Another blog comic from Molly, dated as taking place the day after the last one I posted. Panels 2 and 3 are basically just copy and pasted from Twitter; which is to say, Dan wrote his own dialog. Thanks, Twitter!
EDIT: Dan later replied to this strip and typed what is possibly the funniest thing I’ve ever read on Twitter: “Nicholle’s just mad because she’s the moon.”
Having finished an entire week of Lit Brick in a single day, I now have nothing to do but draw things for fun. Thus, My Life in Sticks returns. This one is fictionally dated as July 25th, 2008.
A few things to note: first, I’ve finally answered the question of what Comic Trout draws, since it obviously can’t be the same as Real Trout’s work. Simply put, he draws a different stupid detective comic. Second, it’s sort of odd that Comic Trout is the idiot in this comic. It’s like I’m actively trying to not make him a Mary Sue. Finally, the fact that Dan is apparently becoming a regular in this comic amuses me far too much.
These four strips have all been from Molly’s blog strip in and around Comic-Con time, mostly because that’s the most fun for me to focus on. Of course, she would’ve drawn strips every other day in the year as well, so maybe I’ll get to some of those eventually too.
My Life in Sticks, fictionally dated July 27th, 2008. I’m pretty this comic is okay since Meredith sliced all that hair off shortly after the Con.
Another entry of Molly’s blog comic, My Life in Sticks, fictionally dated as being from July 21st, 2006. Making these is way too much fun.
This is a random strip from Molly’s blog comic, My Life in Sticks, dated July 11th, 2006. This is also a long way to go for an in-joke on Twitter.
While there’s all kinds of crazy metatextual nonsense I could write about, I’ll just cut to the chase. This strip originated when it occurred to me this morning that, if Molly is supposed to be the one drawing Lit Brick, and if Lit Brick has had guest strips, then clearly Molly herself must know the guest artists themselves. This therefore implies that there exists a fictional Dan Shive within the Sporkiverse. A reference Deirdre makes to El Goonish Shive itself further reinforces this notion.
Falling further down the rabbit hole, Molly has - on two occasions, mostly because I’d forgotten my own comic-within-a-comic nonsense - also drawn me. After mentioning this, Dan shot me the following tweet: “So she must know fictional you too, but fictional you can’t be drawing what she’s drawing or the universe you’re in… that’s a pretty good opening to make fictional you whatever you want fictional you to be! He should be a professional dinosaur puncher.”
The strip pretty much wrote itself from there.
Now, here’s some fun behind the scenes info on the comic. This is the first time I’ve ever drawn Molly’s pre-LB blog comic. I’ve always assumed she created it at least throughout high school and early in college. She began high school in the fall of 2003 (shown briefly in LB when she met Deirdre), and therefore logically graduated in the spring of 2007. This gives me the opening to occasionally doodle scenes from Molly’s life without interfering with the flow of Lit Brick.
The art style itself is subtlety different than in LB, since there needed to be at least some artistic evolution between Molly in 2006 and Molly now. The figures here are barely fleshed out stick figures with bobble heads, and she’s drawn the characters with fingers (gasp). It’s clearly the work of the same artist, just from a different point in time.
The minor stylistic changes were inspired by some sketchbook doodles I cranked out back in 2007 when Molly was first created. Yes, strange as it sounds, Molly predates Lit Brick itself by three years. How is that even possible? Well, maybe I’ll ramble about that tomorrow…
In any event, this was fun, and is honestly the first comic I’ve drawn purely for my own in entertainment in a looooong time. I suspect this won’t be the last we see of High School Molly.
EDIT: Oh, and a quick note about the canonicity of this strip’s content. In the very first LB strip, Sam noted that Molly’s blog comic read like “fan fiction of your life.” Which is to say, while Molly clearly knows both me and Dan, and while we were all probably on an island campground just before the 2006 Comic-Con, there may not have actually been raptors. But there should’ve been.
Metatextual Madness: The following is a brief history of Molly, and how she ended up drawing my fake comics. Not that anything I ever write is brief.
Back around 2006, I was toying around with a comic strip that would focus on Basil’s family back home. It was titled “Meanwhile in Wisconsin” and featured Robyn (before she became Lara Croft) and the sisters left behind - Nicki, Jordan, and Sophie. I wrote a few scripts for it, and even drew around ten comics before scrapping the project. I don’t think any of it ever showed up online.
Anyway, I needed Nicholle to have some sort of hobby beyond being a sarcastic asswipe, so I decided to make her a webcartoonist. I mean, hey, in a world of superheroes, detectives, and secret agents, it was about time I finally wrote from experience. Of course, since the project went nowhere, I didn’t really run much farther with the idea. That said, it did show up just a bit online when Nicholle showed up later in Flint Again / Flat Feet.
After that, I still wanted to work out what to do with Basil’s family, and after that little run of FA strips in Spring 2007, I hit my sketchbook with more ideas. While drawing way too much during my myriad of literature classes, it occurred to me that - instead of drawing a strip about all the Flint girls - I could build a comic solely around Nicholle and her relationship with other cartoonists. I mean, hey, I might as well write what I know. Not that I know anything about being a teenage girl, but webcomics? Yeah, I’ve got a pretty good handle on that.
In creating Nicholle’s world, I didn’t wanna use any actual webcartoonists, so I built a collective for her, based loosely on the then-active Girl-O-Matic, consisting solely of a few other female cartoonists. The collective was, in a rather sexist way, named “OMG Girl Comics.” The other girls are irrelevant to our discussion, but this where Molly O’Malley (later Fitzpatrick) appeared in my sketchbook. I changed her last name because it was too similar to Martina O’Reily.
Now, with Sporkman on indefinite hiatus at the time, I decided that Nicholle’s art style was going to use the art style from that strip. Molly’s art style had to be more original, and it came together remarkably quickly. Deciding that she’d be drawing a blog comic about her life in high school, I started sketching Molly herself as a barely fleshed out stick figure, which led rather naturally to the title of her fake comic, “My Life in Sticks.”
This was sometime in mid-to-late 2007. Now, all of this work went absolutely nowhere, despite me going so far as to create a whole new project for Nicholle’s fake comic as well. Sadly, it all got shelved, most because all of my work got shelved in late 2007 when I ended up becoming a full time teacher.
Months later, having been canned from my job in May 2008, I started working on comics again. FA was relaunched as Flat Feet, and - shortly after a Comic-Con full of peer pressure - Sporkman returned, with the Flint sisters as his supporting cast. This finally gave me the opportunity I needed to introduce Nicki’s unprofitable career publicly, and so I did. I established that she was drawing a comic based upon Sporkman’s adventures, having grown tired of her original strip (which I titled, but never mentioned in-comic, “Feminine Hygiene Products”). This actually opens up the possibility that all of Classic Sporkman came from Nicki’s pen, since I consider that her art style now, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Molly finally appeared online later that month in 2008, but disappeared just as quickly. Had the relaunched Sporkman made in until July 2009, Molly probably would’ve shown up in a Comic-Con storyline, but such things were not to be.
Almost a year later, never one to let a good character go to waste, Molly made her second appearance, this time as Deirdre’s friend in Delusionary State. In the world’s most obscure in-joke, since only I would actually get it, I drew her as a something of a semi-realistic stick figure.
Shortly after that cameo, I drew the first eight Lit Brick comics… and sat on the project for almost a year before finally posting them in April 2010. The rest, as they say…