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"Mandy": a post-mortem by Firehazard

In 2007, a comic strip debuted on the Interwebs, created by yours truly. It was called Mandy, and it centered on a dog — of the two-legged, talking-pet variety, a la Get Fuzzy — who had an infatuation with her owner. (The name, and to some extent the premise, were inspired by a story that Scott English, sick of being asked about the song of the same name he'd written for Barry Manilow, sarcastically told a reporter that it was about a dog he'd once had.) The central conflict was that, even in a world where pets can talk, this is something a person wasn't likely to take very well, so she would drop "subtle" hints, hoping he would come around on his own. Even from the get-go, I knew there wasn't a lot of material to be gleaned from this on its own, so it wound up being mostly a generic talking-pets comic that quickly veered off into weird storylines like making an independent rom-com or winding up with a job as a personal IT assistant for her owner's laughably computer-illiterate ex-boss.

It was, to be blunt, not very well written and difficult to keep going. Within only three years I had gotten tired of it and stopped updating, eventually letting the hosting account expire. Looking back, I'm glad I called it quits, because I'm kind of ashamed I ever made it. For one thing... well, it was kinda sexist. I mean, you know how Minnie Mouse is a flat character whose sole defining characteristic is being Mickey's love interest? Well, imagine that only now she's the main character, and "Mickey" doesn't even reciprocate. And then there's the obvious fact that it was ripping off a running gag from Family Guy that even they got sick of and dropped after what, one season? Ugh.

And then there was the Mr. Sebastian storyline. I don't even remember what inspired it anymore, whether I started with the idea of her as his computer assistant and worked backwards, or if it was just my perverse enjoyment in tormenting my characters (something I share with Leftover Soup's Mason Williams). But either way it was a train wreck — I'd introduced this guy as basically the worst person ever, and then proceeded to keep him around as someone who's suddenly not the least bit mean or antisocial. Plus, hasn't the incompetent boss archetype been driven into the ground already? Yes, yes it has.

The thing is, though, none of this was really going through my mind when I finally gave up on things. I even had plans to resolve the storyline I had cut out in the middle of (I no longer remember how), but for some reason it had just become a chore, plus needing to be glued to my computer most of the day for my job interfered with my ability to just sit down and work out the plot. When my website hosting came up for renewal, I decided to just not respond and let it die on its own.

A while back, I was approached by a fan who suggested I contact the Internet Archive and offer to send them the comic images and style sheet, which I still had and which for some reason had never been cached. I emailed them, but I never heard back. Maybe I'll try again one of these days. In the meantime, though, I have taken a few of my remaining one-off strips that I never got around to posting and drawn them up proper, because, I dunno, closure I guess. I'll be posting them over on my deviantART over the next few days, so watch that space if you want to see the Lost Strips that won't show up in any archive either way.

"Mandy": a post-mortem


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    I remember really enjoying the strip! Though if I have any saved still I have no clue where in my mess of unsorted saved comics they are. I apparently did go as far as making a folder for my favorites, but it's empty!

    I do specifically remember the one where she's bathing in the kitchen sink and turns on the garbage disposal to scare her owner to death though!

    Producing a regularly updating comic like that though was good experience though I'm sure.

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    I enjoyed the comic. I saved a bunch of the strips that I liked. I kind of wish you still drew it, but I can understand why you dropped it. Will be interesting to see the lost strips.

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    I miss "Mandy". Looking forward to seeing the strips again.

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    What I meant to say was; I'd love to see all the strips both the ones you posted and the lost ones. BTW I'm watching you on deviantART.