I like to call it the comic strip for grownups about being a kid.
It started in 1985, when I drew a birthday card for a friend. It was a collection of odd relatives standing around a weird little boy looking at a cake that read “Happy Birthday You Damn Kid.” Ten years later, I found that old card while unpacking some boxes and began scribbling some ideas based on the card, coming up with a comic strip called “Binky Remembers.” I completed a few strips and sent them off to the local alt weekly, The Shepherd Express. To my surprise, they called, and a few weeks later the strip began a ten year run in the paper. Shortly before the first one ran, however, I remembered the icing on the cake and renamed the strip You Damn Kid.
Back in 1997 there were few comics on the internet. YDK started on AOL and a few other hosts but never really took off online until Keenspot was formed in 1999 and YDK was a part of the lineup. Eventually, Keenspot published “Fun At A.A. Meetings,” the first collection of YDK strips. Sales were moderate, at best, but through the efforts of Chris Crosby and Keenspot’s management team, the book was optioned for television by Twentieth Century Fox. We came close, but eventually the project fizzled and never made it to the small screen.
I felt at the time that YDK had run its course. You can only tell so many stories about your childhood before you start to repeat yourself, or grow tired and stale. I tried a few times to re-boot and re-energize the strip, but my heart wasn’t in it. Then, unexpectedly, came news that I was going to be a dad again.
Maddie came, and I left webcomics.
I kept writing, and toying with ideas, but my full time job was stay at home dad. Every once in a while I’d look at the old strips, find one I didn’t even remember doing, and have a laugh. Then one day I was with the kids and visiting some relatives, some of whom had appeared in the strip as various characters, and the idea for this new version was born.
Now Maddie is off to school and I’m back in the game. But boy, the online world has really changed in five years.
It’s still a comic strip for grownups about being a kid. But I’m not the kid anymore. Let’s see what happens.