Just thought I'd get that part out of the way, first. It's like ripping off a Band-Aid (I'm given to understand). Although I wouldn't be surprised if my delusional ex-roommate, Jeremy, added some kind of epilogue.
When last we left your favorite super-hero (me!) I had just laid eyes on the "specialist" that the Citadel of Doom's manager had sent after me. And the sight of this guy knocked me on my ass. Because it was Animal Lad. Remember him?
I hurtled down from the mouth of my cave, roaring like a Venusian gyrak. Animal Lad was startled, but he held his ground. He gestured at me and bellowed, "SLEEP!" Truth be told, I felt just as energetic as before. I guess that's because Animal Lad has the power to "tame" animals, and I'm like, WAY more evolved than that. (No matter what Storm Boy says.) Uninterrupted, I kept barreling towards him. He backed away, and sputtered, "You-- you're a mouse! I command it!" But his power to transform humanoids into lower animals didn't work on me, either. I guess it's because I'm a shape-changer, myself. As a kid, I was diagnosed with "slippery molecules." Although I have been changed into a lot of stuff before. Wait, wait, I got it! It's because I'm in Stockade Boy's body now! Maybe he has some kind of natural immunity. Yeah, that's the ticket.
Before Animal Lad could utter another word, I'd tackled him, and pinned his arms to the ground.
"Nice costume, handsome," I purred. "You can pay me back for the design any way you see fit." I smiled charmingly through my massive beard.
He squinted at me, and gasped. "Blockade Boy--?!"
I nodded, and loosened my grip.
"I didn't even know you were still alive!" he said, sitting up. "Wow, this is a real honor! Still, I have to take you into custody for all the crimes you've committed here. Mainly 'malicious mischief' and aggravated towel theft. Nothing personal. But lawbreakers must be punished."
I grinned. "Actually, I'm the wronged party here. And I can prove it."
His taut, earnest face relaxed, just a tad. "That's... great! I can take your statement on my Omnicom, and...!"
"Nope! It doesn't work that way. You're gonna have to wrestle me for it."
He rolled his eyes. "So you're just messing with me, huh? Fine. Big deal if my powers don't work on you. I'll take you down manually." He scrambled to his feet and took a boxer's stance, adding, "Let's go, big boy."
(And I fell in love with him, right then and there.)
We had a rollicking, devil-may-care, two-man donnybrook that lasted a good thirty or forty minutes, at least. Just punching the crap out of each other. But I finally wore him out, and got him back down on the ground, with one of his arms twisted backwards and my knee on his back.
"Say 'Uncle!'" I growled at him. "Say it! Say 'Uncle!'"
He peered coyly up at me, and hoarsely whispered, "Daddy...!"
That was close enough for me. I spun his body around, and wrapped my arms about him, in a rough embrace. His tongue lapped hungrily at my neck and my chest. And then it moved lower...
Four-and-a-half-hours of sweet lovemaking later, we sprawled langourously on the jungle floor. His head was in my lap. "What were we talking about, before--?" he burbled.
So I told him the whole story. All about how I'd used up most of my space-cheddah last year by purchasing a "hot property" that turned out to be the nearly-worthless dwarf planet of Throon, a.k.a. "the Planetoid of Peril." I figured with a name like that, it was a perfect spot for a summer home. Or a roller coaster! But an unscrupulous hotel chain ("Squatter Suites") had moved into the abandoned Citadel of Doom... even though they didn't own the property! According to regional space-laws, I can do anything in my power to encourage them to vacate the premises. In other words, I can harass the hell out of them, with impunity. I had been planning to sic my lawyer on them anyway, but I wanted to have a little fun, first. I can't help myself! Deep within my furry chest, there beats the heart of a barbarian king.
For backup evidence, I summoned a copy of the planetary deed on my interbloggamunicator. Animal Lad was suitably impressed, and totally on my side. Motioning to the distant Citadel, he said, "You want me to turn 'em all into monkeys? 'Cause I can do that!"
