Back-up Vocal~ 200 Mannyacs Comics. Wow. That’s more than a few. I don’t mean to get too nostalgic, but the journey to this moment has been a fascinating one. Fun and frolic ensued to be sure. As well as considerable chaos at times, with real life changes aplenty in the mix. Along the way, a complete corporate buy-out and face-lift in the original host provider forced me to migrate my tribe to the website host I use now. I moved into the Manny-Cave and acquired a new Manny-Mobile. I lost one of my heroes (John Wetton) in 2017, created a small but earnest Mannyacs merchandise line (the ideas for that one never stop running in my head) and made plans for my first-ever trip to Montreal for my first-ever Marillion Convention Weekend in 2019. I got to see the Travis Larson Band TWICE in one weekend. I stumbled across a few truly incredible TV series that inspired some favorite new running jokes (12 Monkeys tops that list of stunning programs and if you’re not watching it yet, what in God’s name is stopping you?!). Plus, new readers from a bafflingly expansive landscape have joined the fold, some hailing from locations I had never even heard of until they found my little pocket of the universe and Google Analytics alerted me to them. I must offer an especially snuggly hug to Moldova and Seychelles for being part of the party. 

Through all the ups and downs, the constant has been my boys. Mannny, Soxx and the crew have stood beside me through winds both foul and fair. At times they have guided me through the caverns of my own mind towards their prospective notions with ease, warmth and courtesy. Other times, they pummel me with their ideals, tie me to the back of their hovercraft and drag me to the escapade they demand I explore next. I’m told I really shouldn’t admit it, but I have not known how even one of my stories ended when I first began them, since the late 70’s batch of Comics. As a result, my characters keep surprising me. I let them take the wheel and I follow. I do feel this is why Mannyacs works.  I TRUST my guys. They tell me what they want to do and I whittle it down to a framework I can approach, while leaving enough room to move so I can add ingredients to the stew as they present themselves. That said, our current story ends with this very Comic. Hence, Comic #199 carried the weight of setting the stage for this Comic to do it’s job. All the elements of this tale had to connect here. The principal new thread was finding the right design for the Crumpet Castle© logo. A week spent in Photoshop gave it the life it needed and I’m quite pleased with the results. It was crucial that Comic #200 be a special one and a single Panel format was the way to go. I will only offer one slice of explanation. Just 2 months before creating this Comic, I stumbled across one of the 80’s “Jazzercize” segments. It had been turned into a viral video, doing the rounds on Facebook with the attached instruction to share with a friend, offering them no reason at all. It was sent to me, I watched it, I laughed out out loud. I knew a reference had to find a place in my work. Let’s face facts….finding a Front Man who can “Jazzercise”, play bass and fill out an XXXL Kimono is one hell of a longshot. 

A special nod must be offered to Jonathan Banks, Martin SheenReb Beach, Mireille Enos, Lou Diamond Phillips, Jimmy Osmond, Jennifer Young, Gipsy Kings, Menudo, Steve Howe, Trevor Rabin, Maxi Priest and Pago Pago, for being such good sports and allowing me to deploy their names with such reckless abandon….or at least NOT SUING ME for it. Allow me to offer my heartfelt Thank You to all of you Beloved Mannyacs, for supporting my little world. From the bottom of my soul, I always strive to present the best Comics I can make. Knowing that my boys have brightened a few days means that we have done all we set out to do. The adventures continue as long as Manny, Soxx, Bo, Hapler and Yoga Boy feel like talking. We will do everything in our power to keep you laughing. We love you all!