I've said before I hate it when one thing you do is at the expense of everything else, but I had to give a plug for one of my paying gigs, even though it's work-for-hire.
Editor Chris Duffy, formerly of Nickelodeon magazine that was my bread and butter for so many years, has brought the people he's worked with along with him for this when he can. This cover, for example, was conceived by Graham Annable and colored by Mark Martin.
Besides them, there are also Spongebob comics by James Kochalka, Corey Barba, and former co-editor Dave Roman. Future issues will have Tony Millionaire and Hilary Barta. I've heard Jules Feiffer and S.Clay Wilson will be doing pages.(*)
R. Sikoryak, best known for his chameleonic skills, gets to do the contents page in his own style, in addition to conforming to the “house style”. He's imitated me many times before, but it's weird now to see him imitating me imitating someone else. Did I just blow your mind?
I drew the back cover for this issue. I originally did it like this.
Chris and creator Stephen Hillenburg said they didn't want every page to look the same and wanted me to use the flat style I usually use. Union rules forbade me from doing my own lettering.
Even in my own style, I had to be on model somewhat. My first draft had Spongebob with no eyelashes or stripes on his socks, and Patrick didn't have spots.
I have stories in future issues. I did a six-page story to be drawn by Stephen DeStefano. The title has been changed to something like Squilliam's Yacht.
I'm not sure when this other story, in which the characters go bungee jumping, will be printed, since the stories are stockpiled months in advance, and approval and editing has to be coordinated between New York and LA and then between Hillenburg's people and Nickelodeon's. I've done a few more stories I don't expect to be approved for another few months. It's because they're so overbooked I haven't pitched stories in a while.
Ironically, even though I was one of the writers on the show for a year, that was ten years ago and I haven't watched it as much since then. As a result, I have no idea what's been done with the characters since then. Luckily a Wiki has been made so I can check. I also decided to stop thinking along the lines of “What would they do?” and just do strips I would normally do when I pitch them. Almost every Scene But Not Heard strip I did for Nickelodeon could have been done for this.
Any show that outrages the right is okay in my book. Especially one they're too stupid to understand.
For some reason, people seem to think I created Spongebob despite any publicity material only making a passing reference to having worked on the show. Maybe it's because I have the same initials. My stock answer, if they have a sense of humor, is usually, "If I were, would you be talking to me?"
And it would be remiss of me not to mention that Spongebob Squarepants was created by Stephen Hillenburg and is TM and ©Viacom International, Inc. Any look at this blog shows I almost always hide behind fair use and squatters' rights when it comes to posting other peoples' material, but I know how vigilant lawyers for both parties are in this case, and as a penniless cartoonist I'd rather not face the possibility of going against a billion-dollar juggernaut.
(*)Not really. I just want to spread a rumor that it was going to happen.