Why, I've been pulling a prank on a group of people.
As many people reading my journal know, there is a character based on me in The Wotch. Jason is a very popular character, which pleases me greatly. I've also done some filler with an artist friend for the strip when they needed a hand. The filler also went over very well with the fans.
I've often mused, since '98, about doing my own webcomic, but various things have stopped me. I've also heard people say that the Wotch needs more Jason. So, early Monday morning I was plotting some more Wotch filler before sleeping, and had the silly idea of a Jason spin off comic, all his own.
And then I realised what day was just around the corner.
Instantly, I had an idea for the dullest webcomic that could be done in such a format. Jason is known for reading comics (A stretch, I know.), and I quite despise those videogame comics that became a hugely popular trend back a few years, with the dorks sitting on a couch for the entire strip, until the last panel when one of them would say something supposedly funny, but more often than not, dumb. The premiere strip would be nothing more than Jason, panel after panel, looking at a comic book, for enough panels to make sure the audience had to scroll. And scroll. And scroll. Almost to the point of absurdity. And the very last panel, just as folks are sitting there and going "WTF?!" Jason would stop reading, look at the audience, and declare "April Fools".
I was simply tickled by the idea. It was perfect. Jason is popular, and my artist friend Ani who is an actual paid artist these days, so doesn't have gobs of time to do 'fun' art as much as she'd like, would be an easy sell, since it was really only drawing one, maybe two pictures, and duping one over and over again. Plus, it was evil and would jerk people around, which she's always game for. ;) But with Ani and I working on it together, it lended the story credibility, despite or Lokean nature for mischief, since it was a bunch of popular elements, working together on something people wanted.
Tracking down Robin, I ran the idea by him, and he loved it. He tracked down Anne and ran the idea by HER and she loved it. After that, I nabbed Ani and we were all set to go.
Robin jumped the gun and put the site up and announced the upcoming comic on Tuesday.
Overall, I'd say this was a mistake, in the long run, since it gave folks time to think about the upcoming strip, and realise "Wait, they said it's going up on Saturday. Heeeeey..." On the other hand, it did add a bit more to the credibility, since it wasn't sprung on people at the last minute on late Thursday, when I would have put up the "New spinoff coming!" ntoice. And it did give us a few days worth of stringing them along and building excitement on the Wotch forums. We got a board all of our own, even.
Still, it went very well, and no one voiced any suspicions whatsoever until Friday afternoon. Would've been nice if they hadn't glommed onto it, but it gave me more to play with, I think. I did drop a number of oblique hints here and there that all was not as it seems, and played mostly fair with any questions people may have had.
So, 1am finally rolls around, when Robin had time to come home and get the site finally set up, and I announced to the community that the new spinoff was live.
Oh, the Vaderian cries of "NOOOOOOOO" were glorious for me to behold. And one of my favourite responses was wondering if maybe it not being a real comic is the joke, and it IS a real comic.
The truly ironic thing is, I have genuine ideas now, for a real Jason comic, but am lacking an artist. Maybe I'll start it for REAL next April Fool's. ;)
"Oh, we're not gonna fall for THAT one again!"