So, I'm traveling to New York with a couple of my co-workers, one of whom - and I'm not making this up - had been stopped, searched, and even detained as Airport Security tried to ascertain the origins of the 10-inch serrated kitchen knife in his luggage.
This rather absurd incident managed to set the tone and timbre of the trip, and we resigned ourselves to behaving like jackasses intent on embarrassing the hell out of one another.
Plane takes off and I pull Pete Sickman-Garner's HEY MISTER! THE FALL COLLECTION out of my bag. HEY MISTER! follows the adventures of Young Tim, Aunt Mary, and the titular Mister as they do... stuff. One story has Young Tim working for Jesus; another has Mister hanging out in a modern-day Mt. Olympus... There aren't any connections between the stories other than these three characters and their general dynamic remains in tact. It's also worth adding here that THE FALL COLLECTION presents several pieces served up with interstitial commentary chapters by Sickman-Garner. Anyway, I'm reading it.
The non-stabby co-worker looks over at me and decides to Make Fun Of The Guy Reading Comics. He starts in, and looking down at the page sees the title for the short strip THE PIG THAT PISSED WHISKEY. Too obvious a shot, right? He shouts out "'THE PIG THAT PISSED WHISKEY'?!? What the hell kind of comic books do you read?" and has a good chuckle as people crane their heads back in my direction.
I ignore the goofy-footed jackass and keep reading. Later, he looks over to see me reading the last page of the story and catches the final panel. The punch line - "That isn't whiskey!" - strikes him as hysterical (which it is) and he guffaws like a maniac in spite of himself. A victory - not only for me, but for Comics as an art form.
Oh, and I laughed so hard at HEY MISTER! that about two drops of pee came out.
Matt Fraction splits his time between motion graphics and design house MK12, writing comics, and reading comics. He is the author of the graphic novels The Annotated Mantooth and Last of the Independents, both available from AiT/Planet Lar. He can be found on the web at mattfraction.com. His wife is hot.