About FGComics: The History
Edgar C. Moore Elementary School. I believe it was October, 2000. No one remembers the exact date, but if you take a look at the comic Food Eatin', you can see that there is a "Cartoon Cartoon Halloween Party" on Potty-P's TV. So September or October. The actual comics themselves were majorly inspired by the comics in Captain Underpants. People have called them "cartoons", "comics", "comic books", "comic strips", and even the dreaded "doodles." More on the last further on. We prefer to just call them "comics".
It all started as a normal day in fourth grade, except for one thing: I felt like writing a comic. Now, to me, this was a strange event. I had never written a comic in my entire life, why now? So as soon as I sat down at my desk, I pulled out a pencil and a piece of notebook paper. When I was finished, I had made a comic with six large squares, each about 3 by 3 inches in size. The title was "The Funny Guy", and my friends much enjoyed this short comic about a long-haired "Funny Guy" and his charbroiled Magikarp.
Funny Guy himself was just a stick figure with dot eyes and crazy hair. Even now I couldn't tell you how he would look in real life. We don't even know what to call the things on the side of his head. We just know it's the "Funny Guy Hair" and don't question it. Ever. To us seasoned writers/readers, it's what separates the Funny Guys from the rest.
To be honest, I don't really know why I started drawing the first one. Maybe it was a spurt of inspiration. Maybe I was bored. Maybe I just wanted to make people laugh. My peers and I look back on the first few and simultaneously cringe and nostalgia over them. It was hilarious. At 10 years old, we were all in stitches.
So I made another comic. And another. And another. By the end of the day I had comics made, some of them had been part-authored by my friends. A week later, I upgraded my comics to a new layout grid which allowed a lot more things to happen in a single comic. I invited my friends to join a new organization called the “Funny Guy Club,” where they got free previews of all of the comics and could make their own. It was the beginning of the business itself.
My classmates were eagerly peeking over my shoulders to get a glimpse of the next issue. They were so random, but we loved them. My friend Patrick helped out with a few of them at first, and he became my first collaborator, even though he took a minor role later on. Next came Steve, and he eventually became my “vice president”, as my own title was “president” of the company.
Things were great. Everyone was contributing ideas, and comics were drawn on the back of every worksheet that was handed to us that had a blank side. Even the bright green, orange, and yellow ones. The fart jokes were all over the place, but looking back on it, we were just laughing at the names, not the actual things they referred to. This, I think, is what drew a lot of hostility from the adults at first. This resulted in many comic confiscations that I do not care to count. “Adam, stop DOODLING!”
The War Begins
One afternoon in class, I passed a nearly finished comic in my friend's direction to get him to finish it for me. I was tired, after all. When I got the comic back, one block was done. The block had a picture of, let's just call him Koven, which is his name in the comics, hanging above a lake with a "feroshush aligater" in it. Since we made fun of this kid in class, and he was kind of a douche, I eagerly sank my teeth into the idea, making more and more comics about Hyper Funny Guy and his battles with Koven (also known in more hushed circles as the Koven Wars).
It escalated from there. Koven eventually got so mad at us that he declared war on me, my collaborators, and Funny Guy by making his own comics. In response, the Funny Guy comic makers formed FGCI, the Funny Guy Comics Industry. We “hired” many of our friends and most of them were “spies” meant to keep and eye on Kevin and his comics. They were called Repair Man Man Man Man Man Man Man Comics, based on a character from All That or something. In his wordless comics, he "killed Funny Guy" which usually meant "dipping" Funny Guy into "hot, boiling lava." I knew this because he stood in front of me and acted it out or something one day in class. I wasn't aware lava typically boils.
To our surprise, he actually got some followers! There was only one thing we could do. Completely and utterly annihilate him. I got mad at Koven for getting mad at me and making comics! So, FGCI began to steal and keep Kevin's comics whenever we could get our hands on them. I think Steve still has a few, I never personally witnessed any of our corporate spying.
This went on until I drew a large diagram of Koven picking his nose at lunch with my friend Braxton. It was fun, we had a good laugh. So at the end of lunch I threw the drawing in the trash with my lunch. Now, in a normal situation, you expect something you throw away to be bagged, smashed up, and shipped off to the dump, never to be seen again. This apparently wasn't the case. The janitor lady who stands over the trash can and slaps your lunch tray against the side of it snatched this thing right out and held onto it. One man's trash is a woman's pay raise, I suppose.
