Unlike Ron Moore and the producers of Battlestar Galactica, we started Lydia with an actual plan. It began innocently enough – Riffner filling in for Birdie on The Rack while the latter worked on the first print collection of that strip – but then he made an foolish, foolish comment after sending in his third strip: “Let me know when you want to start a Lydia spin-off! I love drawing her.”
The gerbil in my head stood up, looked at the exercise wheel, and, sighing heavily, dragged its thoroughly beaten carcass over to it. I knew it couldn’t be an ongoing – Max’s Drunk Elephant was his first and biggest concern – so I opted for something I don’t remember seeing in webcomics before: a limited spin-off series, a story that let me take The Rack’s most popular character and give her a complete arc in a way that wouldn’t work inside of the original strip. A three-month run and it’s done: one woman’s flirtation and refutation of corporate America.
I’ve had an awful lot of fun with this strip, getting to tell a different kind of story inside of an established world and my partner Max continually exceeded my expectations, especially considering his workload. I would do it again in a heartbeat. He took my scribblings and created a real, vital world. Thank you, man. It means a lot to me.
I’m bad at this shit, so I’m going to cut it off now. Lydia’s going back to Yavin IV, but this isn’t the last you’ll see of these guys. I genuinely enjoy writing them too much to abandon the Audience-Reach.com staff entirely.
These last few months are some of the hardest I’ve ever worked. Six webcomics a week?! But I knew what I was getting into; as Kevin said, I volunteered. And wow, thank you. I had never received so much love from comics than from drawing Lydia. I felt guilty for taking her from Birdie. However, next week, I’m very happy to give her back to the guy who helped make her what she is.
I wish I could give you controversy, but really there’s none. I’ve told Kevin this in private, but he’s one of the best writers I’ve worked with. We will definitely be working together again. He’s pushed me, and I never wanted to disappoint him (and I don’t think I did).
Lydia will be close to my heart for several reasons. I think if you’ve ever worked in marketing or a related field, you get this strip. I’ve been there. Hell, I’ve even fooled around with a co-worker in an elevator. And many of you have too. I know because you wrote me.
But the best thing about Lydia is that the character goes back to what she loves, despite the money, or the allure of a “comfortable living.” And I think to a certain point we all fantasize about this. Lydia doesn’t fantasize. She just does it. It’s one of the reasons why I love her.
People, it’s been such an honor. Thank you.
Since this is the final strip, please feel free to comment below, and remember to visit The Rack to read Lydia’s ongoing adventures.