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Match to Flame 96

posted on February 13, 2019

At the end of the teen pregnancy story, I had Lisa leave the strip to go live with her grandparents in Seattle. To have her continue on in the strip as if nothing had happened just didn’t feel right. Likewise, after having been Lisa’s confidant and birthing partner, it was going to be impossible to go back to things like having Les being stuck up on the rope in gym class and ending up being repurposed as a decoration for the homecoming dance. A line had been crossed, and my characters now were going to have to grow up. The philosopher Immanuel Kant reasoned that, if you have sequence, then ippso pippso (my words, not his) you have time. Comic strips always had sequence, but then somewhere along the way they slipped into the habit of circling back at the end of each day’s strip and restarting the clock. However, inherent in their genetic code was the ability to take that sequence and just keep on going like, oh, I don’t know, life does. I wanted that for my characters and I wanted it for me. From the teen pregnancy story forward, I would slowly begin moving them toward graduation and beyond. What that “beyond” was exactly and how I would get there was still a project under construction. Like they say on those little magnetic aphorisms that you stick on the fridge, sometimes you just have to jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down. I don’t recommend this, by the way, unless there are no other options, and Lisa had left me with no other options. In the end, what really happened was that Lisa and the teen pregnancy story opened a door for me and invited me to walk through. But opening doors can be scary, because there’s always something on the other side.

From The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume Five.