 days wiser. Some of you have told me that you have practically grown up reading this comic strip of mine.
Three thousand days is longer than any American President has sat in office since 1944. It's long enough for a bull market to become a bear market, and then back again three or four times. It's long enough to turn a 9th-grader into a college graduate, or a college graduate into a surgeon.
It's long enough for Sandra to create two beautiful children from scratch and send them off to school. It's long enough for me to start a marketing career, excel in it, and then abandon it.
It's long enough for me to start getting a handle on the basics of writing and illustrating a comic strip. It's also long enough for me to have figured out how to pay the bills with a comic strip I'm still just exploring basic principles with.
3,000 days is a long time, but it's not long enough.
I want 10,000 days. That's almost 28 years years, give or take. I'm not setting that as a maximum, mind you. I'm just holding out for permanence in this particular career. I want us to be able to look back on these times and remember the best of them fondly, while forgetting the worst of them in favor of remembering our favorite punchlines.
Which I will almost certainly re-use.