I love this opportunity to go back to 2003, the first Teen Titans Go! comics (if not the first stories), and begin to catch up. Five years’ volunteering for the VCU student newspaper as a cartoonist has helped me appreciate details I didn’t notice, reading comics decades ago. I’m happy to slow down and study techniques. I’m especially paying attention to line weights, because I know mine are still weak.
Slowing down and looking around on each page, I’ve spotted where the creators have worked together to hide subtle references to what I’m sure is one of their own fandoms: Mystery Science Theater 3,000. I’ve spotted “MST3K” on signs and license plates. And one of the 'bots, Tom Servo is such a favorite that I’ve seen part of his name on a surface, or even his image, on the back of a t-shirt.
They don’t distract from the story focus. They’re just a way to fill the background, and be a treat, if another MST3K fan’s eyes wander, and spot them.
I’m old enough to remember how cartoon illustrator Al Hirschfeld used to hide the name of his daughter, Nina, among his long, skinny ink lines. Among his fans, I joined in the game of hunting for all the Ninas hidden in a drawing. I think he even began to leave a number, next to his signature, that was his count of Ninas to find.
And you’ve all made me feel better about my mistakes, when even polished professionals are their own auto-complete worst enemies. In issue 19, page 21, panel 3, second line from the bottom, “GIVING” is spelled “GIVNG” probably because that first stroke for the N can be seen as the second I, and the mind checks it off.
Please don’t feel bad. It wasn’t distracting, and I didn’t see it, right away. And it’s nothing like the panel in PVP, where someone’s mouth line was left out.
Thanks for the smiles and laughs. Stay safe, everyone.