Mailbag #1 – Feb/16
Which one of you two fits the timeframe of the series best?
Ian’s Response: That’d be me, though I’m still a few years off as I started first grade in 1991. M is 7 years younger, so the 90’s was almost over by the time she started school. But that’s okay because we both know a great deal about the 80’s and 90’s and their cultures. We made the kids a little older so they could graduate before the millennium, and so that they’re older by the time my personal experiences begin and thus have a better grasp of things, for commentary, etc.
So, who does what on the comic?
Ian’s Response: That’s a big question. We’ve had a long development time, and originally, the short stories weren’t even a blip on the idea radar. The first thing we did when we made the Mains was to assign six to each of us, and we’re the head writers on those characters. I won’t reveal who all of our characters are until later on, because who does the majority of the script work shouldn’t really matter. We both work very hard on the scripts, and they go through multiple revisions before ever becoming comic pages. Outside of the script work, M does the illustrating, most of the web graphics, reference research, and much of the Tumblr work. I run the Wikia and website, write the short stories (though she still contributes to them), run the Twitter, and as an editor, keep up on the continuity, look for errors, and maintain the big data spreadsheets we need. Making a comic like this requires quite a bit of behind the scenes work.
A Reader’s Thoughts and Stories on
Buses and Playground Teasing
I feel oddly attached to a Shadow for some sort of flimsy reason (or not so flimsy).
On ending up at the school bus depot: Granted, it wasn’t wholly the same, but the result’s still there. That happened to me in the mid-90s. I was like Channing; not scared – because I didn’t have too much of an idea as to what was going on. Unlike her, I was the only one left. Which was a good thing because if someone else was crying due to sharing my predicament, I’d either cry too or get very annoyed very quickly. My younger brother back then was a crybaby. Not fun. So good on Channing for consoling Savanna. Anyway, I think I outright volunteered my phone number to the bus driver so my mom could pick me up.
A few years later (2nd or 3rd grade?), the inverse would happen. The bus outright failed to pick me up, I was locked out of the apartment with no keys, and the rest of the family were already on their merry way. What I did next may or may not be shared depending on later chapters and such. Whether or not I’d be believed is another matter…
I guess what I’m trying to say is, were you in the same predicament? Apologies if nothing’s concrete here. I’d rather not go into personal specifics but by the time I was aware there was a 1980s I was already in the 1st grade myself. So for the time being I’ll just chalk it up to the characters. Or just character. No plural. Gotta be doing something right.
I was worried on how Ethan was coming off on Aubrey, until I remembered that they’re just kids and the latter wouldn’t automatically take offense at the former’s remarks. I hope. I gotta stop assuming the worst.
On cooties and teasing: Here I was thinking my last name was the only one that brats can mutate into a gross bug, and proceed to abuse it whenever they had the chance. Which was every day, at something of an after-school program within a sports club. Not a playground, but close enough. Right down to trying my damnedest to correct the sugar-coked mini-mob. I was close to crying that time, so maybe that messed me up. Despite not having a speech impediment then, the recent update still made me feel like crap, but if Inside Out taught folks anything, sadness begets empathy (which begets… other stuff I don’t have the words for right now but I’m betting kindness is one of them, misdirected or otherwise. See: Cody).
PS: Sometimes, a boy kept trying to kiss me there too. Starting to think you’re stalking my head. Get out of my head (joking joking).
PPS: Come to think of it, I had a hard time pronouncing just my last name at the time so the whole thing might’ve started by introducing myself as “roach”. Doesn’t change the end result.
Ian’s Response: Of course, everything in our series is based on real life events, whether they happened to us or someone we knew. It’s a story about all the stupid stuff we deal with growing up, after all! In Channing’s case of the wrong bus, the same thing happened to me on my first day of kindergarten (in 1990). I think some kids just understand how certain things work better than others. But I just had no comprehension of the very idea of a school bus, what they did, or where they went. I’m not sure how I chose which one to get on, but I ended up at the depot either way, and like Channing, I wasn’t scared simply because I didn’t think any of this was my fault. At the end of the day, when I finally got home, it just ended up being this weird experience that happened. Still, I guess I learned something because it didn’t happen a second time. As far as teasing goes, I was never really a victim or a perpetrator, but I certainly am well aware of how mean kids can be.
M’s Response: Hey, thanks for sharing by the way! I never had the “missing the bus” experience in elementary school (we lived a few blocks away from it) so it was a new thing my first day of middle school (ugh). I didn’t even know I was supposed to take the bus home that day, and I waited at school until it started getting dark and couldn’t get in touch with my parents with my totally awesome 2006 prepaid flip phone with the cool games on it. I ended up getting a ride from the kind of weird and grouchy band teacher in a memory that must have been so awkward I’ve blocked out most of the other details by now. I think my first day of middle school is kind of emblematic of my whole middle school experience and I have a lot of strange tales I’ll no doubt end up sharing at some point.