Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"Okay, so what's with the comic strip?"

Okay, so what IS with the comic strip? Well, actually, it sort of sprang from the fact that Mr. Sea got laid off from his job with the Very Old And Big Technology Company just before New Year’s Eve – his last day was January 9. Now, please don’t direct any pity our way because, in all honesty, we’re better off than most other people in the same boat, at least so far. We aren’t in any danger of losing our house or anything, though entertainment purchases (including comic books) have certainly dropped off for the time being. Mr. Sea is now working as a stay-at-home daddy, which suits Mighty Mite fine because she just LOVES her daddy. In fact, now that he’s been at it for a while, Mr. Sea has said he wouldn’t mind remaining a stay-at-home daddy. (Yeah, well, we’ll see about that, honey!)

Anyway, the comic strip: It sprang out of one of those weird discussions that only Geeks In Love have -- especially after one of them suddenly finds himself with nothing else to do besides take care of an increasingly independent baby. In the course of one afternoon, Mr. Sea and I went from talking about Mr. Sea’s new laptop, to talking about how the printer needed more ink, to talking about what the heck kind of paper we had in the house, to talking about Charles Schultz and Berkeley Breathed, to talking about how Hal Jordan’s old “pal” Itty looked SO MUCH like Starro, to discussing ideas for a comic strip about Hal Jordan and Itty. The conversation ended with a totally juvenile giggle fit and a flurry of ink and paper.

So, there you have it. I wrote down a list of strip ideas, and Mr. Sea’s been drawing them up whenever he gets a break (usually when Mighty Mite is napping). The strip will probably last until either we run out of ideas, or Mr. Sea gets a new job -- whichever comes first. So far, though, we’ve been having a lot of fun picking on Hal and Itty.

Oh, about Itty: Yes, Hal really DID have a little alien “sidekick” called Itty for a while. Amongst longtime Green Lantern fans, Itty (first appearance: Flash #238, 1975) is one of the most maligned beings in Green Lantern lore, originally seen as a lame excuse to give Hal a cute little alien pet. (Personally, I always thought Itty was funny, but I guess I was in the minority.)

Most of the time, Itty looked kinda like a purple-and-orange starfish with a tail. In comics throughout the late 1970s, he was often seen riding around on Hal’s shoulder (which made Hal look like he was always wearing some sort of weird corsage). I’m not going to go into a whole lot of detail about Itty, ‘cause some of the details will show up in the comic strip -- but if anyone’s curious for more information, there’s always Google.

Just why Hal decided to keep Itty around has always been something of a mystery, even to Hal:

Really, Itty didn’t do much of anything except provide Hal with something/someone to talk to. Occasionally, Hal used Itty as a sort-of prop during some of his more macho grandstanding. For example, whenever Hal decided to pull his favorite macho stunt of removing his power ring before going to punch out the bad guy (“I don’t need a ring to take care of that punk--!”), he often tossed his ring to Itty …

… after which Itty always engaged in behavior that looked suspiciously like he was trying to, er, mate with Hal’s ring:

(Here's hoping Hal washed his ring before putting it back on his finger.)

Anyway, that’s Itty in a nutshell. I wish Mr. Sea and I could take credit for creating him, but we can’t. However, you can be darned sure we’re going to use the strip to keep exploring those little things that were NEVER brought up in the comics – especially, just what the heck did the other Justice Leaguers think when they first found out about Hal’s weird little pet/sidekick?


Saranga said...

The comic strips are great. :-) I've always liked Itty, the few times I've come across him.

MetFanMac said...

"The strip will probably last until either we run out of ideas, or Mr. Sea gets a new job -- whichever comes first."

Am I a bad person for hoping for the former? ;-)

Kevin T. said...

Itty looks like a tangerine skin!

A really well-peeled, semi-sentient, ring-mating, tangerine skin.

SallyP said...

I'm so torn! On the one hand, I would like for Mr. Sea to be gainfully employed again, but on the other hand, I'm enjoying the heck out of Hal and Itty. He draws beautifully, by the way. He manages to show so much emotion in the way he draws a lower lip, that it's not funny. Well, actually it IS funny.

I'm getting confused.

What did the rest of the Justice League think about Hal and Itty? Considering some of the stunts that Hal had pulled, I'm sure there was a lot of long-suffering sighing going on, and a generous amount of eye-rolling.

Oh Hal.

Erich said...

Hilarious stuff! I hope Mr. Sea resumes gainful employment soon, but I also hope there will continue to be at least occasional adventures of Hal and Itty.

For some reason, seeing these strips makes me want to see Mr. Sea's interpretation of Medphyl...I don't know why.

Sea_of_Green said...

Personally, I'd prefer for Mr. Sea to get a new job. But, hey, at least he's having fun. :-)