Guest Commentary by Guest Artist Andrew Farago
Here’s a week of guest strips I did leading up to our wedding.
These hold up fairly well as far as the writing goes. I wish I hadn’t buried everything under all those clunky Sharpie lines, and it relieves me to see that I think I’ve gotten a lot better as an artist since 2004.
But anyway, the point is that yes, I was starting to burn out on California just under ten years ago, and wasn’t sure how much longer I was going to stick around. Thankfully, as this strip points out, I stumbled upon a fateful classified ad while I was supposed to be doing data entry.
Actually, now that I think about it, this particular temp job involved hanging out and filling a desk while the company was transitioning to a new office. I think they needed someone to make sure that homeless people weren’t wandering into the building, and during that stage of the dot-com era, companies could pay someone $15 an hour to keep a seat warm and goof around on the Internet.
Of course, the Internet back in the summer of 2000 consisted of about eight websites, so it wasn’t quite the time-passing service it is today.
Yep, that’s honestly how Shaenon was introduced to me. “This is Shaenon. She’s single.”
Shaenon later told me that there’d been some discussion of romantic lives and prospects between her, Hallie, and Christina, who were all working at the Cartoon Art Museum that afternoon, so that’s why Hallie made that cryptic introduction.
The volunteer gig worked out pretty well, though, since I’m still with the museum almost ten years later.
Shaenon pointed out much later that correcting me and making me look ignorant in front of the our other volunteer might not have been the best way to win me over, but I guess it worked.
One of the immediate benefits of volunteering at the Cartoon Art Museum was meeting other people who were into comics. I’d barely met any girls who were into comics at that point in my life, let alone someone who drew them.
Now, I think the majority of my friends are girls who write and draw their own comics, but at the time, it was pretty unusual.
And as I mentioned, the Internet in the year 2000 was a couple of bbs pages, aol.com and Frog in a Blender, so meeting someone who actually had her own website really stood out at the time.
Fanboy moment. I read through Shaenon’s complete archive at my temp job on Monday (no Internet access at home at that point, which is why I didn’t get to read it Saturday night or on Sunday.
It was really fun stuff, and there was only about a month’s worth of strips at the time. I was probably the first stranger Shaenon had recruited into reading the strip since it launched, which is a pretty cool distinction.
Again, I had no idea what it took to get your own website, and since I never owned my own computer until I lived with Shaenon, it didn’t occur to me that anyone apart from major corporations or celebrities would have them.
Therefore, since Shaenon didn’t strike me as the CEO type, I figured that she was really famous, and was surprised that she replied to my fan letter right away.
I found out pretty quickly that we both had lots of free time at our jobs, so trading e-mails was a pretty enjoyable way to help pass the time.
Sorry about the tiny, tiny lettering on this comic. I’m still figuring that stuff out.
Yes, Annie Hall on Valentine’s Day was our first date.
And I proposed on Valentine’s Day two years after that. And married Shaenon on Valentine’s Day a year after that.
I hadn’t planned things that way, but I’m big on tradition, so it just felt right. And we’re still married six-and-a-half years later, almost ten years after we first met, so I must have done something right.