I ruffled his hair. "Sweet kid. Naw, I'll get my lawyer to send some U.P. goods to hussle those bozos into a rocket-bus. Then we'll have this little slice of heaven all to ourselves."
Animal Lad gazed at me with a blissful expression. "I'd like that...!" he murmured.
I sighed, contentedly. "This has been one hell of an adventure!, I'll tell ya that!"
"But one with a happy ending, right?"
I chuckled. "You bet your ass! The last two people in a tropical paradise, with the promise of sweet, sweet lovin' to come...? Not bad, baby. Not bad at all. Even if it's kind of a rip-off of the last issue of Rom: Spaceknight."
"'Rom: Spaceknight?!' What the heck is that?"
I playfully stroked his goatee, and grinned. "You know what? It really doesn't matter."
(Luciously big version available here).
Hey, pals! It's me... Jeremy! [Told you so. -- Blockade Boy] Behold my handsome face!
...Huh. I really don't like the way I look when I smile. (Although I sure do it a lot.) I prefer "brooding" mode.
I'll get a little business out of the way, first. The commissions I'm doing for all you great folks, (like MaGnUs) will now appear in my illustration blog. If I ever get the yen to do any more comic book panel scans (don't hold your breath), they will appear in my LiveJournal. And the first regular installment of "Viking Zombie Boyfriend" appears this Monday.
Since I want to concentrate more on my artwork, my illustration blog should become more lively. And maybe I'll get rid of that depressing black background, and come up with an exciting new logo for it... I dunno.
But it's time for me to put Blockade Boy to bed (preferably with a sexy bearded dude).
Working on this blog helped me grow a lot as both a creator and as a person. Most importantly, it helped me come to terms with my homosexuality. I remember an old "Comics Scene" interview with Howard Cruse (from the 1980's!) where he said that he had a character in his comic strip "Barefootz" come out as a gay man before he did. Little did I know that I'd end up doing something similar. I decided Blockade Boy was gay for the sake of a joke -- so that I could link him romantically to Weight Wizard, and say that Weight Wizard had always talked about dying by being eaten by a giant flower (which happened). I never wanted to make Blockade Boy's homosexuality a joke, in and of itself -- and I hope I never did. So from the get-go, I tried to treat Blockade Boy's gayness with respect.
Before I'd started writing this blog, I'd already discovered "bear culture" via the glorious internet -- but at the same time, I hated myself for being attracted to bears. Mainly because I'm genetically incapable of being one. Not hairy enough, not bulky enough, etc. I suppose it was cathartic for me to take on the "voice" of an absurdly masculine man who was gay. Still, it took me years before I could even admit that Blockade Boy was a bear. My body image issues came to the surface when I brought back the pint-sized Weight Wizard, who hated himself for being attracted to Blockade Boy. Weight Wizard was ultimately a miserable, isolated soul. Thank goodness, both he and my self-hatred are gone for good. A few months after I came out, I had Blockade Boy advise Storm Boy to embrace the fact that he was a "bear chaser." That kind of thing is very important to me: honesty, with others and with oneself. (Although my personal aesthetic has expanded beyond bears; I'm currently dating an otter! Sue me, I like 'em hairy!)
I have a lot of practical reasons for ending this blog. Lack of time, a need to concentrate on my art and on making more money (ideally, from my art). And although I learned a lot about storytelling with this blog, I ultimately feel like I've spent enough creative energy developing characters that are owned by DC Comics, and from whom I cannot derive one penny. With Viking Zombie Boyfriend, I hope to eventually sell some comics with collections of the strips, and maybe some tie-in merchandise like t-shirts and coffee mugs. BECAUSE I NEED THE DOUGH.
Finally, I want to say "thanks" to Scipio Garling for posting about this blog years back and bringing me my first big boost in readership. And thanks also to all the great folks who took a minute out of their days to comment on my posts. Y'all were the best! With my free time, maybe I can do more commenting on your own blogs (instead of just lurking, like I do).