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Seeing that the comics currently being posted were written and drawn some 10 years ago, and is by far not the first HIM story I ever did, I think it might not be such a bad idea to reflect on them a bit and provide some extra information that will, I hope, provide some extra context to the story presented. My intention isn’t to explain the story and I doubt that I’ll be providing page by page commentary every week, but where I think it reasonable, I will.

A general note to keep in mind is that this story was originally published in segments of 2 to 7 pages at a time. What effect that will have on the story as I roll out the story one page a week will be an interesting experiment.

Pages 1 and 2:
This story began in issue number 4 of the solo Lethargic Lad series and was picking up from the story I had finished in Lethargic Comics #14. I felt the need to recap what had actually happened to Adama in that story since I had not at all addressed his adventure within the “HIM in the Future” storyline (From Lethargic Comics #4-14 later reprinted in the HIM Trade Paperback) simply because I didn’t have the time (we’d decided to halt publication of Lethargic Comics and so wrapping up the story was more the priority than dealing with details that didn’t really matter).

I’m not a big fan of this kind of flashback, myself, so to make it more interesting, I decided to draw it in a sort of Japanese Super Deformed style. Greg Hyland (Creator of Lethargic Lad) called it my “Starfish Style” which is a name I prefer. I thought that using such a cartoony style would liven up the flashback. I think I was correct. I had much much fun drawing the flashback as a result. I always thought that should I ever do an Adama solo story, I’d do it in the Starfish Style.

Page 4:
Eddie the corn dog vendor was in the first HIM comic story I’d ever done (Rather than the first HIM one panel gag strip) and I fancied the idea of starting every HIM story with Eddie. I haven’t actually done that, but it was my original intention.

“That was worse than SPAWN!”

Here’s a reference that dates the story a bit. The family had just gone to the cinema to see a movie that the boy deems “worse than Spawn”. I suppose they could be patrons of a rep cinema if I want to place it in the present. In reality, it was a reference to seeing the movie “Batman and Robin”. Greg Hyland and I had gone to see Spawn one week and then Batman and Robin the next. I disliked both beyond words and so by having the boy say “It was worse than Spawn” was to suggest that the family had just come out of Batman and Robin. An opaque reference that didn’t at all affect the story if no one got it (which there was no way anyone would) It was more there for Greg Hyland’s benefit, whom I saw both tragic films with. Whether he “got it”, I don’t know.

Page 6:
As was my habit, I liked to end issues with a splash page. I was also very fond of writing down the side of the splash something like this: “Hey kids! Buy two issues and you can hang this boffo pin-up on your wall! FA-BOOM!!” I quite enjoyed adding copy like this to splash pages and particularly if the splash was something tragic., as if anyone would want to hang this on their wall. My sometimes dark sense of humor at play. Still, it was a rather heavy ending so it sort of lightened the mood a bit. That’s what I keep telling myself. I don’t remember if I actually added the Pin-Up copy to this page when it was in print or not. I guess the best way to find out would be to buy a copy of Lethargic Lad Adventures #4 and see.

Page 7:
Criswell. If you don’t know who Criswell is, then your life isn’t complete. In terms of who is Criswell in regards to HIM, he was created, I think, by John Migliore (creator of The GRAD) in a crossover story we wrote together between HIM and The GRAD in issue number 10 of Lethargic Comics, Weakly. Criswell was a Watcher style character who lived on the moon and made predictions about the story that he was narrating. I simply enjoyed his voice so much that I would try to use him whenever I could: I just loved writing his dialogue. In this instance, he appears because I wanted a quick way to recap the events of the last chapter (pages 1-6) in a less static way than the standard recap. Out of context, Criswell makes no sense, here, but if you were a regular reader of Lethargic Comics and/or HIM, you’d know that he was that guy who shows up from time to time.
Criswell
Page 8:
Psyco (sic) Munchkin. She just wants a ride. What is her deal? Well, she wants a ride. Anytime someone is offering a ride in their car, she appears. I could get into what the story behind the ‘in joke’ is, but there seems little reason to get into it. I may as well protect the innocent. And yes, I know Psyco is spelled Psycho, it was a typo that never got caught. What do you want? Now you know why I draw pictures.
Muchkin
Page 9:
In case it is hard to tell (it was more obvious in print), in panel 5, HIM is holding up a tube of Tums.

Page 14:
The big bucket of KFC is a real thing. You can see it from the Gardener Expressway when entering or exiting Toronto. Chances are you will have a lot of time to get a good look at it as you are stuck in one of the endless Gardener traffic jams. Oh, but it is worth it to savor the sight of the big bucket.

Page 22:
bunny
Ahhhhh... The Bunny. This has to go down as my favorite HIM gag of all time! I first used it in the Lethargic Comics, Weakly mini-comic that was being done while we were all attending college. I’d probably done less than a dozen HIM pages, if even that many, by the time I used The Bunny gag. I know this is the place to explain such obscurities, but I let The Bunny stand on its own merit. If you get it, you get it. If you don’t , you don’t. However, if you’ve read enough HIM comics, you’ll get it. If really all you get from it as bewilderment at this reoccurring Bunny picture, that’s good too.

The first time I did The Bunny gag, I think it was the first time I actually amused myself with something I wrote and was the first time I actually thought that I could be funny. Previous to then, I never really considered myself someone who can do comedy or be funny, but this gag made me think I could be. I’m sure there are those who disagree, but NOT ME!!

The Bunny still makes me giggle. All praise The Bunny!!

The Big Bucket reference... See Page 14’s comment.

Page 30:
THE ALL BEEF SOCIETY was a superhero group that HIM used to be a founding member of before he met HER. In the future, I will create a section of the website devoted to the cast of HIM.

Page 33:
For the deal on Psycho Munchkin, see the notes for Page 8
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