This has all been a little surreal and a whole lot nostalgic for me. I was playing Flappy Bird the other day like everyone else in the world, and a comic idea popped into my head. Instead of shaking it off like I should have done, I fell back into comic mode and emailed Ray like it was the old days: “Hey, here’s an idea for this week’s comic!” For some reason, my message got through his spam filter and he read it. Even more surprisingly, he AGREED TO DO IT (though this was in part due to him being snowed in for the weekend). As I sent him a 10-panel script, I laughed histerically, imagining the regret and head-shaking he’d be doing as he read my script. Seriously, my friendship with Ray is a non-stop Tim & Ray comic series in my head. As he produced panel after panel, freezing in the Pacific Northwest, I was in the beautiful February SoCal sun, playing outside with my kids in shorts and flip-flops, and going to see The LEGO Movie with them. All along, I’m pity-laughing at poor comic-Ray who, in my comic strip mind, is freezing in his apartment, only working on the comic because the warm glow of the screen is the only source of heat in his place.
Making this comic was really a trip because it was like a big ‘what if’ scenario. What if 2P START! never died and we tried keeping things afloat as Tim’s family grew? In a lot of ways, it was really fun. I miss getting comic updates from Ray with a panel or two, getting excited seeing an idea in my head come together in real life by this uber-talented guy. It’s fun getting reactions from fans. I looked back at our 2P FINISH! storyline and was blown away by the responses again (as well as how powerful that comic still is to me). I almost forgot what a great following we had, and all the amazingly crazy things our fans would do. But the past is the past, my advice to Ray in our last comic rings so true to me. 2P START! existed for 1192 days, never missing a beat. Since it ended 1367 days have passed. I can’t believe it’s been dead now longer than it lived!
As for the comic itself, I think more than the other postmortem comics, this feels like a regular old 2P START! strip. Lots of panels, lots of scrolling, great artwork, and cute joke. The game being pulled from the App Store actually happened after the comic was scripted, but I like to think that Flappy Bird flying off into the sunset is a fitting end to the drama surrounding him.
It’s nice to take a trip down memory lane. It’s amazing how much about our lives change with time (priorities, jobs, relationships, etc), and how much never seems to change (guess who’s excited for Super Smash Bros. Wii U?)
It was a bit shocking at first how out-of-practice it felt to draw a comic (What were my self-imposed art style rules, again? Wait… were there rules?), but eventually I felt right back at home.
In many ways, this comic feels less focused as a self-contained joke, and almost reads a bit more as a metaphor for life’s challenges. Either that, or it visually describes what it takes to successfully exit the webcomic world. Whatever the case, it’s been nice to pass through this old neighborhood once again. Brings back memories. Maybe we’ll discuss life a bit more in a podcast sometime.
Happy 7-year Anniversary, 2P START!