Monday, May 15, 2017

Special Sticky Step: Sticky Footprints gets the royal treatment in The Pitiful Human-Lizard #13!

I'm breaking off from the usual location to location journey through the Human-Lizard's Toronto in this post to give a shout out to The Pitiful Human-Lizard creator, Jason Loo. Ideally, once I'm right up to the minute following the Human-Lizard's adventures, that will be the idea anyway, to post news and updates between issues of PHL. Not only on the comic itself, but as Toronto constantly continues to undergo a Metroplex-like transformation, I also want to report on changes to the locations featured in the stories, as well. For today though, I just want to take a moment to open up my heart in response to an incredible gesture of friendship and kindness made by Jason, which I received in full this past weekend at the Toronto Reference Library during TCAF - The Toronto Comic Arts Festival.

I'd say that look says it all.

Back in late December of last year, at a time when many people try to cope with the pressures of the holidays and adjusting to the darkest season of the year, I was dealing with those very same issues, as well. Same as every year really, but this was a bad one. Social media was getting the better of me in the worst way and I can admit now that the muse that inspired Sticky Footprints as a pursuit had completely fled. In the moment, I rationalized by telling myself that it was just the winter season and trips to Toronto for photos were difficult enough to plan in the warm months, but the truth is that I'd been carrying around a lot of unresolved emotional baggage since the summer. A death in the family and a job lost in the same week was crushing and it happening just as this blog journey was beginning made for a powerful confusion of feelings on top of that. Add a prolonged period of estrangement from a friend going through momentous changes in their own life and I can tell you there was a veritable witches brew stewing away in my head. Let simmer until the most stressful time of year and then brace for impact.

Original art of page 19, issue 13 of The Pitiful Human-Lizard.

And then, unplugged from the rest of the world and feeling my absolute lowest on a Festivus morning after a premature online airing of grievances, Niki woke me up to tell me she'd gotten a message from Jason Loo. Then she showed me a photo on her phone of Jason's version of me sitting next to the Human-Lizard chatting him up. What can I say that Dr. Seuss hasn't already? My heart grew three sizes that day and that's how the Human-Lizard saved my entire holiday season. I resolved then and there to finish the remaining few Sticky Footprints posts for the first issue of PHL before the end of the year and then make use of the winter downtime to plan out the coverage of issue #2 first and foremost and then focus beyond that afterwards. You'd think I'd have learned by now that you've got to take things one step at a time, no matter how sticky it gets!

The Pitiful Human-Lizard #13 cover by Jason Loo.

Fast forward to TCAF this past weekend and a royal reception from Jason as he pulled out the original art page featuring that chat between the Human-Lizard and I and an advance copy of The Pitiful Human-Lizard #13 that it appears in. Finally, the whole story surrounding this amazing introduction to Toronto's most vulnerable superhero can be told, and the best part is, it's not even the whole story! As the second part of a crossover with the first issue of Captain Canuck's third volume (did you get all that?), there's still an epic battle featuring Chapterhouse Publishing's heaviest hitters to look forward to reading! And who knows? Maybe someday I'll be tapping one of them on the shoulder to tell them what they mean to me, too.

Captain Canuck (2017) #1 cover by John Gallagher.

Up next: Back on the hunt as the Human-Lizard heads home and finally gets a phone message while riding past The Great Hall, but after the events of the past evening will he have a date or not?


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