This drawing, thought to be gone forever, made its way to our principal and, through communication with my teacher, ended up causing the entire operation to be uncovered. <Insert principal trip here>
I was caught, discipline-slipped, and forbidden to draw any Funny Guy Comics ever again. Funny Guy wasn't even involved! I waited gloomily as the last quarter of school dragged on, and never expected to do Funny Guy ever again. Koven laughed at me all the the time; because he was the victim of my artistic onslaught, he got to do comics more often.
Even though I was crippled, there was enough of the company remaining to stage one final attack on him before our fourth grade year was over. Steve, Pat, and I consulted with our resident professional wrestling fanatic, Dylan, and arranged a “Rock Bottom” reenactment on Koven as everyone was packing up for the end of the day and teacher was outside the room.
“So Adam, how's it feel to not being doing comics anymore?” said Koven, with a sneer developing on his over-satisfied features.
I shot him a look. “We'll be back, Koven. You can't stop Funny Guy!” I nodded to Steve and the attack began.
“Dylan, now! ROCK BOTTOM!” Steve shouted.
Koven turned around with a look of sheer terror on his face. Dylan bolted toward him and began to reenact his favorite wrestler's signature move on our sworn nemesis. He got Koven in a headlock, but unfortunately, Dylan was a tiny guy, and could not finish the move properly. Instead, he just fell on top of him, pushing him down inside the coat cabinets. Pat helped push Koven into the cabinet itself and pushed the door shut. Dylan jammed the latch with a pencil. Dylan, in true sacrificial grace, told us to go on, he would take the blame, even though he could have just as easily got the heck out of there with us. Pat booked out. Steve and I ran out the door towards his house.
And so the year ended.
Recess was boring in fifth grade. My friends and I had nothing much to do, since Funny Guy gave us so much joy in fourth grade. Oddly, the entire FGCI group was split in half between the two fifth grade teachers, almost like the people assigning us to the classes were conspiring against us. Koven was in the other class, and so were Steve and Pat. One day in October, it was inside recess because it was raining so hard. I was sitting at my desk, bored as usual, so I pulled out a piece of notebook paper to do my homework. Picking up my pencil, the same one used to give so many “Koven Shots” to so many of my friends, I began to write. Suddenly, as if it wasn't even my will to do so, the notebook paper became a comic grid, and then, a full comic. I decided not to tell my friends, so I could make this new comic thing a covert operation to resist the man keepin' me down. Heck yes. Comic production easily exceeded last year's output, mainly because Koven wasn't in our class anymore. I acquired a new vice president, Josh. Together, we made a new villain for Funny Guy to fight, Serious Man. That year was great for Funny Guy, and we began to plan ahead for 2003, and our final year in elementary school.
Sixth grade was on us, and boy was FGCI ready for a new year! Steve was back, and he regained his old position, since Josh was no longer in my class.
But Koven was back as well. He wasn't making comics though. We decided to seize this opportunity and hit the ground running. We rehired many of our old employees, returning to where we left off as a business in fourth grade. I and my fellow comic designers (Steve) seized this opportunity to grow.
We changed our name to FGOAC (Funny Guy Organized Association of Comics), to reflect our new vision. We became a parent company of sorts that oversaw smaller comic start-ups in our class, and managed their distribution. We started making comics at a triple pace, and we made “Repair Man” an official Funny Guy character, since he was practically the butt of every joke we made, (the Funny Guy version was distinctly different from Koven's version). In following with our fourth grade tradition, we produced a “contract” that everyone in the company signed, to make Repair Man into an official character. My teacher let me make a speech about the new character, inciting applause.
This ticked Koven off immensely. He spazzed out in his seat when he heard the words “Repair Man is now an official Funny Guy character.” But he accepted it. He reacted by starting a new comic business called “Mega Man Comics.” But the hostility between both businesses was gone, reduced to just snide references to Koven and the Wars themselves here and there in the comics.
Steve got the idea to make a full-length comic book called “An F.G. Christmas Carol,” and this book was distributed for free around Christmas to everyone within our class, even Koven, whose copy was devoid of any characters at all, hilariously.
It was at this point I had acquired a copy of Microsoft Frontpage and got the idea to make a website for Funny Guy. I made a small site that had character bios, a place to buy select comic prints for 25 cents each, and our history.