Came the day I beat the shit out of Mikey Palumbo.
He'd spent the last week walloping the shit outta me after school. Why I went back over to his house after the first ass-whoopin', I don't know. But over I would go, get my ass whooped, run home crying, and repeat it all over again the next day. I didn't fight back because Mikey was older and bigger than me, and I'd just make him madder if I fought back and he'd beat me up all the worse.
I don't remember what happened to change my way of thinking. I guess if I get punched in the face enough times I can be convinced that anything is either right or wrong. So I hauled off and beat him as hard as I could, again and again, harder and harder until my little fists hurt and he was screaming like a baby. Mikey fought to get me off of him, pushing me off of his chest where I'd been sitting and punching him in the face, and ran inside crying. Oh, did his pussy-ass little girly sobs fill my heart with glee. My nose was bleeding a little bit, but I felt really good.
Mikey's sister, whom I at the tender age of six understood innately was a slut, came to the front door as I stood there all Conan and shit. She offered me a piece of gum. I walked up to the Palumbo's front door and took it. I opened the Juicy Fruit wrapper to discover she'd removed the actual gum, refolded the wrapper, and given it to me empty.
Which made me BAWL. Again, I ran home from the Palumbo's house in tears.
AFTERSCHOOL SPECIAL is the first of the HEY, MISTER! books, collecting all of Pete Sickman-Garner's HEY MISTER! mini-comics, plus two longer tales produced especially for the volume. You should read it because it's like Mikey Palumbo's slut sister offering you empty gum wrappers after you beat the shit out of her little brother who beat the shit out of you every day for a week. And it's twice as funny.
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.