Which means I've been doing this for roughly 21 years (starting with the ten car pile-up that was Phigments, 1986), part-time and then full-time.
I received my copies of PC$! #1 at the San Diego Comic Con where I was setting up for the first time, and I remember being so disappointed with the comic -- why, I don't know, it's not like I expected some Fed Ex guys to re-draw/improve the pages between the time it got to the printers -- that I sat down by a table in an aisle and came near to tears. I know, aw, poor little baby. Suck it up, pussy. What can I say. For some reason I was expecting something better. Seeing it all in print like that was a brick to the brain, I was not up to snuff, the colors were eye-blistering, the inks thin, hesitant and shoddy. Good lettering by Kurt Hathaway, though.
I knew what solid, professional work was and I knew what I did didn't come close. If the early P.C$! material has anything going for it, it's energy and perhaps personality and some fun in the dialog and perhaps the plot. But the chops on display were amateurish and rough, to say the least, passable only in comparison to much of what was being offered in the post-Turtles deluge of small-press spec drek.
I considered not reprinting the PC$!/HP material from the Eternity days when we started the trade collections, but I felt weird starting the reprints with a second volume, and hiding the material. Sure, it's inferior to what came later, but I dunno....maybe I should have excised it. It's not a great introduction to the series -- at shows I always recommend people start with volume two and then read three and the Bummer Trilogy stand-alone comic, then go back to the first book if they liked the series enough to pick up the early, rough-looking stuff. The early SLG stuff isn't all there, but it starts coming together and gets better.
Anyway, my friends Brian and Tony, who started up Eternity, we're planning a 20th Anniversary night out with some drinks and probably some late-night diner talk. That's pretty much where a lot of my early work came from, PC$! material, Milk and Cheese, sitting around jawboning at the offcie and then drinks or a show and a diner in Manhattan or Brooklyn. Sometimes there was the added attraction of booze.
Okay, just wanted to mark that. I never do the anniversary thing, mainly because I can't ready anything in time, partly because I don't really do anything for real things like my birthday or a project's debut. But, warts and all, messy at is, unsuccessful as it's been, I have a special place in my comic book career heart for PC$!/HP, and so there you go. If any of you have been with me since PC$#1, well, you're crazy. Buy yourself a drink, crazy person.
P.S. I plotted an issue of HP on the way up to Toronto. Forgot all about it until now. About Halby getting his tooth replaced after what happened in #6, from, hmmm, 1993 -??? Cripes. Anyway, he goes to a very large industrial building where the student dental facilities are, he'ds getting the tooth done for free. Things don't go well, the place is filled with shady, surreal businesses and a shoddy, start-up group home for mental patients, he can't find the dental clinic and I'm sure if he does they're all incompetent weirdos. Much confusion and lots of set pieces in strange offices and operating rooms and hallways and stairwells and elevators. Hmmmm. A bit like the Supermarket issue in tone? Too much like it? Dunno.
Like it's going to get written and drawn, anyway.