This is a recolored version of a comic that ran in The Seattle Times two years ago. Yes, a major daily newspaper actually had the guts to run a comic with a flamboyantly gay theme. Well, for about a second and a half the paper had the nerve. After that, it was no more gay jokes. No sexual references. Stick to relationship humor. Oh, and be outrageous, but don’t offend anyone.
What happened was that the editor who hired me to be “outrageous”, left the paper before my series started. His overworked replacement never checked to see what cartoons her predecessor had selected to run. And apparently no one else did either–until it was too late. Then the paper started getting complaints.
No, this cartoon is not the reason The Seattle Times eventually dropped Last Kiss. That happened nearly a year later and it was largely based on the paper’s still ongoing financial problems. Features, staff and whole sections of the newspaper have been cut. So it’s not like I was singled out.
But this gay-themed comic haunted me. After that, I was constantly second- and third-guessing myself. Was a gag tame enough for the paper? If so, was it still funny? What sort of humor did my editor really like? Towards the end, I felt like I was finally getting the hang of it. But by then the financial crisis was in full bloom and it was too late.
I don’t think I’ll have that problem with my new publisher: GoComics.com. I’m getting a lot of support from my editor and no one seems even slightly worried about me overstepping any boundaries. And, frankly, they shouldn’t. I have lines that I don’t want to cross. My goal is not to offend anyone. I just want to be funny.
SECOND GUY JUMPING INTO BED: Hot dog! And to think...15 minutes ago I didn't even know I was gay!